Whose responsibility is this?

In a previous post, I talked about Focus Pocus.  One of the issues that is part of this approach is clearly defining responsibility and who is actually responsible for an issue, behavior, event, feeling, etc.

Have you ever noticed that when people are taking responsibility for something that doesn’t belong to them, they are very frustrated and feel hopeless?  Here’s a typical scenario:

“Your ….(spouse, friend, fill-in-the-blank) did, said, or didn’t say or do                    something and now you feel badly.”  And then you get more and more upset because somehow You caused them to act this way!  And then you get even more upset and frustrated because you haven’t been able to change the situation in any positive way.  It just seems to keep getting worse!”

I am always reminding clients to pay attention to whose responsibility is whose.  If you created it, then it probably belongs to you.  If it is truly your responsibility then you can also do something about it to change it!  If the responsibility belongs to someone else and they are simply trying to deflect (blame) you, then you cannot change it because it is really their responsibility and they don’t want the responsibility.  It is so much easier to pass it off on someone else.  Well, it’s only easier for the person refusing to deal with it, not anyone around them.

I have clients, and do this myself sometimes, sit down and write down what the details of the problem.  Then they are to write at least 2 reasons how/why they created this issue and bring it to the next session.  Often, this is what it takes to shift the focus and the responsibility issue to where it belongs.

Try this and see how it works.  Let me know what your results are so I can see where and others are using or interpreting this idea!


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