So, how are you reacting to your partner? Do you often take out your frustrations on him?
Call it a curse, but almost every woman is an expert in playing the blame game than men. Why? It’s just the way their mind is programmed—women think relationally.
When you get upset, it’s so easy to act like an outraged child and start shifting the blame on the next convenient person. Unfortunately, this usually tends to be your partner.
This kind of defense mechanism is what you call a “psychological projection.”
A Prime Example of Psychological Projection
Meet our couple, Joe and Linda. Linda had a crappy day at work because of her overly demanding boss.
Since she was too busy being upset, she totally forgot that Joe asked her yesterday if she could fetch the kids for him. When she did finally remember, she had to rush around—and got a ticket on the way for over speeding—to pick up the kids at school.
When Joe got home, Linda just threw all her verbal and emotional toxins at him.
“Why didn’t you call to remind me that I was supposed to get the kids today? Do you know I got a speeding ticket because I had to rush to get there on time? You know, you’re very insensitive and irresponsible… blah… blah…”
Poor Joe was left too stunned, confused and mad to process what just happened there. Linda, on the other hand, feels completely justified in what she did.
It will only be later, after she calms down, that she finally realizes: “Perhaps I overreacted back there. Perhaps I was being too hard on my poor Joe.”
Ever had this kind of incident with your spouse? If you don’t want the same thing to happen again, take time to practice mindfulness.
How to Quit Playing the Blame Game
You think you succeeded at winning the battle, but the truth is playing the blame game only leaves you with a bitter, confused and angry partner. And you don’t want that, right?
So, the next time you feel anxious, guilty or angry at something, make sure to know what that “something” first.
Are you stressed out? Are you worried about your kid’s health? Is something about your finances that got you worried lately?
Once you’ve identified the real cause, you’re better able to take control of your emotions and avoid saying or doing things to your partner that you would terribly regret later on.
Taking the example above, perhaps Linda could have said to Joe: “I’m really stressed out and upset right now. My boss was very demanding and I got a speeding ticket while fetching the kids today. I really need some time tonight to recharge and reflect. I hope you understand.”
Projection is a terrible game to play. It can destroy the intimacy of your relationship. Instead of letting him take the brunt of your anger, take all the time you need to practice mindfulness.