Often when someone else does something we don't like, it's easy to blame the other person. After all, we have all been trained to focus on fault when needs are not met. What can we do to shift that pattern? Often when someone else does something we don’t like, it’s easy to get pulled into blaming the other person. After all, we have all been trained to focus on fault and punishment when needs are not met. What can we do to shift that pattern?Until we actually know that we’re triggered and that we are under the seduction of blame, we will have no room to maneuver. Releasing blame requires moving towards self-responsibility and having the willingness to take ownership of our needs and reactions.What does it take to get to that place of self-responsibility? In the moment, it would usually require managing to engage in immediate self-empathy. Still, how do we even remember to engage in self-empathy? What can we do to create more inner space to notice, and more willingness to move towards self-responsibility?Ongoing Work to Create Room for ManeuveringDeveloping consciousness doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, you will likely need practices to support you in making the shift. Below are four practices you can engage in and you can probably develop some of your own.(1) Whatever you manage to do in the moment, there are all the moments after the interaction took place. One practice you can do is to focus your energy empathically on the other person. It may be extraordinarily difficult, because your attention can be so filled with the blame. Do it as a meditation: whenever you find that your attention wandered off into blame and judgment or other forms of suffering for yourself, consciously choose to place your energy back on the fundamental empathic question: What needs could possibly have led this other person to do the action that was painful for you?(2) Look at the temptation of blame itself, and inquire what it is about, what need is pulling you towards blame. Why is your energy drawn to blaming? Why is it soimportant for you to blame, especially given that it’s against so many values you are trying to cultivate?(3) Connect with the specific content of the blame, and uncover the needs that are expressed through it. Keep bringing your attention back to your needs instead of focusing on what’s wrong with the other person.(4) Practice how you might want to respond to the person should that situation arise again. This will prepare you for being able to recognize options for responding in a future moment, with the same person or someone else.Options to Use in the MomentAs always with NVC, if you decide to engage verbally, you have two options: empathic connection with the other person, or expression of your own inner experience. Preceding this decision with self-connection is likely to increase your sense of choice.As part of connecting with yourself, if you notice that your energy is going towards the other person, bring it back inward. Take a moment to connect in full with your own needs, as well as make an inner guess of the other person’s needs. Your choice about how to engage will then be based on the full truth you find inside, as well as your assessment of what’s most likely to contribute to connection.What if you are not managing to reach full connection? Your very awareness that you are pulled towards blame can be the foundation of expression. You can, for example, transparently report to the other person something like: "I would like us to stop now to leave me time to work with my trigger, so please wait a moment. I need to do something to stop the pull towards blaming.” Such an expression requires sufficient connection to notice that you are pulled, and sufficient distance from the pull to recognize it.You may have even less room inside, but still enough to stretch and say something like: "I'm inclined to blame you and I don't want to do that. Let’s talk later.” The point is to take responsibility for the truth of your experience and resist the temptation to actually engage in blaming. Then the truth of your experience can be a vehicle for connection instead of a stumbling block.