When Someone Tries to Blame You, Respond Like This

May 10, 2020

You may have heard me talk about this before — blame is the parking brake for improvement. So what happens when someone tries to place blame on you? The reality is, you need to embrace the idea of staying separate when someone is defensive or in denial. This is very important. Their strategy is to not have to take ownership of whatever it is that you are trying to get them to own. So, they will deflect, excuse, minimize, blame or throw out a whole host of responses to keep from being responsible. When they do, staying separate from all of that noise is important. Staying separate from all of their attempts to avoid responsibility means that you will not get sidetracked and lose the focus of what you are trying to communicate.

Stay in touch with what you want and what you think. Do not lose that and get talked out of it, unless you are truly being shown the light. And with a defensive blamer, that is unlikely. So, hold on to yourself and remember this formula: Empathize and return the issue.

People get lost when defensive people try to get them off track or whine or get angry or give a thousand reasons why A is really B. Remember, that is just noise. It is not germane to anything relevant. It is just so much static. You are responsible for delivering your message, and they are responsible for delivering theirs.Your job is to deliver yours until they are delivering one back that you are looking for. If not, then you have a different kind of discussion. Whatever happens, stay on task and to not take the bait if they try to deflect and invalidate what you’re trying to bring up. It’s just noise or static to get in your way.