If you want to have healthy and happy relationships, you need to take full responsibility.
Think about one relationship you are unhappy with. This might be your family member, a friend, a colleague or a neighbor. A lot of scientific research suggests that even the most passionate relationship tends to follow a downward pattern over time. Clearly if you haven’t dropped the relationship and still care about things going not the way you want – this relationship matters to you. So how to make your personal interactions better? Whose fault is it that this isn’t working out?
Our brain always subconsciously seeks for someone to blame. My personal statistics says that 70% will blame the other recipient while 30% will seek for reason within themselves. Why do we tend to blame others and avoid to take full responsibility for our relationships?
Firstly, to take full responsibility off your shoulders: It’s not your fault your husband is no longer looking forward to coming home or your boss haven’t stopped to talk to you in over a week. Secondly, we enjoy the position of being the better one (the wiser, the kinder, more loving, understanding: highlight whichever adjective you prefer to call yourself).
But instead of saying “Look how evil this person is, he is treating me so badly”, today we will suggest getting away with this blame concept and for sometimes imagine that all your relationships depend solemnly on you.
You might say that it’s not fair. But why not? You can’t change the other person, you can’t expect your husband to love romance movies or your boss to enjoy drinking coffee with you in the office kitchen. The only person you have full control of is you. And the way you treat yourself and others will define your happiness in any kind of interactions you form.
If you aren’t satisfied with yourself, then you’ll find neither satisfaction nor joy in meeting your parents for the weekend. If you don’t find happiness in what you do every day, then doing the things your partner prefers won’t make you any happier. If you aren’t making the right choices that bring you closer to your personal and social goals, then your boss’s choices for what you should do at work won’t definitely move you closer to your goals.
So if you are truly serious about improving your relationships, finding your loved one, getting along with your teacher – then change the way you treat yourself and others. Because once again – you can NOT change the other person. You are only in charge of your set of emotions, conduct, preferences and beliefs.
5 signs you approach your relationships with 100% responsibility and self-love.
1. You are calm.
How do you react to a conflict between you and the other side of the relationship you’d like to change? Anger? Disappointment? Desperation? These disruptive emotions are signs of your fears and internal insecurities.
If you are impatient, frustrated, anxious or, on the contrary, so fearful that you didn’t even dare to speak out, there is no chance for understanding between you too.
2. You are willing to collaborate.
If you are after a collaborative, win-win, co-creative outcome with the other party in a moment of conflict, first of all, you need to have a collaborative mindset, which means you need to approach any given issue calmly, with an open mind and a certain amount of receptivity to the situation.
3. You are curious.
When in a healthy relationship with yourself and others, you try to be connected to the other party. It means you are curious about their life, you want to understand their position, try to read their emotions, discover where they come from and what stress they are going through. All this is because you understand yourself and treat others the way you learned to treat yourself. It is also called learning to listen and not pushing your own agenda first.
4. You try to bring out the best in the other person.
You can’t give love unless you have it inside you. Loving others means making an effort to bring out the best in them and deliver the best of yourself. Did you give your partner the opportunity to express his feelings? Did you create conditions where your boss would have a chance to notice your eagerness to handle that project?
5. You are living in the present.
Living in the present is not only rejecting the resentment and pinky dreams. It means you don’t speculate about “what if?”, don’t blame your kid’s friend for coming sick to play your PlayStation and certainly not looking for partners who are like perfectly matched with you so that you don’t have any conflict with them. If you want to take full responsibility for your life and relationships, you have to admit that you are able to handle whatever hardships and consequences.
When you learn to take full responsibility for your relationships, you will realize that sometimes when you meet a person who is so frustrating to deal with, so rude, never listens, maybe there’s a slight chance that your actions reinforce that kind of behavior from them? Next time try to change the way you deal with it, how you respond to it and create the conditions in which you seek to influence them to bring the best out of them.
Why don’t you think now about the upsetting relationship I asked you to think at the beginning of this article? In that interaction, were you calm and attentive to other person’s needs? Did you try to influence them? What are the things that you could do about yourself to rise to your best self and to help the other person to show their better side?
Do you want to be happy with yourself and others? Take full responsibility!
P.S. For a more in-depth discovery of relationships topic, I encourage you to check the Dr. John Gottman’s speech he gave in Seattle. It’s a truly inspirational way to look at our personal bonds.
Author Bio: Kelly J. Harris is working as a freelance writer at http://phdify.com writing and consulting service. She appreciates that writing gives her the opportunity to express herself and help others develop and improve themselves.