“You are responsible for working your side in any interaction; you are not responsible for whether or not others work theirs.” ~Lisa Merlo-Booth
Working your side of the equation in relationships is hard enough; you are not responsible for the other person working theirs. You are responsible for the words you speak and how you speak them, and the actions you take or don’t take. How others react, interpret, or feel about what you say or do, is their work, not yours.
Being clear on responsibility seems to be a challenging thing for far too many people. Confusion regarding accountability leads to tremendous harm and unhealthy dynamics. Our world truly screws this up. You must know where your responsibility lies regarding your interactions. Always place blame on the person doing the behavior–not on the one reacting to it. Be diligent about not getting caught in the #MisplacedBlame trap:
- You are NEVER responsible for someone harming you. You don’t make a spouse hit, rage at, or emotionally abuse you-EVER. Abusers abuse—they become unsafe because they choose to be abusive.
- You are NEVER the reason for someone cheating on you. People cheat because they choose to cheat, not because their spouse gains weight, isn’t emotionally available, isn’t kind, or (fill-in-the-blank).
- Rape victims are never responsible for being raped. It doesn’t matter what they wore, how many drinks they had, what their sexual history is, or (Fill in the blank). Rapists rape because they choose to rape—it has ZERO to do with the victim. No victim can cause rape—EVER.
Get clear on accountability and blame—in your home, the job, and the world. You are responsible for speaking your truth ‘cleanly’ (grounded energy, humane tone, non-abusive words). How others take those words, respond to them, and feel about them, is their work, not yours. Don’t ever buy into the notion that “you make someone…” You don’t have the power to make anyone do anything. You don’t make them rage, lie, shrink, or silence: they make those choices all by themselves.