In my previous post, I said that one way to reduce relationship friction is to take responsibility for what’s yours. This is a part of having great boundaries and being effective. But what does this look like exactly?

“Taking responsibility” means that you’re taking charge of a situation and doing what needs to be done.

It’s very common for some people to play the Hero, Rescuer, or Mother role and do things for others or over give. “What’s yours” means allowing others to fight their own battles, clean up their own messes, and do their own growing. If it’s yours, own it.

Everyone needs to grow up. It’s natural. If you aren’t taking responsibility for what’s yours, you are short changing yourself of the benefits of your life experiences.

Here are some examples of what this looks like:

  • If you make a mess, clean it up.
  • If something bothers you, talk about it. Fix it. Clean it up. Do something about it. Don’t wait for someone else to do something.
  • Ask for what you want. Don’t expect anyone to read your mind. If you have something to communicate, it’s up to you to say it. It’s not always easy, but you can do this.
  • Apologize appropriately. This means to say you’re sorry for the things that you do that are wrong. Don’t apologize for what’s not wrong and what’s not yours. Don’t over apologize. Once is enough.
  • If you’re a yes for something, say yes clearly. The lack of a clear yes is a no. Respect the no.
  • If you are a no for something, say no. It’s a complete sentence. You don’t have to give a reason or explain. You’re not obligated to do what you don’t want to do. It’s okay to refuse a gift, food, a hug, sex, or anything else that you don’t want.
  • If you want to be understood, speak clearly. No passive-aggressive hinting.
  • Need some space? Say so. It’s okay to take a break.
  • Stick to your values. It’s up to you to make sure that your boundaries are not violated.
  • Trust yourself. If something doesn’t feel right, investigate.
  • Your feelings are your responsibility. It’s not up to someone to make you feel good or valued. If you’re not feeling fabulous, it’s up to you do something about that. Don’t blame it on someone else or wait for them to change things for you. You have power. It’s okay to use it.
  • You get to decide who you are, what you like, and what you believe. You can wear what you want, do what you want, work where you want, and say what you want.
  • It’s not your job to rescue anyone.
  • If you want to leave, it’s okay to walk away.
  • You don’t have to talk. You can take a break or keep your thoughts to yourself. If someone is speaking to you in a way that you don’t like, you can ask them to stop or discontinue the conversation.
  • It’s okay to not pick up the phone, respond to texts later, or turn your phone off. You’re not on call 24/7.
  • Your finances are your responsibility. Stay within your budget. Don’t borrow what you can’t pay back. Don’t lend money that you can’t afford to lose.
  • You don’t have to work without pay. It’s okay to set limits on work hours. If you give too much, people will expect you to keep this pace up.

Taking responsibility for what’s yours increases your self-esteem, eliminates abuse, and helps you feel more of a sense of personal power. Your relationships will improve, too!