The evidence is the evidence – we could say. However, it turns out that the evidence does not suffice to make us assume their responsibility for the mistakes we’ve done. We all want to protect ourselves as much as possible. We may be pretty stubborn in this realm. Look how and why we do it.
Is it about a legal dispute or accusation? It’s the matter of honor to prove the sentence is wrong. The game is being played for the sake of finding a gap in the law. For the lawyers, justice is irrelevant. The goal is one: win.
Is it about work which is not done properly? The work conditions are blamed. Not a satisfactory salary. Stupid boss. Boring tasks. No perspective for promotion. There’re millions of excuses why it’s authorized not to work well.
Is it about friends who don’t have time? It’s their responsibility to maintain the relationship. It’s them who should keep calling and asking for a meeting. It’s them who are not allowed to have their own problems.
People hate excuses. But they’re the ones who produce them each time when they want to avoid the responsibility for their inappropriate actions. It happens that I’m one of them. It happens when I want to keep my face. I pretend I’ve done everything well. The mistake was a coincidence. It was something not depending on my intention.
They’re some people who never admit their fault. Not because they don’t feel guilty. It’s because their pride doesn’t let them do so. Holding themselves accountable for something which didn’t go right seems humiliating for them. It stems from their mentality. They keep a bright and shiny picture of themselves. Their ego doesn’t let them take a risk to say: “I was wrong”. Defensive is the only tool they have got in their hands. Otherwise, they would have to confront reality. It’s better to rationalize things.
Why we are afraid of assuming the responsibility?
1. Fear of consequences
We fear of consequences as we have no idea what they will be. We presume the consequences to be negative and this is something we intuitively try to skip. The urge to avoid consequences is irresistible.
We’re concerned about:
- being rejected
- losing the reputation
- not being trusted again
- being punished
- looking bad
- our world falling apart
2. No consequences
Some of us don’t see the consequences of our actions or we don’t want to see them. Talking about freedom, we feel allowed to do what we want. We fail to see the impact of it. We fail to see the damage which is caused.
We don’t see the consequences of our actions because:
- we don’t care
- we don’t think about
- we’re clueless
- we perceive ourselves as flawless
- we blame on others
In some cases, a feeling of regret is so strong and overwhelming that it seems almost impossible to express it out. Living in a shadow of guilt stops us from any action leading to a positive resolution. We don’t believe that we may be forgiven so it doesn’t make any sense to get exposed to the judgment of adversaries. It’s secure to stay hidden in a dark corner of the street and not letting the light catch our presence. We’re struggling to take a step ahead.
What we want to avoid is:
It may happen that we intentionally refuse to make ourselves accountable for destructive actions. It helps to keep high-esteem and to find the justifications in the external circumstances. It’s easier to live in an illusion than to face hard facts. It’s easier to turn into a cynicism than to be transparent.
By cultivating self-denial we become:
Don’t find a fault. Find a remedy.
It requires the courage to admit the mistake. If I’m not able to rise to the occasion, I try at least to find a remedy, to solve the problem or to get a lesson. I don’t have to be perfect. I’m not forbidden to make errors. But it’s my responsibility to make sure they will not repeat again. I need to take ownership to undertake all measures to avoid them in the future. To understand what happened. To understand the impact. To understand the damage. I need to gain knowledge which will make up what I’ve done.
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