I find, in general, this is the breakdown for blame when something bad has happened to me, like getting a $175 ticket for riding one stop outside the fareless square on the MAX because I’m a confused country mouse, or being late to work because a schedule change was not checked up on:
As you can see, a plurality but not majority of the time it is, in fact, my fault. If I played enough mental gymnastics, it could be not my fault all of the time, and indeed, for most of my teen years I was, in my mind, completely blameless for the mayhem around me.
But something that had to happen is the realization that every time I deflect blame from myself after a big (or medium) mistake has been made, I am also excusing myself from taking whatever lesson forward that will prevent this mistake from repeating in the future:
Obviously, I still immediately try to figure out why it wasn’t actually my fault, but then I have to stop myself. Focusing on whatever mistakes other people have made or the basic unfairness of life will get you little to nowhere, and consign you to a life of feeling powerless rage. Yes, that initial bit of self-anger that you feel sucks and is not nearly as satisfying as directing it outward. But it’s better and healthier to take a minute and admit to yourself what you’ve done, and what you can do in the future to prevent this from happening again.
P.S. I take full responsibility for the ugliness and not-matchingness of those pie charts. Seriously, I spent way, way too long on them and eventually decided to forgive myself, if not Microsoft Charts.