Personal Responsibility in Relationships
To me, taking personal responsibility means taking control of our own lives by choosing our behavior and responses intentionally and mindfully, as well as being conscious of the way we affect others around us.
Not only does it mean to be reflective in how we are triggered, but it also means to be considerate and careful of other’s triggers.
Why should we be considerate of other’s feelings?
Because it’s nice to have others be considerate of our feelings and it's an act of love! It’s also the golden rule of relationships. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” If we do not like too much drama in our relationships, it’s a great rule of thumb.
Sometimes it is the intention of others to hurt us, take a jab at us, and sometimes it is completely in our own heads due to some unhealed part of us.
Personal responsibility isn’t a one way street.
When all parties take responsibility for their part in a conflict, issue or any sort of group interaction, peace is inevitable.
Personal responsibility in how we affect others requires a reflection of ourselves as well as an understanding of the other person. This takes a deep willingness to be vulnerable and a willingness to listen and be receptive to someone else’s vulnerability.
This is also true with our own feelings when we feel triggered by someone else. When this happens, there are a few things to consider:
1. What was their intention? If it was too hurt us, why would they do that? Can we understand where they are coming from? This doesn’t make their actions right or wrong, but this puts us in a place of understanding and compassion.
2. Why did their behavior trigger us? This is a great opportunity to find out what happened in the past that we haven’t healed completely. This is a chance to heal a little more and to grow a little more. Be patient with yourself. This takes time and be grateful for the opportunity.
3. Do not play the blame game. We take responsibility for ourselves and let's let the other person take responsibility for themselves.
If we feel comfortable enough with the person, we can tell them how we feel, but if the person is not respective and/or respectful of our feelings, it may seem to fall on deaf ears, but let’s not underestimate the power of suggestion. Just because they do not respond the way we hope them to, it doesn’t mean they didn’t hear us on some deeper level. Let the seed of thought set in and allow them to grow at their own pace. Their journey and growth is their business.
There’s a great chance that, no matter who is at fault, if we approach the person first understanding where they are coming from, they will then be receptive of us.
A major key in taking personal responsibility when it comes to others is listening. If we are willing to listen, we may have a chance to be heard. Finding common ground cannot be done without listening to the other person and understanding where they are coming from.
One thing is for certain, we cannot change anyone’s behavior but our own, and it’s true…
Change begins with us.
This is the essence of personal responsibility.