Many of us have been raised to believe that we must be responsible for
other people’s feelings. We were taught that in order to be responsible
we must always cooperate.
Cooperation is a very desirable characteristic. When a company or group
of people want to accomplish something, cooperation is essential. Each
individual must be responsible for an assigned task and cooperate with
the other team members in order to fulfill the desired outcome.
Sometimes in life however, we over-cooperate. If someone in our life
doesn’t follow through on things, we take on their responsibilities and do things for them. This over-cooperation ultimately leads to resentment and
We are solely responsible for ourselves. It is not our responsibility to
help others or to fix things for them. I am not saying that we shouldn’t
offer help to others, but that we should not enable others by doing things for them. What happens to each of us is ultimately our own responsibility.
Many people come to me about failing relationships, businesses, and
depression. During the first session I always ask, “Why do you think you
are going through this?” It always fascinates me how many people or
things we can blame for our own unhappiness. I hear everything from,
“It is my parents fault” to “My Sixth grade teacher told me I would never
amount to anything”.
Placing blame on others does not release us from our own responsibility.
I can say that it is my parent’s fault that I am horrible in relationships, but
it is still my choice to not change my behavior in relationships.
Likewise, when someone in our life continually makes excuses for not
fulfilling their responsibilities and asks us to somehow fix that, we are not
allowing them to learn their own lessons.
Children can’t learn how to walk if we constantly carry them around.
Adults can’t learn how to be responsible if other people continually do
things for them.
If I am in a bad relationship, it is not my partner’s fault. My partner may
not be the best or healthiest choice, but it is my own responsibility that I
continue in the relationship.
Happiness is a choice and a responsibility. We are the deciders of our
own fate. If something doesn’t make me happy, I choose not to do it. If I do something that makes me unhappy, I recognize that I chose to do it
and take responsibility for my own choice.
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