No Blame

Blame-Free Life

Unfortunately, blaming is as destructive as it is pervasive. The urge to blame affects all of us to some degree—it is almost instinctive, especially if we have been raised in harsh and punitive families. Blaming others for our own actions and reactions not only damages relationships, it also keeps us from learning and growing. Part of taking accountability in recovery includes stopping blaming others for our actions and reactions.

When we blame others, we do one or both of two possible things:

  1. We make others bad, and then use that as justification for our own bad behavior.
  2. We take on the victim role.

Here are some examples of blaming behaviors:

  • Man beats up another man because he is rude to him.
  • A woman says something hurtful to her girlfriend and then gets mad at her when her girlfriend gets upset with her.
  • An alcoholic man blames his boss for being unfair to him when his boss fires him for missing work.
  • A person with an opioid addiction cuts off ties with his parents when they call the police after he steals and pawns his mother’s jewelry.
  • A man beats his girlfriend because she slept with another man.
  • A man doesn’t speak to his wife for a week because she forgot to pick him up from work one evening.
  • A man gives the finger to another driver when that driver cuts him off.
  • A woman blames her depression and anger on her abusive husband, yet fails to do anything to improve her situation.
  • A woman sues her doctor for getting a severe infection after surgery as a result of her failing to take her antibiotics as prescribed.

In each of the above examples, the blamer holds somebody else responsible for their actions or feelings. Why do we do this? Because for some, to take accountability for our own actions and for managing the way we feel is intolerable. To do so would be to be irrevocably bad, just as we judge others to be bad. Blaming is thus rooted in part in fear—fear that we are not worthy and valuable despite our mistakes and imperfections. We are especially vulnerable to blame others for bad behavior that we also engage in. Thus the saying, “you spot it, you got it.” Blamers hold the unrealistic belief that they cannot be imperfect and make mistakes. They link imperfection to defectiveness. They mistakenly link their actions to their self-worth, so all unskillful actions must be justified by make them someone else’s fault. In this way, we are never responsible for what happens around us or to us. To blame is to be completely unaccountable out of fear of accountability. If we were to take accountability, by the blamer’s reasoning, we too would be unworthy and deserving of mistreatment.

Blaming is also fueled by entitlement—that we have a right to judge, mistreat or disregard others, or to do whatever we want regardless of the harmful consequences. Blamers often have a lack of awareness of how their actions affect others. They see life as if through a one-way mirror, only seeing how others affect them. They will keep an inventory of all the wrongs that have been done to them, completely unaware of the wrongs they have done to others. Their entitlement to behave hurtfully and with disregard for others allows them to offend others from the victim position. In the extreme, blamers will beat, or even kill, over a perceived wrong, and have no remorse.

Another form of entitlement is selfishness, in which we do for ourselves without regard for the harm we cause others. The classic example of this is the person lost in the disease of addiction, who drinks or drugs, lies, steals, and manipulates, with no regard for those they hurt, but instead blaming others for others’ reactions to their destructive behavior.

Although others may and do engage in bad behavior, it never justifies making them bad and then using that as an excuse for treating them badly. Blamers lack humility and respect when they blame and then act hurtfully towards the “blamee.” Blamers blame in order to give themselves permission to mistreat others, rather than addressing injustices with care and respect for the other person. By devaluing others, we justify punishing them for some bad outcome or behavior.

There is a difference between blaming and holding other’s accountable. When we blame, we make someone else responsible both for an event and for our response to it, without taking accountability for our role in the event or for our reaction. When we hold others accountable, on the other hand, we hold them responsible for their actions while also holding ourselves accountable for our actions. Thus we might hold someone accountable for paying back the $100 they stole from us, rather than beating them up or slashing their tires.

A common form of blame is to blame others for our hurt and anger, rather than taking responsibility for our emotional reactions to others. While fear, hurt, and anger are all common and normal emotional reactions at times, we are still ultimately accountable for how we process these emotions. As Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “no one can make us feel bad without our permission.” We manage our anger, for example, by dropping unrealistic expectations and practicing acceptance of that which we cannot change. Whatever our emotional reaction to others, we are ultimately accountable for how we feel and for our reactions to our feelings, no one else.

Blaming destroys relationships, damages lives, and causes much unnecessary pain, stress, and turmoil. The stress resulting from blaming can trigger a relapse. Blamers not only hurt others, but, true to the law of karma, they suffer from failed jobs and relationships, and often invite harm, such as when they mistreat someone and that person retaliates. All too often we hear of drivers who have flipped off another driver, only to have that driver stop and severely beat or even kill the person who flipped them off. Blaming is bad for everyone.

