The Empathy Foundation Network

Growing empathy for a peaceful world

What would happen if you created your own personal No-Blame World of One?

Would it be possible to live in a no-blame world of one, of your own? What would happen? Could you try it out!

What have you got to lose?

Imagine scenarios in which you step out of Blaming Mode into No-Blame Mode.

Ask yourself – what would happen in this situation if I came from no-blame?

Releasing your emotional reactions is a vital step towards having a no-blame stance. The Sedona Method is a perfect tool to use for this.

Q &A

1. Wouldn’t a no-blame approach be irresponsible? Isn’t it letting people, who should be held accountable, “get away with” wrong doing?


No-blame doesn’t mean no-action. It doesn’t mean not intervening to prevent harm being done. No-Blame simply means that you come from the understanding that doing harm is not the motivation of the harmful behaviour.

Relating to each other without blame and shame could be describes as seeing each other as innocent.

Innocent literally means “not harming”. A No-Blame stance comes from the understanding that most misbehavior, if not all, by children and adults, is not motivated by wanting to harm others – rather it is motivated by self-protection.

There is evidence for this! Sydney psychologist Robin Grille’s wonderful book Parenting for a Peaceful World is a great reference on this topic. Robin clearly and extensively lays out the evidence about the emotional needs of babies and young children and the effects of them not being met.

In essence, the less the emotional needs of children are met, the more self protecting they become and the less able to empathize and understand the effect of their behaviour on others. These are measurable effects on the structures of the frontal lobes of the brain that support empathy. Lack of an appropriate emotional environment as children has been shown to produce people whose brains are stunted with regard to treating others with respect and care.

The evidence is that the more someone who is behaving from self protection is blamed and criticised the more they will misbehave! So blaming does not produce the desired result.

2. Will a no-blame stance prevent frustration?

Interesting question. It appears that very young babies do get frustrated by their powerlessness. At least they express discomfort and what appears to us adults to be frustration. Babies are incapable of blame, and when there is no blame things that are not to your liking simply are what they are. The next step then is simple - respond to what is in whatever way you can to help move things in the desired direction. A baby expressing discontent then is doing the only thing it can do to move things along. Is this frustration? Maybe – it certainly isn’t blaming.

Please respond with comments and further responses to this interesting question!

And please send me more questions for us all to consider.

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