Wednesday, July 11, 2007

“Self-Responsibility” is our Number One Responsibility

I begin Chapter 12, “Living Life, Responsibly,” of my pop-psych book, Living Life, Anyway, by saying:

Being a responsible person means that within the limiting realities of your power, control, and management, you consider yourself answerable and accountable for specific occurrences. Commensurately, you behave responsibly.

Later in that chapter, I also offer some specific suggestions regarding behaving responsibly:

…when a responsible person is under stress, under duress, or in trouble, it is important for him or her to remember some specific, helpful guidelines, such as the following “Three Don’t’s and seven Do’s” I typically offer people in troubled situations:

Don’t do anything stupid

Don’t do anything to excess

Don’t avoid reality

Do stop the downward trend (“Stop the bleeding”)

Do talk to someone who will be helpful to you

Do be aware of your own vulnerability

Do develop a support network

Do get into a good routine

Do remain active

Do remain aware

As the characters in my contemporary romance novels heal their wounds from previous relationships, such as Marcia does in Fear of Feeling Loved and Diane does in If Ever Again… It’ll be for Love, they do less of these above Don’t’s and more of the above Do’s. In the process, they essentially are becoming more and more self-responsible.

Question: On a scale from 1-10 (1 being “never” and a 10 being “always), how self-responsible are you?



Nienke Hinton said...

My rating changes dramatically based on what area of my life we're talking about.
My area of concern is - it's one thing to say it; another to believe it; but a whole different arena to live it.

Dr. Bill Emener said...

Hello Nienke,
Oh yes... I always have maintained that most behavior is situationally specific. And as you say, it's easier to talk the talk than it is to walk the walk.
Now with regard to "believing it" -- I frequently remind myself that where you stand on any issue depends upon where you sit at the table.
Fun topics you surfaced...

Cole Reising said...

Hi Bill!

I love this--its something someone once told me when I was ranting about all the 'issues' I'd been given from my parents and how it was all their fault I was/am the way I am. Their response was, ok so it is, but at some point you have to just deal... accept... and choose how you are going to handle it. You are an adult now and capable of making your own decisions... YOU are responsible for your own actions--not them. You are the one who is going to be held accountable for what you say and do--not them.

Realizing just how true this was, for everything in life, not just parent child issues, really was something.

Now on everything I do, I 'try' to remember that I am the one choosing --that I'm the one who will either gain or pay. :)


Dr. Bill Emener said...

Hi Cole,
Thanks for sharing your experience. You were very fortunate -- your parents taught you an incredible lesson (philosophy of life) -- to remain responsible for your yourself!
I would bet, moreover, that that is a significant factor in your being the successful, healthy and happy person you are!
Thanks again,