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100% responsibility can be a tough call. Often just thinking responsibly is a challenge. 100% responsibility is commonly, and publicly, discouraged.

Think of what happens when things aren’t going so well. Notice how the law, the media, the education system, and those close to you, become focused more on rewarding victims than those who have acted responsibly.

When something goes wrong most of us naturally want to know who is to blame, who is at fault, and how wrong-doers should be punished for doing the wrong thing. When people are suffering because of something bad that has happened, the first response is usually “I want to make this right for them”, “we want to reimburse them” or “we want to help them out”. This is not to say that this is the wrong to be thinking. It’s just that we are thinking this way and we need to be aware of this because it does have its downsides.

One of the biggest downsides comes when relationships have problems. This is the sort of thinking that doesn’t work. Being negative about what’s going on doesn’t actually fix anything. You can blame your intimate partner and make them wrong as much as you like. Doing so is not going to give you a long-term solution. It may make you feel better for a few minutes or a few hours or even a few days, but those feelings are destined to be very short lived.

I believe that it is this in-grained negativity in our way of thinking, that more than anything, causes the incredibly high divorce rate that we have and has been endemic in our community for the past 40 years.

The opposite of responsibility is victim and that’s what most negative thinking is; victim thinking. It’s the way we think when we feel vulnerable. It’s a fear-based way of thinking, that is a powerful way to prevent yourself from going forward. It is also a thinking that will hold you back and feeling powerless.

Victim thinking is what we do to make ourselves feel safe and secure, which it can immediately do for you. The problem is those short lived feelings are very toxic to both you and others. Victim thinking is a great way to prevent your relationship, and yourself, from moving forward.

So how are we to behave responsibly with our intimate partner. This is where the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth comes into play. When you and your partner are communicating with each other and being totally responsible, you’re both telling the total truth and as such you’re both very, very vulnerable to each other.

Total responsibility is a loving and respectful space, in which it is so easy to be attacked, to be made to feel wrong, and to be blamed. This is why trust is so important. Do you trust your your partner to be loving and respectful towards you and not attack you when you are in a vulnerable space? Do you trust your partner not to blame, find fault with you, and/or make you wrong? Can you totally trust yourself to respect your partner’s honesty without having to defend yourself?

If blame, attack and finger-pointing is what happens when you and your partner are communicating together, then your relationship is being run by victim-thinking and as such, it is unlikely to be going forward. As there is no such thing as staying still, if your relationship is not going forward it must be going backwards. Once you can allow honest feedback and speak only for yourself and your part in the conflict, can you move forward.

I look forward to hopefully having the opportunity to talk with you soon to support your journey towards responsibility and a growing relationship.

Robert Hilliar