In contrast to self-help writers who say that people should take responsibility for everything in their life, blaming others may actually be a healthy response. Depressed low-ranking people blame themselves while mentally healthy high-ranking people tend to blame others. One study summarized this as: “It was found that self-blame, but not blaming others for criticism, was associated with a number of psychopathology variables such as social anxiety, depression and shame. Blaming self (but not blaming others) was also associated with increased anger proneness and hostile attitudes. This study also found that those who see themselves as relatively down rank tend to blame themselves for criticism, while those who feel relatively superior, tend to blame others.”
Therefore blaming oneself (but not blaming others) is linked to social anxiety, depression, shame, anger, and hostility. Higher social rank is associated with beneficial health outcomes such as less stress and better cardiovascular health. Self-blame is a marker of depression and low status. Maybe this is why self-important moral authorities like to preach about the little people taking personal responsibility and accepting blame for mistakes.
Sensitivity to Social Put-Down: it’s relationship to perceptions of social rank, shame, social anxiety, depression, anger and self-other blame. (Link)