Pretending - Why You Always Lose the Blame Game

I like kids. I especially love when kids use their imaginations to pretend. Ever tell an eight-year-old boy, swinging his hot wheels cars around, that cars don't fly? No shit, dad! I'm using my imagination because it sucks that cars can't really fly. Kids use their imaginations to pretend that things are different from reality because it's more fun. When my daughter thinks that not being royalty sucks, boom, she's a princess, and her bunk bed is a castle. If you're a kid, and reality sucks, you pretend. As fathers, we expect our kids to pretend, and we should encourage it every chance we get. It supercharges brain growth and aids in personality development.

Pretending isn't just for kids, though. Have you considered how we also use our grown-up imaginations to pretend that things are better than reality? Of course, the difference is that most of the time, we pretend to avoid the truth about ourselves when it sucks. We pretend when we tell ourselves statements like:

It's not my fault, they...

You don't understand; I'm doing my part. It's others that aren't...

Yeah but, if I didn't have to deal with 'x,' I'd have more time for 'y'.

Well, if she hadn't made me so angry...

It's my genetics. I'm just big-boned.


Generally, when a man starts a rebuttal statement with 'Yeah, but,' 'Well' or 'You don't understand,' his imagination is working overtime. You should brace yourself for an excuse.

How are you pretending?

Do you pretend your boss is to blame for your lack of job satisfaction?

Do you pretend your partner is to blame for your unfulfilling relationship?

Do you pretend genetics are to blame for your poor physical condition?

Do you pretend the wealthy, politicians or the economy are to blame for your financial challenges?

Do you pretend your parents are to blame for not giving you a better start or a better education?

Pretending is appealing. After all, if the blame for your suffering lies with forces out outside of your control, then the outcome isn't your fault. If it's not your fault, then you are hereby relieved of any responsibility to do anything about it. You're off the hook, brosef!

But here's the thing, and this is important:

This kind of pretending also makes you a victim, and a victim is helpless. Whenever you shift your personal responsibility to forces outside of your control, you are pretending. You are like a ship without a rudder. Adrift.


Instead of pretending, like a little boy, consider telling yourself the truth:

Wherever I am in life, good, bad, or neutral, I've had a part in it.

If my boss (or anyone else) treats me like shit, it's because I've allowed them to.

If I don't have time for something, it's because I haven't made time.

If I'm out of shape, it's because I eat too much, I move too little, or both.

If I'm broke, it's because I'm not managing my money responsibly.

If the truth hurts, ask yourself why. Is it because you're pretending to be a helpless victim? The sooner we recognize our role in creating a situation, the sooner we can begin identifying our part in changing it.

The only way to win the blame game is not to play.


19 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All