The secret to happiness is abandoning blame

Denis Liam Murphy is a high-performance coach and the founding partner of learning and development company, RoundTable Global.

He’s also just written his first book: The Blame Game: How to Recover from the World’s Oldest Addiction.

He speaks to Livehealthy editorial director Ann Marie McQueen about his unique approach to human behaviour, healing and energy medicine, and why we can reach new levels of honesty, happiness and success, simply by recognising and tackling our life-long addiction to blame.

How did you get interested in the concept of blame?

Around 19 years ago I realized that I needed help. I was in a lot of pain. So I went on a journey around the world, learning all I could about exercise, nutrition, physical rehabilitation and the emotional side of healing.

It opened up a whole new world for me.  I traveled for seven years. I sold my house and my car and I ended a 10-year relationship. I was all in. I had enough money to travel with no concerns about making a living for a while. If anyone said “come and lay under this crystal bed and it will heal you” or come and do this ceremony. I was up for it.

After that, I felt great for a while, but then I kept coming back to the same bad place. So I started to question why I was so stressed and angry and I realized I was still blaming my mom and dad for stuff.

I’d worked on this problem through various different means, but what I didn’t know back then was that by analyzing my relationships, and going back over my past, I had actually just learned to blame them even more.

I was just getting better and better at blaming and then finding ways of covering that up, all in the guise of moving forward. I wasn’t healing at all.

That’s what then got me into the world of blame. I started to unpack blame in a way that I believe no one else on the planet has. I concluded that all my pain comes from thinking that my situation is someone else’s fault.

Who were you blaming?

I was blaming my mom, dad, sister, and everyone else who was in the firing line. People often target their girlfriends or boyfriends, too. 

There’s a theory that we don’t like people who reflect back the bits that we don’t like about ourselves. My father was an alcoholic and he was a workaholic. Right there I made the connection between blame and how it can impactful our lives. I was addicted to blame.

Is that why some people disown their parents or end relationships?

Exactly. People see everything through the lens of blame. After conflict, the next stage is separation.

Anyone that’s saying: “You are the problem, you are toxic, you are a narcissist and so you are out of my life” doesn’t realize they’re in the final stages of blame. They’re just coming up with ever more complex and creative labels to justify why someone shouldn’t be in their life. It all stems from that need to get your blame fix. Pinpointing someone as the reason why you are upset can feel good.

So separation isn’t the answer?

A lot of separations are the result of blame. So, when I work with clients, and blame is taken out of the equation, they experience fewer separations.

My business partner is my ex-girlfriend. We had a four-year relationship and because there was no blame involved, we are still able to lead this amazing company together and run corporate programs in leadership and empowerment. We have a really healthy relationship because that one simple element isn’t there. I don’t blame her for why we broke up, and she doesn’t blame me.

Is blame why some people struggle with relationships?

I hear a lot of people say that they have a self-sabotaging pattern or that they don’t have the capacity for commitment. People don’t realize that’s blame. The only pattern you take from one relationship to the other is your blame addiction.

We’ve inherited this addiction. It’s thousands of years old. You are born with it and that’s why it can end up in every single relationship. People say if my boss was different, I’d be happier. Or it’s my girlfriend, my wife or my husband that’s making me upset.

It’s almost like a distraction from doing the internal work that you need to do. We are reliant on control as a healing mechanism. We’re pushing all of our problems under a rug and using all of our energy to keep a lid on it.

That’s why there’s so much chronic illness, tiredness, exhaustion, and burnout. It’s because there’s nothing stronger than your self-honesty, and it’s constantly pushing to get out. When it does, that’s when it gets painful.

Do some healing therapies not work?

A lot of healing is about coping mechanisms that make you feel good for a while. But they’re not changing your foundation.

Even the law of attraction is teaching you to become an expert blamer. To concentrate on what you perceive as positive and get away from what you perceive as negative. That black-and-white thinking is blame.

Instead, you need to train your perception muscle and open your mind to see things from a different place.

You have freedom when you’re not in the blame space. Life is designed to be effortless. Once you are no longer in that blame space, things seem to just work out.

It’s like driving. When you first learn to drive, it’s a nightmare. You think there’s no way you are ever going to be able to drive. It’s too difficult. Then in a short period of time, it becomes effortless. You don’t think about it anymore and the unconscious takes over. That’s what I’m saying about life. We’re expert blamers and it’s natural for us. But when you become skilled at self-honesty and listening to your body in a different way, it becomes effortless. That’s how life is meant to be.

For instance, nature hasn’t got any blame in it. If you leave it to its own devices, it flourishes quicker than you could ever imagine. We are the only species that has blame or has an issue with it.

How are you raising awareness of this?