Another consequence of blaming is that the blamer, by alienating healthy, mature, accountable, respectful people, finds himself or herself spiraling downward into either social isolation or into a social circle of similarly destructive and low-functioning blamers. After all, birds of a feather flock together. To say the least, blaming can lead to a very unhappy social life.

There is a solution to blaming, however. It starts with awareness of when we are blaming. Other people, especially mature, healthy people, can help us with this if we only make a commitment to listen to their feedback. When we notice we are blaming, we need to stop and reflect, with humility and self-acceptance, upon what happened, and our role in the situation. We then need to take accountability for our own behavior. We are not victims. We are responsible both for what we bring upon ourselves and also for what we let others do to us when we fail to assert ourselves. If someone bumps into us because we weren’t looking where we were going, we need to own that this might not have happened if we had been paying attention. Accepting our bad behavior does not make us bad if we simply acknowledge that we are all imperfect people living in an imperfect world. Without the life-and-death need to protect the illusion of infallibility, we can give up the judge, jury, and punisher roles when bad things happen. We can let go of faultfinding and focus on what to do to improve things.

In addition to awareness and self-acceptance, coupled with self-responsibility for our contribution, if any, to a bad outcome, we also need to own our emotional reactions and actions in response to unhappy events. We, and only we, are ultimately responsible for our actions and reactions. We need to commit to unconditional respect for others. Part of respect is giving up any entitlement we might have to behave selfishly or otherwise destructively. We need to stop using and abusing others. We need to take a personal vow of no harm, which includes not blaming others. We need to do the psychological work necessary to work through our negative emotions so that we can take care of ourselves while respecting others.

As with all recovery skills, living a blame-free life requires practice, patience, and persistence. Stopping this destructive behavior greatly improves the quality of our lives as well at those around us.

Terms & Conditions

*** If you are experiencing, or think you may be experiencing, a life-threatening emergency, call 911.

Disclaimer/Terms and Conditions Governing General Use of this Web Site

The following terms and conditions apply to WellMind with the Dr. Michael McGee ("the practice", "we") Web Site. Please read these terms and conditions carefully each time you access this site as the terms may change from time to time.

1.  Agreement.

This website is an Internet-based online information and communication service provided by the practice. It is sometimes referred to in this Agreement as the Service. You agree to be bound by the terms and conditions of this Agreement. The practice may modify this Agreement at any time. You agree to review this Agreement periodically to ensure that you are aware of any modifications. Your continued access or use of the practice Web site after the modifications have become effective shall be deemed your conclusive acceptance of the modified Agreement.

2. License.

We hereby grant you the right to view and use this Web site subject to the terms and conditions of this Agreement. You may download and/or print a copy of information provided in this Web site for your personal use only. Permission to reprint or electronically reproduce any document or graphic in whole or in part for any other purpose is expressly prohibited, unless prior written consent is obtained from the respective copyright holder(s). Our designated contact for obtaining consent is:

WellMind with Dr. Michael McGee
Phone: 805-459-8232
Fax:     877-399-5883

3. Privacy.

We take your personal privacy seriously. In addition to the publicly accessible pages on this Web site, there are sections on the site where you can request more information or submit personal information. For information about how we secure personal information, please read section 11. Security below and the APPROVEME Terms of Service for Users in New Patient Registration and Patient Forms sections [link to:].For Information about how we use and secure a registered user’s information as well as your rights and responsibilities regarding the use of these features, please read our Public Online Privacy Policy, which is incorporated by reference into this Agreement. In addition to these policies, this site fully complies with the practice’s Notice of Privacy Practices as required by the Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).

4. Warranty.

Communications through the website do not constitute a doctor-patient relationship. Secure patient registration must be conducted and approved prior to consultation (See New Patient Registration [link to]. In our content areas, information is provided for educational purposes only and should not be interpreted as a recommendation for a specific treatment plan, product or course of action. The content areas should not be relied upon for specific medical advice for you. We assume no responsibility for how you use the content area information provided through this Service. You should always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Health Information

The health information on this Web site is provided by the practice solely for informational purposes as a public service to enhance customer service for our customers and to promote consumer health. It does not constitute medical advice and is not intended to be a substitute for proper medical care provided by a physician. The practice assumes no responsibility for any circumstances arising out of the use, misuse, interpretation or application of any information supplied on this site. Always consult with your doctor for appropriate examinations, treatment, testing, and care recommendations. Do not rely on information on this site as a tool for self-diagnosis. If you have a specific medical condition, please contact your health care provider. Use of this Web site does not replace medical consultations with WellMind with Dr. Michael McGee or other qualified health or medical professional to meet the health and medical needs of you or a loved one. Please check with a physician or health professional if you suspect you are ill.

You exercise your own judgment when using or purchasing any product or selecting a physician through any site or service linked to this Web site. In addition, while the practice frequently updates its contents, medical information changes rapidly and therefore, some information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors.

