The saying goes, “if you are pointing a finger at someone, there are three pointing back at you.” Here are the reasons a finger pointing at you hurts!
Whether you use the phrase, a finger pointing at you, or the traditional three fingers pointing back at you, they both mean the same thing.
The clinical term for the finger pointing back at you is called projective identification. It is an unconscious behavior that humans have to turn something either psychologically or physically damaging to oneself, onto another person or object.
The way that it works is that by removing any unwanted feelings being projected onto yourself, you find a way to identify it with someone outside of you. Others call it a shame relocation plan.
Like relocating something you don’t want sitting in your house, you no longer have to both look at it or to acknowledge it. Therefore, it releases you from any responsibility and rests it on someone else.
In practical terms, when we don’t want to acknowledge something about ourselves, we get rid of it through the art of pointing a finger to project it onto someone else.
Interestingly enough, the origins are from a physical observation. When you point your index finger at something, the other three fingers are pointing directly back at you. So, how do you know if something is your fault *and you should take responsibility*, or if it really is someone else’s fault?
These are 10 good reasons there should be a finger pointing at you *not at someone else*
Often in relationships with other people, it is much easier to see what is wrong with their behavior than to admit that you aren’t behaving any better.
Stop pointing your finger and take a good hard look at what hand you have to play in the scenario. There is nothing productive about pointing the finger at anyone else. In fact, it only keeps you stuck. So this is why there should be a finger pointing at you *your finger*.
#1 It will keep you stuck if you don’t. If you are continually pointing your finger at someone or something else, then you are saying that not only do you have no responsibility for what happened, but that you can’t possibly change your circumstances. By looking at any situation and blaming others, you are keeping yourself stuck.
#2 You won’t get the desired outcome. If you continue to point your finger at everyone else *when you should have a finger pointed at you*, then you won’t ever get what you want.
There is no such thing as getting the desired outcome if you never take the initiative to see the fingers pointing back at you, or what you are contributing. If you want to get the desired outcome, then point that finger in the right direction, not at the wrong person.
#3 Negativity breeds negativity. Pointing your finger at things in your life instead of taking both the reigns and responsibility, has a tendency to make you view the world more negatively. That makes it more likely that you won’t get anywhere.
Once you start the blame game, it becomes increasingly difficult to change your mindset and to push past the barriers whether they are self-created or not.
#4 You won’t learn from your mistakes. There is not a human alive who doesn’t make mistakes. Humans are fallible if they are nothing else. The thing that makes mistakes awesome is that without them, we wouldn’t ever learn anything new, change ineffective behaviors or learn how to avoid potential pitfalls in our lives.
So instead, have a finger pointing at you, and recognize your failure and take stock. That way, you continue to become a better person with each new error.
#5 We can only control our own behavior. There are times when you point the finger, and you are correct – at times, there really is something at fault for a situation or scenario. But, in the end, pointing a finger never does anyone any good.
The only person’s behavior you can control is your own. Sometimes finding blame is completely irrelevant. The only person you can change is you, so save the finger pointing and find a new direction… have the finger pointing at you.
So, how do you stop pointing the finger and get back on track?
If you want to stop pointing the finger and having three pointing back at you, it takes some real effort on your part.
It’s much easier to place blame. But instead of simply putting your problems or responsibility off on someone else, ask yourself these five questions to change your behavior and to ensure that you have a much better outcome.
#1 What decisions did I make in the situation to produce a negative outcome? Sometimes not making a decision is making one. Since the only behaviors you can change are your own, figure out what it is that you can do differently to get the desired outcome next time.
#2 What actions did I take that led to things going badly? There are times when your behavior is to blame for the negative outcome. The way to stop pointing your finger is to stop and see what actions you took along the chain to an undesired outcome so next time you can stop it.
#3 What could I have done differently or better to change the outcome? Those who don’t recognize what they have done wrong in the past are bound to repeat it in the future. Take stock of how you could have done things differently for things to work out the way you want.
#4 Even if you were not to blame, what could you have done differently to make the outcome better? There are times when you may not be to blame, but that doesn’t mean that you couldn’t do things to change the situation and point it in the right direction. Examine what you did or didn’t do to make the outcome what you wanted.
#5 What lessons can I take away? Being positive is all about finding the silver lining. If you don’t take the opportunity to see every undesired outcome in the best light possible, you won’t know how to change future situations to achieve the outcomes that you desire.
If you want to run around pointing your finger at everyone, that is your prerogative. But re-think the situation, because maybe you should really have your finger pointing at you.