It is understandable why some people blame others for their loved ones’ death. Individuals who have experienced loss go through a lot of pain and mixed feelings. Their reactions are somewhat inevitable and easy to understand. Still, the blame psychology seems to work its full course every time someone loses a family member or a friend. Often, this is unraveled with damaging consequences. One can blame others for what happens, or one can even blame him or herself for the death of a person close to them. We will discuss more about the blame psychology and its subtleties and dangers below.
Blame Psychology – What Happens During Grief?
When a person passes away, relatives, family members, and friends might experience bereavement, which translates into several stages of grief. Part of the process is about feeling anger and resentment towards yourself, others, or the entire society. Some people even blame themselves for what happened, feeling guilty for the death of their loved one. We usually feel all these confusing emotions when we don’t really understand something. And the death of someone close brings a lot of denial, frustration, sadness, and anger.
The blame game is even more pronounced when a suicide is involved. Those that knew the victim will blame themselves because they weren’t there for their dear one. They will judge themselves because they did not know how to properly handle the situation in order to stop the victim from committing suicide.
As mentioned above, blame psychology manifest itself most of the times when someone dies. It is usually accompanied by anger. The grieving person might even lash out at others.
Blame Psychology – How You Might Find Yourself Angry at the Following:
- At yourself – because you think you failed in saving the person who died. Still, this blame doesn’t usually have a real ground. Most of the times, people blame themselves even if there is nothing they could have done to save their loved ones.
- At your loved one – one might even become angry with the person that passed away because they feel abandoned and alone.
- Angry at medical staff – one might think that doctors could have done more to save the one that passed away. Sometimes, relatives feel that nurses and doctors don’t express any sympathy during their patients’ illness or even death.
- Blame the entire situation – when someone is grieving and experiences a loss, they might feel powerless as well as hopeless. If, until the tragedy, they thought they had complete control over their lives, this security and confidence are gone now.
- At God, the world, others… – those that go through bereavement might get angry and blame God and faith for letting their dear one die. They feel like this whole thing is simply not fair. Moreover, they think that all their dreams are now useless and shattered, while the rest of the world continues to be happy and live life like nothing has happened.
How to Cope with Blame and Anger
Blaming others or even blaming the victim can be dealt with through copying techniques. Angry moments will definitely arise during bereavement because unresolved anger is a natural reaction of loss and grief. Fortunately, there are plenty of effective methods to cope with blame and anger:
- Become aware of how these negative emotions are affecting your life and your interactions with others.
- Try to understand the root cause of your anger. Why do you blame yourself or others? What is driving your resentment? Maybe you had certain expectations, but they were not met. And now, you feel more than just disappointed.
- Release your anger to get rid of the blame psychology and its emotions. You can do that in non-destructive ways such as hobbies, physical activities, music, talking to others and reaching out to them, and writing. For example, keeping a journal of your thoughts might help you discharge part of your feelings.
- If you decide to confront other people because you feel they are responsible for what happened, and you cannot move on without doing this, you should at least do it in a polite and non-aggressive way.
Remember that being angry and blaming others will only consume you inside and it will make others avoid your presence. So, don’t isolate yourself from the rest of the world. Instead, talk your issues through with the help of a counselor. Counseling can really help you better understand your relationship with the victim. Therapists will make you re-frame your perspective and get in touch with your feelings in a safe environment. Therefore, you will be able to express all your emotions such as anger and frustration that you have with the person who died, without those around you, or even with yourself.
These therapists are specialized in dealing with patients who go through bereavement. They will adjust their support according to the other person’s needs. This way, you will learn that expressing anger is normal as long as you do it in a safe place, without harming yourself or those around you. First, you will be guided to identify your feelings. Then, you will be taught how to express them. A good therapist will show you how to also express positive feelings about the situation to reduce the impact of blame and anger.
Putting It All Together
The blame psychology is an interesting yet complex topic. People blame themselves or others because this is a great defense mechanism for them. This way, they avoid dealing with their emotions. Also, if they think that doctors are responsible for their dear one’s death, grieving people will cast blame in the attempt to hurt those other individuals. It is difficult to figure out the real cause of your blame and anger feelings on your own. This is why it is recommended to seek a therapist’s help.
The blaming game is tricky, and it will affect you more than it affects others. The more you let those negative feelings express themselves as they please, the more you lose and get hurt. Learning to open up to others in your search for help is the balanced thing to do. Also, it will help you build more meaningful relationships. It is an effective method to develop strong coping mechanisms that can help you move on with your life eventually. The choice is yours! Replace all the bad energy and anger from your heart with feelings of kindness and love. It will take time, of course, but even if you advance with baby steps, it’s still going forward instead of moving backwards.