Skip to Accessibility Tools Skip to Content Skip to Footer

The Blame Game

Blame and shame are two things I really have no time for in general. What purpose does it serve, other than to cause harm? Responsibility is a word that has crept into the narrative in a way that can also denote the same when used to measure in the way that some will do. Don’t get me wrong, taking responsibility for the consequences of our actions is not something we should simply shirk off as unimportant, but when used as a way to minimize or further marginalize a population, it is wrong in my view.

Why the blame?

The blame game is alive and well when it comes to medical conditions, and hep C is no exception. I have written tirelessly about the impact that stigma has on people diagnosed with hep C. Despite some incremental change in recent years, we have still a long way to go. It is not unique to hep C, as other medical diagnoses carry a burden of blame and shame.

The message of blame is that it is our fault. People assume our hep C is a result of our lack of good judgment, callousness towards others, and any of the other traits and actions that we are judged by. But why?

Imagine if you are already diminished by any one of the items on a long list of negative ways that we are measured as people. Mostly, we are judged as part of “those people” who do this or don’t do that.

We need support, not disrespect

Their message is clear, and maybe you have heard it before yourself. In my own experience, it is something I have become acutely aware of. I am careful of the words I use and beliefs I express because I don’t ever want to be a person who assigns blame or shame. Especially since it can diminish the way any person feels, particularly for people who may have challenges in self-esteem. The thing most of us need is encouragement and support, especially when facing difficult times, not ridicule and disrespect.

Assigning blame to others is not such a good way of dealing with any issues. Whether you are doing it to absolve yourself of any responsibility or just to put others down, it never leads to a good solution or outcome.

Let’s lift each other up

Sure, we are all guilty of doing this, to some extent at least. But is that a good reason for us to continue doing it? Imagine yourself being the brunt of this sort of thing, if you have never felt it yourself. Do you think it would motivate you? Maybe some would respond in a positive way, but I am not a psychologist or motivational guru either.

My own observations are merely based in what I have observed in others, and in myself. I have been guilty of doing this thing and I am not proud of it, but I have also been the recipient and it never made me feel good. We can change how we treat others, as long as we are aware how our words and actions can affect others, in lifting them up or tearing them down. Your choice.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.