Responsibility Victim Thinking Two long time golfers were standing overlooking the river getting ready to hit their shots. One golfer looked to the other and said, “Look at those idiots fishing’ in the rain.”
In our society there has always been a tendency to attribute our feelings to the behaviour of others. My partner inquired as to why I don’t play snooker with John anymore. I asked her “Would you continue to play with a guy who always gets drunk, takes 10 minutes to take a shot, who tells lousy jokes while you are trying to putt and generally offends everyone around him in the snooker hall?” “Certainly not, dear” she replied. “Well, neither would he.”
Some people believe that their emotions are inevitably caused by the actions of others; many people have become a generation raised to fear and blame. The belief that ‘they’ cause our feelings begins at a young age, is confirmed throughout our teenage years, and becomes our unquestioned reality. So the weather it gets me down, she irritates me, he upsets me, my job stresses me, the government doesn’t look after me, and you’re ruining our relationship! Our aim is to become aware of how we respond to outside circumstances and to exercise more choice in our responses. Jimmy Petruzzi So if somebody typically ‘makes’ us feel good we choose to accept and thoroughly enjoy this. And if somebody typically ‘makes’ us feel upset or irritable we choose to cease cooperating in this.
In essence, our aim is to develop our ability to ‘drive our own bus’ instead of being passive passengers. Do you make excuses or you’re always looking for excuses people to blame for your circumstances. Or do you do the running, you take control of the situation, you become empowered and stronger than you were before. In NLP we talk about people living either at Cause or Effect. If you are at effect you may blame others or circumstances for your bad moods or for what you have not achieved or for your life in general.
You may feel powerless or depend on others in order for you to feel good about yourself or about life ‐‐ If only my spouse, my boss, my co‐workers, my parents, my children, … understood me and helped me achieve my dreams, or did what I wanted or what is best for me, then life would be great. If you wait and hope for things to be different or for others to provide, then you are at effect or a victim of circumstances. And really, how much fun is that? And how much fun do you think it is for others to be around you? Believing that someone else is responsible or making them responsible for your happiness or your different moods is very limiting and gives this person some mystical power over you, which can cause you a great deal of anguish. Being at cause means you have choices in your life ‐‐ you can choose what is best for you while ensuring the choice is ecological for those around you, those in your community and your society. That is, you consider the consequences of your actions on others, while not taking responsibility for their emotional well‐being ‐‐ believing you are responsible for the emotional well‐being of someone else places a heavy burden on you and can cause a great deal of stress. Those who live their lives at effect often see themselves or live their lives as victims with no choices whatsoever.
The irony is that they do have choice and they have chosen not to choose but to be responsive to whatever is given to them. Exercises List 3 areas of your life you are living at cause? (Where you do the running) List 3 areas of your life you’re living at effect? (And would like to change, i.e. my job is making me unhappy, I can never find the right partner) By changing your attitude and accepting responsibility you feel more empowered and in control. One of the exercises I do with my clients is the responsibility contract, to put them in the drivers’ seat. Taking responsibility for your life Responsibility Contract I hereby take full responsibility for my life from today onwards. You can either live your life out of cause or effect. True winners take responsibility and under some of the most difficult circumstances turn things around to their advantage.
The old cliché you get lemons you make lemonade. Life is about looking at the big picture, it is easy to lose track of the big picture. Sign the contract What ever the situation in your life at what ever point you are, you can turn things around. Of course life isn’t always fair, how do you explain some of the injustices of this world. There are a lot of things in life I cannot explain and I don’t have any reasoning for. I wouldn’t be human if I said some situations and stories my clients share with me. Some of the things I see in the news, I read in the papers didn’t upset me. Of course I think we all go through times were we question certain things, question perpetrators of horrific crime, question Gods work, question the government, our friends, family and even ourselves.
I don’t profess to know all the answers or any answers for that matter. However life is short and all in all does anyone really know the meaning of it all. What does anyone know about anything other than what were told, read. The only thing for certain is that we are only on this planet in our present form for a short time. And we owe it to ourselves to make the most of every situation, every millisecond. Life can be very challenging at times and we have all got a story to tell, some people tend to tell it more than others.