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Your Piece of the Pizza

Erika-Lee Shaw

Erika-Lee Shaw

I have a clear memory from my years studying counselling and human behaviour. My mentor at the time was talking me through a family therapy case which involved a lot of heavy topics and issues. She said to me, ‘there is no one person to blame here, everyone has a part to play. They’ve sat down at the table for dinner and they all have to take a piece of the pizza.’ This memory sticks with me through all my interactions, particularly in counselling.

I often notice how easy it is for us to place blame on a person, especially if they have done something notably ‘wrong’ or unhelpful. However, through my work I have realised that it is not constructive to self-empowerment to place one hundred percent of the blame on one person, especially for too long. When we place blame, we unload the weight of a troubling issue onto someone else and subconsciously release ourselves from any responsibility. 

What we need to do is sit down at the proverbial dinner table and work out which piece of the pizza we need to pick up. This practice isn’t always easy or obvious, especially in situations where someone else’s flaw may seem crystal clear. However, true empowerment comes from recognising and taking your piece of the pizza and realising how you can change your behaviour to create new and more desirable outcomes. 

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