There is no good excuse for blaming someone else's behavior. Like it (or not), you are always at choice in what you do, what you say and who you are. No matter what nasty rotten hurtful thing someone does to you, it doesn't have to determine who you are. You and ONLY YOU get to determine that. See why blaming someone else or even yourself will only stifle your happiness.

Yesterday I walked in on my two younger sons, Matthew and Ben (aged 5 and 6), to find them in the midst of a big barney (Aussie for quarrel). When I asked what was going on, a tearful Ben admitted, "I punched him on the nose because he said I was a dumb dumb". Matthew quickly defended, "Yeah, but that's because he wouldn't share his Pokemon cards".

Later on, when tempers had cooled, I tried to explain that it's no excuse blaming someone else for our behavior. Hitting is not okay, no matter what the other person does. "But what if he calls me the baddest names in the whole wide world?" Ben asked. "Still not okay" I replied. He screwed up his nose - not the answer he was looking for.

A few hours later during a coaching session with a client, I found myself in a similar conversation. Of course this person hadn't punched anyone in the nose, but he was still behaving in ways that were, well, shall we say, less than mature and admirable and playing the blame game.

He was justifying it on the grounds that the person he was dealing with was behaving much the same way. It made me realize that blaming other people for not just our problems and upsets, but for our own poor behavior, is a habit we can unwittingly fall into from a very young age (and one I'm hoping I can nip in the butt with my own kids).

The lawsuit explosion in the U.S. is testimony to the fact that more and more people would rather point the finger than take responsibility for their lives and the choices they've made. (Just last week I saw some woman on TV suing Victoria's Secret because some bling bling flew off her knickers and hit her in the eye. I kid not!)

Our tendency to want to place the blame at sources outside of ourselves when we aren't happy and things don't go our way (or they do, and hit us in the eye!) needs to stop with you; YOU need to accept the responsibility and stop blaming people. Unless you are going to own what isn't working in your life, then you'll be unable to find the courage to make the changes needed to fix it.

When it comes to people problems and blaming others, you don't get to choose how people around you will act, but you always get to choose how you will respond to them. When you allow somebody else's behavior to determine whether you will have a good day (or not), whether you will be pleasant (or not), whether you will treat others with respect (or not) and whether you will have integrity (or not), you are giving them the power over you.

Like it (or not), you are always at choice in what you do, what you say and who you are. No matter what nasty rotten hurtful thing someone does to you, it doesn't have to determine who you are. You and ONLY YOU get to determine that.

Here is a profound case in point: After surviving the holocaust in which he had been robbed of his clothes and every worldly possession and lost his wife, mother, father, brother and countless friends in the Nazi gas chambers, Viktor Frankl said, "Everything can be taken from a man but one thing; the last of the human freedoms - to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way."

Heck, if I had to wait 'til everyone else around me was behaving the way I wanted them to in order for me to feel happy and be nice, then I'd be living one long mean and miserable life. Unfortunately that's exactly what some people do...but of course if you listen to them, that's not their fault!

As Gandhi once said, "Be the change you want to see in the world" and, as you do, recognize that peoples' words and actions directly reflect on the way they see themselves and the world. If people are giving away hostility, it's because they live inside a story that the world is a hostile place.

If they're arrogant, it's because they are terrified of not being good enough. If they're petty, it's because their world is tiny. If they're mean, it's because they're miserable. The truth is that anyone who is truly happy with themselves has no need to bring others down.

So before you find yourself wanting to slip into blame, ask yourself "Is blaming serving me or holding me back?" If you are truly honest in your answer, it won't be the former.

Knowing this truth doesn't always make life easier since blame is a very convenient exit door to facing the truth, but it will make you an immeasurably more powerful creator in this experience we call life. And that, to me, is worth a little inconvenience every now and again.

Author's Bio: 

An intrepid Australian, Certified Coach, Speaker and Best Selling Author, Margie Warrell is an expert on living and leading with greater clarity, confidence and courage. For more information and a host of free resources to support you in creating greater success go to Find Your Courage.