The Credit and Blame Game


Two not-so-flattering character traits seem to help some people get ahead in life.  One is to take as much credit for what others have done, and the other is to place as much blame on others as possible, thereby deflecting it from yourself.  For those who are not so good at playing this game in life, it can not only be frustrating but make them potential targets of these so-called credit stealers/blamers who use them as stepping stones to further their agendas.

If you are a credit stealer and/or blamer, consider what you are doing to others.  Your tendency to take too much credit at others’ expense is divisive, undermines them, and is not conducive to building rapport and camaraderie necessary to accomplishing mutual goals.  This behavior detracts from esprit de corps.  Secondly, continually blaming others for your own mistakes – or assigning blame when there really is no need to blame anyone at all — makes others – and ultimately you – look bad.  If you are a credit stealer and/or blamer, you should realize that, as they say, “what comes around goes around,” and what you do unto others very likely will be done to you.  It’s the antithesis of the Golden Rule.

If you are the kind of person who is generally modest and finds others taking too much credit for what you have accomplished, or if you find yourself too often the target of blame, you should consider adopting a few self-defense mechanisms.  One, find allies who truly understand you and disregard others’ claims.  They will help you balance out the detractors.  Second, detach yourself from the situation.  Don’t take it personally; remove yourself by focusing on what cannot be touched by the offender and avoid giving them ammunition to use.  Thirdly, analyze their treatment of you and address it.  If they are in a position of authority over you and go after you unjustly, which happens all too frequently, assess their behavior and respond accordingly.  Finally, if they use coercive techniques to subdue you, then determine what will diffuse the situation and do it.  Maybe it takes walking away.  Maybe it means reporting their behavior.  Whatever is the best approach, do it.  Don’t let it go on unchecked and make you miserable – or worse.  Life is too short to be let these type of people ruin it for you.

Remember, life is not a zero-sum game.  You do not have to take too much credit or blame others to get ahead.  And if you are a victim of this abhorrent behavior, change the parameters and rid yourself of this situation.  You will be much happier for it – and likely more successful in the long run.  The credit/blamer may still get ahead in life, but they don’t have to do it at your expense.

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