Mental Health Counselor and Psychotherapist, Dr. Gina Pena joined Gayle Guyardo the host of the global health and wellness show Bloom to contribute to its “What to Give Up to Be Happy” edition.

Dr. Pena says it’s important to give up blaming other people.

“Blaming others is a defense mechanism used to avoid uncomfortable feelings and avoiding emotion.”, said Dr. Pena.

She went on to say, “Blaming others also justifies our bad actions. People typically blame others because they feel a need for control, it fuels a desire for perfectionism, protects our ego, and keeps you from having vulnerability.”

Dr. Pena said if you never hold yourself accountable, you continue believing you have no flaws or areas needing improvement.

“Blame is a quick escape from guilt when feeling defensive. This is often seen in cases of domestic abuse where one person will justify their actions, such as breaking things, or being verbally abusive by saying that their spouse triggered them or pushed their buttons.”, said Dr. Pena.

She went on to say, “Instead of taking accountability that they need to learn to control their anger, they will blame their spouse to protect their ego and keep them from being vulnerable.”

Another example Dr. Pena shared is when people blame their past for bad behaviors.

“An example would be -my father is the cause of my anger problems”. said Dr. Pena.

She explained, “While we may model behavior from our childhood, we are also capable of change by taking responsibility for our behaviors and working on ways everyday to make better choices.”

In closing Dr. Pena said while blaming other may feel like winning temporarily, the inability to take responsibility for your own actions will lead to depression, lack of empathy (narcissism), becoming powerless to change outcomes and unhealthy relationships.