With Roundtable Global, we’re making inroads into really helping the youth. We run a global youth award every year and celebrate what amazing young people are doing around the world, despite being exposed to extreme levels of blame.

Today’s prolific nature of social media means that we have got more access to that blame-based narrative than ever before. But if we’re seeking it out then that is just a reflection of how much blame there is in ourselves. It’s the same with alcohol. Alcohol isn’t the problem. It’s the fact that we are seeking out a numbing effect.

I’m excited to see what my book and this whole philosophy will do for the younger generation. It’s the first time that a philosophy has been put forward with no control mechanisms in it at all. There’s no tools, no coping, it’s pure healing. The kids that adopt that, it’s going to have a very huge and very quick impact. Not only on them but also on the world. That’s why I love working with teachers and parents. I know that when they change, the kids automatically change as well.

Until now this addiction wasn’t talked about. No one has ever attempted to recover from it because no one knew that they had an issue with it. I think the book will help with this.

Often, once people start the blame recovery process, they realize it’s everywhere. In their friends, family, work, news and TV programs. They also start to naturally gravitate to people that are on a similar journey.

We are hearing more and more how lonely people are. That’s because they’re literally blaming everyone, cutting everyone out of their life.

When they switch the blame to themselves, they feel lost and have no idea who they are because they’re blaming and hating on themselves so much. That’s when the physical pain kicks in, and that’s when I help by taking them through their blame process. Their body immediately relaxes and starts self-healing once the blame is not in the equation.

Why does blame cause physical pain?

I always ask about a client’s physical condition as it tells me how far they’re into their blame addiction.  Once the physical body starts getting involved, it’s getting serious.

The greatest myth we’ve ever been sold is that if your mind or your body’s doing something wrong, it’s malfunctioning. But it’s not. It’s giving you feedback about what needs addressing.

If your back or shoulder is hurting, it’s your body saying that you are stressed. That stress is caused by your addiction to blame.

Chinese medicine and other practices have been telling us for the past 5,000-6,000 years that the organs talk to you. But I don’t agree with labeling that your elbow means this or your shoulder means this or your liver means this. It’s too restrictive.  But if we can get better at listening to the individual parts of the body, that’s when you can find out what needs to be addressed physically or emotionally.

Are people too keen to self diagnose conditions like ADHD?

Oh, I hear about this all the time. If you’re really into blaming, you can go online, fill in a form and be diagnosed with one to five different labels. It feels great because it’s another way of getting your blame hit.

People often can’t concentrate because their job is something they don’t enjoy or they’re not interested in. It’s nothing to do with any of these labels.

Blame immediately puts you into the victim mindset. You think the world’s unfair and life’s unfair. You think a group of people’s main purpose in life is to hate on you.

Even when I’m working with children who are getting bullied at school, my ultimate strategy is to get them to feel more confident. As soon as I get them out of their blame addiction, they don’t get bullied anymore.

Or there was a lady who said she was getting bullied by all the other men in her boardroom.  I got her out of that blame mindset, she went back in feeling confident, and the men wanted to listen to her. They didn’t before because everything she said was fueled with victim energy.

Another label I hear all the time is imposter syndrome. Like I want to be invisible in case someone finds out that I don’t know what I’m doing. That is still self-blame. Or you might also blame your mom or your dad for that because they kept telling you that you were stupid or whatever.

It keeps feeding that victim mentality. All roads still lead back to your blame addiction.

How does blame apply to racism?

What’s going on in the world today is not because of what’s happened in the last hundred years. It’s an accumulation of an addiction that we didn’t know we had. That’s why it keeps getting more extreme. Not liking someone because of the color of their skin is the most extreme example of blame.

Does it get worse as you get older?

It’s like the butterfly effect. The idea that something small will get bigger the longer it goes unaddressed.

It explains why you are on your fourth marriage or in a job that you hate, and why your illness is really extreme. You keep thinking that your mind and body is trying to hold you back when it’s actually trying to do everything it can to help you. We just don’t see it like that. Neuroscience is teaching us to blame our malfunctioning brain but it’s not malfunctioning. The whole premise is faulty and based on a myth.

Do you work with all kinds of people?

Yes, I’ve always wanted a real broad exposure to different personalities. I’ve worked with billionaires, millionaires, leaders, CFOs, and I’ve worked with teachers, homeless people, Indonesian farmers. I’ve worked with mothers, single mothers, fathers, single fathers, people that are going through divorce, but what I love most is working with entrepreneurs.

I love working with people who naturally look at the world differently. I can see myself in that. I love working with artists or teachers. I think that’s more of a character trait than a profession.

To find out more about Denis and his work, visit is for every body and mind in the UAE. This magazine is all about moderation, making small changes, little additions and the odd subtraction.



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