Viruses, Worms, Use of Files

The practice cannot and does not guarantee or warrant that files available for downloading from this site are free of viruses, worms, Trojan horses or other code that has contaminating or destructive properties. The practice does not make any express or implied warranties, representations or endorsements whatsoever (including without limitation warranties of title, non-infringement or fitness for a particular purpose) with respect to the files available for downloading from this site. In no event will the practice be liable to you or to anyone else for any decision made or action taken by you or anyone else in reliance on results obtained from use of files downloaded from this site. These files may be downloaded and/or reprinted for personal use only. Permission to reprint or electronically reproduce any document or graphic in whole or in part for any reason except for personal use is expressly prohibited, unless prior written consent is obtained from the appropriate practice copyright holder.

5. General Disclaimer.

All Material including any link to other sites and content found at linked sites is provided "as is" and without any express or implied warranties including warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. Due to the nature of the Internet, we do not warrant that access to this Web site or any of its pages will be uninterrupted or error free. The practice does not warrant or make any representations regarding the usefulness of or the expected results of the material contained on this Web site. Note that some jurisdictions may not allow the exclusion of implied warranties so some of the above exclusions may not apply to you. Please check your local laws for any such restrictions.

6. Limitation of Liability (Indemnification).

You agree by accessing this Web site that under no circumstances or any theories of liability under international or civil, common or statutory law including but not limited to strict liability, negligence or other tort theories or contract, patent or copyright laws, will the practice be liable for damages of any kind occurring from the use of this Web site or any information, goods or services obtained on this Web site including direct, indirect, consequential, incidental, or punitive damages (even if the practice has been advised of the possibility of such damages), to the fullest extent permitted by law. Some jurisdictions do not allow the exclusion or limitation of certain damages so some of these limitations may not apply to you.

7. User Representations & Responsibilities.

You represent and warrant that you are at least 18 years of age and that you possess the legal right and ability to enter into this Agreement and to use this Web site in accordance with this Agreement. You agree to be financially responsible for your use of this Web site and to comply with your responsibilities and obligations as stated in this Agreement.

User Submissions

As a user, you are responsible for your own communications and are responsible for the consequences of their posting. You must not, and by using this Web site you agree not to, do the following things: post or email sensitive personal health information outside of secure patient registration forms(general comment areas and email sent through this Web site may not be secure), post material that is copyrighted, unless you are the copyright owner or have the permission of the copyright owner to post it; post material that reveals trade secrets, unless you own them or have the permission of the owner; post material that infringes on any other intellectual property rights of others or on the privacy or publicity rights of others; post material that is obscene, defamatory, threatening, harassing, abusive, hateful, or embarrassing to another user or any other person or entity; post a sexually-explicit image or statement; post advertisements or solicitations of business, post chain letters or pyramid schemes; impersonate another person; or post material that contains viruses, Trojan horses, worms, time bombs, cancelbots or other computer programming routines or engines that are intended to damage, detrimentally interfere with, surreptitiously intercept or expropriate any system, data or information.

The practice has taken reasonable steps and has employed industry-standard practices and technology to ensure the integrity and confidentiality of your personally identifiable information; however, since even the most secure system can be violated, the practice cannot guarantee security.
Completion and submission of the forms provided under Contact Us are for use in providing personal information for the purpose of obtaining additional information from the practiceand serves as conclusive acceptance of the Terms of Service.

Minors and Child Online Privacy Protection Act

This Web site does not direct content to Minors and does not intend to collect personal information from Minors and therefore is not subject to the Child Online Privacy Protection Act.
If you allow your minor child, or a child for whom you are legal guardian (a "Minor"), to access and use this Web site, you agree that you will be solely responsible for: (i) the online conduct of such Minor; (ii) monitoring such Minor’s access to and use of this Web site; and (iii) the consequences of any use.

8. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

We reserve the right, but not the obligation, to terminate your access to this Web site if it determines in its sole and absolute discretion that you are involved in infringing activity, including alleged acts of first-time or repeat infringement, regardless or whether the material or activity is ultimately determined to be infringing. The practice may deliver notice to you under this Agreement by means of electronic mail, a general notice on this Web site or by written communication delivered by first class U.S. mail to your address on record in the practice’s account information, if any.

This practice does not interfere with standard technical measures used by copyright owners to protect materials. We have implemented procedures for receiving written notification of claimed infringements and for processing such claims in accordance with the Act. Our designated agent to receive notification of claimed infringement is:

WellMind with Dr. Michael McGee
Phone: 805-459-8232
Fax:     877-399-5883

Any written notice regarding any infringement of copyright or of other proprietary rights, should be sent to our designated agent, listed above, and must include the following information:

A. A physical or electronic signature of a person authorized to act on behalf of (i) the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed or (ii) the person defamed.

