Mistakes are an inherent part of going through life, with no one immune from making them. However, with mistakes comes the placing of blame on some entity. In some cases, an individual might be the victim of someone else’s mistake, such as being involved in an auto accident, while others point the finger directly at the individual.
Acceptance of the latter circumstances should be the standard operating procedure, yet it’s an everyday occurrence for the placing of blame to be directed toward someone else. There might have been a mistake on the job, an error in gathering information or wrong directions given that clearly indicate a certain individual is at fault. Yet that person will inevitably do their best to deflect accepting simple facts.
If the guilty party doesn’t actually point the finger at someone else, psychoanalyst Patrick Mahony knows that attempts at diminishing culpability is likely forthcoming. Standard reasoning usually boils down to claiming a lack of awareness about pertinent facts. In other aspects, efforts at minimizing the full effect of such a mistake are attempted-unless the error is so egregious that to attempt this option would be seen as insulting.
Patrick Mahony knows that the first instinct that some new leaders have when negative news comes about is to blame their predecessor. That may be a viable plan if the time frame when it comes to the change in leadership is relatively short. However, at a certain point, such an approach devolves into simple excuse-making.
The approach someone takes can offer a window into the maturity level of the person in question. Adults are expected to accept blame, realizing that negative consequences will likely be forthcoming. In contrast, children rarely follow that path because they know that some form of punishment is on the horizon.