Here is the challenge.
- Think of the most recent (or current) argument you’re having with your loved one (parent, sibling, friend, spouse, coworker).
- Write it down your complaint.
- Draft a statement removing assignment of blame and taking ownership of your accountability in the conflict.
- Take full ownership of your accountability in the conflict. This may take a few re-writes.
Examples look like this.
- My boyfriend said he’d be home by 10. He texted me at 10 saying he was leaving. He didn’t get home till 1 am.
- He disappointed me when he said he was going to be home by 10 and he wasn’t.
- I was disappointed because he wasn’t home when he said he would be. I guess I should have known better than believe his words.
- i) I was disappointed when I chose to believe his ETA even though he’s never been on time in 3 years I’d known him.
ii) I let myself get disappointed when I chose to believe his ETA even though I knew him well enough not to.
This is often where people stop. No, not done yet…
iii) I know the guy, I know his habits. I got mad at him for something I totally knew he’d do. Sure, he promised last night that he’s finally heard me and this time it’s different. But, deep down, I never did believe his ETA, and I am overwhelmed with the urge to defend my anger at him for being late. This means the anger is not a direct result of his actions.
I was probably already upset and angry about something else – possibly at something he did last week, my childhood, or even the lack of my control over his flaws, or my life not turning out like a fairy tale. And I was looking for an outlet I could justify. He was the convenient target because he did come home late and because, no matter how unfairly I treat him, he wouldn’t leave me.
Now, that’s the accountability challenge. Can you tell FULL accountability?
Anyone who wants the fights to stop must take accountability.