Reclaiming your power
Are you willing to be 100% responsible in your relationships with others?
Most of us understand the power of being 100% responsible when dealing with things other than people. For instance, if our computer does not respond as we would like, we don’t blame the computer. Or, if we do, at least we recognize the stupidity of our behavior. Instead, we either accept our computer as it is or we keep looking for how we can change our behavior to get more desirable responses from our computer (or to even get a new one, if necessary).
Giving away our power to have the best relationships
In contrast, when dealing with other people, if we don’t get the responses that we desire, we often blame that person (and/or blame ourselves), we get defensive, we withdraw, and/or we think of ourselves as a victim. Any of these behaviors are likely to lessen our chances of getting the responses that we would like.
To the extent that we blame, defend, withdraw, or see ourselves as a victim, we are not taking 100% responsibility. We’re giving away some of our power (by acting counterproductively) to have great relationships and to get the responses that we would prefer from others.
100% responsible does not mean omnipotence
Being 100% responsible does not mean that we necessarily know or can find out how to change our behavior to get a better response from others. Consequently, assuming 100% responsibility entails choosing courage to embrace the risk that life is, it means that we may not always be able to get what we want and there is no one to blame for that (including ourselves).
Being responsible to maintain good boundaries
Being 100% responsible does mean that we are willing to choose courage to establish and maintain boundaries with others (saying “no” when we need to say “no”) such that we can take care of ourselves and our relationships with others.
Consider the Partnership Conversation
Being 100% responsible also means that we consider the option of initiating a Partnership Conversation with another when a conflict or possible conflict arises.
Is it unfair?
It may seem that “100% responsibility” is a burden or that it is “unfair.” Yes, it may, at times, seem unfair or even burdensome. And, being 100% responsible in no way limits your options to ask the other person for fairness. If you prefer to give away some of your effectiveness in having the best relationships and getting more of the responses that you would like from others in the name of “fairness,” that’s fine. But just recognize that you’re choosing to be victim. Personally, I have found it very freeing to be 100% responsible. It makes it easy to stay out of other people’s business and attend appropriately to my own business, staying clear of any blame of others or myself. Go onto to 100% responsible (take 2).