I ran across this excellent short essay about The One Sentence That Gets My Kids to Take Responsibility. It reminds me of the old marital advice to not use “you” statements in arguments, which has stood me in good stead over almost 20 years, so there must be something to it.
Their sentences are filled with the words: he, she, they, and what they did to ME!
They’ll try to say “I . . . am really mad because so and so hit me.” We back up and I tell them to start over. We’ll stay there until they’ve filled in the blank with their own actions.
The other sentences that use the word “I” are just as important. “I’m sorry. I did this _____ to you.” Those sentences can be equally hard to spit out.
For relationships, for careers, for parenting, for taking responsibility and for advocating for yourself – the word “I” matters.
It’s not about taking blame, it’s about owning our actions and moving on.
Ever tried to have a conversation with someone who has mastered the art of deflection and passive aggression? Nothing gets solved.
How much faster does something get fixed when someone admits that it’s broken and how it broke?
Owning our actions is important.