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A Word about Blame


Relationships are all about connection.

One factor that prevents people from becoming or staying connected is the habit of blaming. I use the word “habit” meaning it is a learned response that we practice over a period of time. Babies are not born knowing how to blame; they must be taught.

Consider the fact that sometimes, no one is to blame. Accidents happen. Hurts happen even in the best of families. Things are said and done we wish had not been.

Maybe we just “got off on the wrong foot” as depicted in the “Ballard Street” cartoon by Jerry Van Amerongen. When that happens, let’s apologize and express regrets when appropriate, but more than that, let’s move beyond the hurt into healing. Let’s move beyond “surviving” into “thriving.”

Brené Brown, Ph.D. is a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. She has spent the past decade studying vulnerability, courage, worthiness, and shame.

Her 2010 TEDx Houston talk on the power of vulnerability is one of the most watched talks on TED.com, with over 15 million views. She gave the closing talk, Listening to Shame, at the 2012 TED Conference in Long Beach.

She is a delightful and skilled speaker and writer, who has an ability to explain some of the complications of relationships briefly and clearly. Her 3 ½ minute presentation on “Blame” will help you understand this problem more clearly that you possibly have before. Enjoy.

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