An Unhealthy Sense of Responsibility

 Raise your hand if this is you…………. Do you feel like you have to deal with things, even things you have no control over?  Do you take blame for things even if you were not responsible?  Do you act independently when making decisions, even if you don’t have the “authority”?
Many would say those who “take responsibility” make successful leader but what happens why you take ownership of not just your tasks but everyone else’s?  There is actually such a thing as over-responsibility.  We know if you are managing people, a workload, or a household, not much gets done if you don’t take responsibility on a daily basis.   BUT when you become “overly responsible”, you could be sabotaging your schedule, your effectiveness, and the people around you.
As I wrap up things before heading out “super early” tomorrow morning for a week of my “pink bubble” with my daughter…. I am feeling overly responsible.  I am stressing and all of this stress is for things I have no control over!  I can set things up but the rest is in God’s hands and the hands of others.

If you stress whether people in your life will hold up their end of a task, so you step in to take on tasks, you are being over-responsible. Yup, I have been known to do this…

Do you suffer from any of these signs of over-responsibility?

1. You behave as though everything and everyone depends on you.

I’m not sure if I developed this trait as a child during a time of family struggles or if it came years later during my days of addiction BUT this is me.  Pride gets the best of me sometimes.  We are we are the one with all the answers, fixing every problem. Do you define yourself by this ability?

2. You answer questions for other people, instead of letting them answer for themselves.

If this is you, be honest with yourself. Why do you do it? If you stopped, what would happen? Whatever your answer, it’s the issue it’s time to address.  Thankfully, this is something I have already addressed in myself.  I love hearing from others.

3. You consistently remind the people in your life of their own responsibilities because they aren’t responsible enough to remember on their own.

OUCH!  There is a difference between harassment and gentle reminders of daily responsibilities.  Do you keep up with your schedule – and everyone else’s. I have a hard enough time lately keeping up with my own due to health struggles so others have stopped relying on me so much.  Have others in your life stopped taking responsibility for their schedule because they rely on you?  Do you hear more often than not “You never told me,” “I didn’t know,” or “Just tell me what you need me to do”?  Time for them to take responsibility for their own life!

4. You consistently do for others what they can do for themselves.

Yup, this is me.  The proverbial people pleaser!  Instead of reminders, do you just do it?  Are you stressed because of it? Have people stopped asking for your help because they just want help? Lending a helping hand is wonderful but when you take on responsibilities which aren’t yours; you stunt the growth of others not allowing them to live up to their potential. So instead of helping, you’re doing just the opposite.

5. You avoid confronting people as much as possible.

I am not good with confrontation (remember I am a people pleaser!)  So when you have to get others to change their behavior, it can mean strained conversations. Do you refuse to confront issues? If so, you might be allowing others to be irresponsible just to avoid having a conversation about boundaries.

6. You are resentful people feel entitled to your generosity.

You’ve been over-responsible for so long people in your life have come to expect it. You’ve trained them to rely on you for things which should not be your responsibility. And deep down, you now resent it. This is the sign which indicates the problem has been going on far too long.

So, here is my challenge:  Use the signs to identify when and who you are “overly-responsible”.  Consider both your personal, community and professional life.  Be honest with yourself.  What steps are you going to take to share the responsibility?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

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