Through a Jungian Lens

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Shifting the Blame – Tactics of Diversion

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This is an American Avocet, a bird I have never noticed on the prairies before.  I came across two pairs of Avocets nesting at the edge of the village’s water-treatment dugouts.  Usually they are found a bit further south, closer to the American border.  These birds winter in the warm climes of the southern States and further south all the way to Guatemala.  As I walked along my usual trail outside of the village the two pairs flew in front of me then landed.  They began calling and running as though trying to catch my attention.  I know that their motive was to lead me away from the nests not too far from the side of the trail.  It’s an effective strategy for the most part.

Their behaviour reminds me of that of a fair number of humans I know who often resort to using distraction tactics to have others not notice their weaknesses.  Of course this is all sensible and impractical behaviour in our world.  The only problem comes when we use the strategies on ourselves, creating a false way of being because we refuse to take responsibility for our errors.  I spent the past day at an extended family event, a marriage, where there was a concerted effort to create a different reality with regards to the care of a family member.  A great deal of energy was spent creating an alternate reality so as to distract those concerned.  Without this effort, it was probable that other family members would appreciate less this particular person’s half-hearted efforts on behalf of the family member needing care.  As a strategy it did what it was supposed to do and several rallied around the less-than-able caregiver.

This is repeated in workplaces where people shift the responsibility and the blame onto others in order to protect careers and paychecks.  But at what costs?  Though humans use the same tactics of diversion as a number of birds do such as the Avocet, their is a difference in terms of intent.  It’s one thing to protect the nest and another thing to shift blame from where it rightfully belongs onto others.





Written by Robert G. Longpré

August 1, 2011 at 5:25 pm

One Response

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  1. alas, it works really well.


    August 1, 2011 at 9:27 pm

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