As a collective whole, humans do this a lot. Myself included. And it’s pretty often bullshit.
Like this gem I found on social media:
It’s your fault if you get hurt by someone who has shown you time and time again that they aren’t good for.
I’m assuming there’s supposed to be a “you” at the end of that, but it’s pretty easy to get the gist of this.
And this is one of those things that is Prime Grade 100% Fabricated Bullshit™.
It’s not true. It’s one or both of two things:
- An effort to shift the blame to the victim.
- A way to distance ourselves from the possibility (or remembered pain) of it happening to us.
Because it’s NOT TRUE.
Can I say that again?
This is NOT TRUE.
It is not your fault if you are mistreated by someone. It is their fault for mistreating you.
It is not your fault if you are hurt by someone. It is their fault for hurting you.
Let’s take this a step further:
It is not your fault if you are cheated on by someone. It is their fault for breaking their word and cheating.
The blame lies with the person doing the bad things.
However, the reason we want to believe this is true or think it must be true lies in the illusion of control.
The idea that we have far more control over our own lives than we do, and that in that control, we are logical, near-perfect specimens of human thought and order.
I don’t know why we think this, when our junk drawers (rooms) look the way they do, but I digress.
“Wait just a minute,” some of you will say to me. “If they KNOW that person is going to hurt them, and they keep letting them, it IS their fault.”
No, it’s not.
I will give you this: it is in their power to put an end to THAT particular thing, most likely. By walking away, not giving more, turning their back, and so on.
But it is still not their fault.
If someone hurts you, and you let them, they are still to blame.
And before you argue, let me ask you something:
Have YOU ever changed?
Been given a second chance or a third, or a hundredth, for which you were grateful?
Is it their FAULT you acted badly to begin with?
Is it their FAULT that they gave you that last chance, or…perhaps…is it part of what makes them an amazing human, full of compassion and forgiveness?
Have you ever known an addict? Maybe had one in your family? Or known a friend who was going through some really terrible shit, and KEPT FUCKING UP? But you stood by them?
Maybe it worked.
Maybe it didn’t.
But YOU, or the family and friends you knew who supported them…were they at fault for their addiction and behaviors, or were they so full of love and caring that they kept trying to help, even though it failed over and over?
Only you know your answers to this.
It’s THEIR fault. You do have a responsibility, though:
You have a responsibility to yourself to pay attention ow hat happens to you and the choices you make, and make them consciously.
Don’t fall into a victim mindset, like you can’t make another choice.
Maybe you don’t want to.
Maybe the consequences are too much.
That’s also valid.
Maybe you’re too hurt and traumatized by your past and you’re stuck.
(Maybe look for help getting unstuck.)
You’re still not to blame.
Maybe I’m not convincing you.
I’ve made my case, and I’ll make it one more time:
The people who act badly are the ones at fault. Even when the victims “ought to know better.”