B. Identification of the copyrighted work claimed to have been infringed, or, if multiple copyrighted works at a single online site are covered by a single notification, a representative list of such works at that site.

C. Identification of the material that is claimed to be infringing, or to be the subject of infringing activity, including information reasonably sufficient to permit us to locate the material.

D. Information reasonably sufficient to permit us to contact you, such as your address, telephone number, and/or electronic mail address.

E. A statement that you have a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright or other proprietary right owner, its agent, or the law.

If you choose to access this Web site from outside the United States you do so on your own initiative and are responsible for compliance with U.S. and local laws, if and to the extent that local laws are applicable. Software is subject to United States export controls. No software may be downloaded or otherwise exported or re-exported (i) into (or to a national resident of) any country to which the U.S. has embargoed goods, or (ii) to anyone on the U.S. Treasury Department list of Specially Designated Nationals or the U.S. Commerce Department’s Table of Deny Orders. You represent and warrant that you are not located in, under the control of, or a national resident of any such country or on any such list. You agree to comply with U.S. export control laws and that you will not transfer any software or other content from this Web site to a foreign national or foreign country in violation of those laws.

9. Trademarks.

There are references throughout this Web site to various trademarks or service marks and these, whether registered or not, are the property of their respective owners.

10. Changes and Applicable Law.

We reserve the right to make changes to this Web site and our Legal Disclaimer/Conditions of Use. We encourage you to review the Web site and these terms periodically for any updates or changes. Your continued access or use of this Web site shall be deemed your acceptance of these Legal Disclaimers/Conditions of Use and any changes and the reasonableness of these standards for notice of changes. Use of this Web siteand purchases of products from this Web site will be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of California, without giving effect to its conflict of law provisions. You agree that any legal action or proceeding between you and this Web site will be brought exclusively in a federal or state court of competent jurisdiction sitting in the State of California. If any provision of this agreement shall be unlawful, void, or for any reason unenforceable, then that provision shall be deemed severable from this agreement and shall not affect the validity and enforceability of any remaining provisions. Any cause of action or claim you may have with respect to the practice must be commenced within one (1) year after the claim or cause of action arises. The practice’s failure to insist upon or enforce strict performance of any provision of this Agreement shall not be construed as a waiver of any provision or right. Neither the course of conduct between the parties nor trade practice shall act to modify any provision of this Agreement. The practice may assign its rights and duties under this Agreement to any party at any time without notice to you.

11. Security.

We will only use the information you submit to provide you with the services you have requested and as otherwise described in the Public Online Privacy Policy.

We use secure technology

In addition to our Public Online Privacy Policy, we also take the technical side of security very seriously. Any personally identifying information you submit is stored on a secure server in a way that maximizes security and confidentiality. Our servers are behind a complex series of firewalls to add an extra layer of security.

Access to the information you submit

Information you submit can be seen only by those employees and staff who have a need to use the information in the following manner:

Complete and verify patient registration and appointment scheduling.

Direct response to your inquiry. If you send a non-urgent inquiry through the Contact Us section of this Web site, only those individuals authorized to review, research and respond to your inquiry have access to that information.

Web Site Maintenance. Sometimes our technical staff may view data in the course of their work. We have special rules to make sure they do this only for legitimate reasons and we monitor access to all Web technology.

Public Privacy Policy

Our Commitment To Privacy

Your privacy is important to us. To better protect your privacy we provide this notice explaining our online information practices and the choices you can make about the way your information is collected and used. To make this notice easy to find, we make it available on our homepage and at every point where personally identifiable information may be requested.

The Information We Collect

This notice applies to all information collected or submitted on the WellMind with Dr. McGee website. On some pages, you can make requests, register for treatment and payment. The types of personal information collected at these pages are: Name, Address, Email address, Phone number, Credit/Debit Card Information (etc.).

The Way We Use Information

We use the information you provide about yourself when creating an account only to complete that account. We do not share this information with outside parties except to the extent necessary to complete the account.

We use return email addresses to answer the email we receive. Such addresses are not used for any other purpose and are not shared with outside parties.

Finally, we never use or share the personally identifiable information provided to us online in ways unrelated to the ones described above without also providing you an opportunity to opt-out or otherwise prohibit such unrelated uses.

Our Commitment To Data Security

To prevent unauthorized access, maintain data accuracy, and ensure the correct use of information, we have put in place appropriate physical, electronic, and managerial procedures to safeguard and secure the information we collect online.

How To Contact Us

Should you have other questions or concerns about these privacy policies please contact:
WellMind with Dr. Michael McGee

Phone: 805-459-8232
Fax:     877-399-5883