Alfred Adler proposed the existence of three main categories of safeguarding tendencies, namely withdrawal, aggression, and giving excuses. Accusation is a form of aggression that constitutes a behavioral pattern of shifting the blame to others, therefore denying responsibility over own actions and shortcomings to protect self-esteem and avoid negative evaluations. This safeguarding tendency also involves revenge-seeking, as attributing responsibility to others over their misfortunes often justifies taking vengeance.

For example, "I wanted to be an artist, but my parents forced me to go to medical school. Now I have a job that makes me miserable."

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