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Did the devil make me do it?

Updated on July 7, 2008

Yes. Because he was lookin' for a soul to steal.

Okay, so I was being facetious. It's fun. Seriously, though. Let's take a look at this phrase, and others like it.

"The devil made me do it."

"I was possessed."

"I wasn't in my right mind."

What is it about the tendency to blame our own actions and decisions on outside, even mythical forces? Even supposing that you are religiously inclined, the bible I read (King James, if you're wondering) advocates personal responsibility in conjunction with spirituality.

So where does this come from, the need to shift blame? What does it accomplish?

Well, I suppose if you're at all talented at shifting blame, then you get out of a lot of trouble. Personally, I don't think, "The devil made me do it," is the most imaginative or believable explanation -- but perhaps someone does?

On the flip side, what if you take responsibility for your wrongs? Now, there's an interesting concept. How often does, say, a married couple get into a fight that quickly disintegrates into a volley of, "You did this!" and, "Well, if you hadn't done that!"

What would happen if someone just stopped, and instead of blaming their spouse for their actions said, "You're right. I did something wrong; what can I do to make it right?"

What would happen if, instead of blaming your boss for your failure to get a raise, you looked at your work history and ethic and said, "Oh! Maybe I could have done a little better here."

What would happen if, instead of blaming your friend for not understanding you, you tried to understand them?

Well, hopefully we'd get along a lot better. But shifting the blame is more than trying to get out of trouble; it's a power-play. It's essentially saying, "I'm not that stupid/ powerless/ inept. I would not do this of my own will."

It's why it's so hard to admit wrongdoing, to man up and say, "Hey, bad me. Whoops." By admitting wrongdoing, you put yourself in an inferior social position, that of one who has failed. You must wait on the mercy of the one you've wronged, and it's so much easier not to put ourselves in that passive position.

Of course, you miss out on all that personal growth and the learning aspect of personal responsibility -- but who needs that stuff, anyway? Immaturity, for the win! (Sorry, the devil made me do it.)


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    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hello thatonegirl,

      This is an excellent piece of writing. Amazing in every aspect of writing.

      I loved every word--and the lay-out was superb.

      Voted up and all the choices because you deserve it.

      An elderly minister said something to me in 1992 that has stuck with me. He said, "The devil takes a lot of knocks for things that WE Christians did, and just blamed it on him for convenience." He was right. And you are right in your hub.

      You have such a gift for writing. Just keep writing and good things are bound to happen to you.

      I cordially invite you to read one or two of my hubs, and be one of my followers.

      That would make my day.

      I am so honored to meet you.


      Kenneth Avery, Hamilton, Alabama

    • abbaelijah profile image

      Abba Elijah aka elijagod 4 years ago from Abuja - Nigeria

      This hub, is just incredible

      you are a great hubber Sister!

    • t.keeley profile image

      Tim 9 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Nice post. Hit some good points. Ought to write more like it. :)

    • vrajavala profile image

      vrajavala 9 years ago from Port St. Lucie

      very funny

    • that one girl profile image

      that one girl 9 years ago from Washington state

      Thanks, it was fun.

    • profile image

      hafsa naim 9 years ago

      That was pretty funny. Nicely written.

    • The How To Hub profile image

      The How To Hub 9 years ago from Australia

      This cracked me up, very well written. What a great response to this hub request : )


      p.s love the image

    • ProCW profile image

      ProCW 9 years ago from South Carolina

      Nice. Witty. Great ending comment! Thumbs Up!