Anxiety in the Workplace: Blaming

10 Feb

Some of us keep records of blame

We’ve been looking at five coping mechanisms we use when a system, like a workplace, church, or famiy, is anxious according to systems psychology:

Today we’ll take a look at blaming.  Oh, it is lamentably easy to lay blame.  According to Harriet Lerner, Phd., “Blame is an automatic response to anxiety.  You overfocus on what the other person is doing to you (or not doing for you) and underfocus on your own creative options to change your part in the problem.  You lose your capacity to see two sides of a problem, or better yet, six or seven sides.”

When I teach about marriage, I call this the Magnifying Glass Principle.  There are times in our marriages when I hold a magnifying glass to the faults of my husband.  We use that Magnifying Glass Principle in the workplace too.  When we catch ourselves playing the blame game, we need to ask God for clear heads with which to see the issue.  Then, we need to ask God for tact with which to edify.  The word edify comes from the Latin word aedes, a house, and facio, to make.  To edify is to build a house, not to tear one down.

I believe God led me to pick  up the book, Fear and Other Univited Guests, from which I’ve garnered these five responses to institutional anxiety, because it had been such a stressful few weeks at work and I was responding to the stress in all the wrong ways.  I’m grateful that I read it before I stormed in my boss’s office and began to hurl blame around the room.  I needed this time to think how to build up, not only my boss, but the institution in which we both work.  Don’t you love it when you see God work?

Therefore encourage (admonish, exhort) one another and edify (strengthen and build up) one another, just as you are doing. 1 Thess. 5:11

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One Response to “Anxiety in the Workplace: Blaming”


  1. Anxiety in the Workplace: Gossip « Fearless - February 16, 2012

    […] Blaming […]

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