taking responsibility for your behavior

Posted on June 13, 2012

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As I ask myself how to begin, 2 stories come to mind.  The first is a story my co-worker just recently shared with me.  She told me that when her boyfriend does something “you wouldn’t want your boyfriend to do” she brings it up to him and he just doesn’t do it any more.  She was telling me how amazing she finds this and how it’s taken an undesirable situation and turns it into something pretty amazing.  His taking responsibility and changing his actions has totally saved and greatly enhanced their relationship.

The 2nd story is of a boyfriend I once had who made plans to meet me for dinner.  For some reason he called me an hour and a half later than he said he would and instead of meeting me for dinner, invited me along to do the thing he had blown me off to do.  By this time I had made other plans and told him we’d talk about it the next day.  Now, you see, the balance of our relationship was hanging on whether or not he was going to take responsibility because I knew I needed a man who had respect for me and would show it by treating me well.  So, the next day he came to my house and we went to a coffee shop to talk.  Much to my surprise, he apologized, took responsibility and told me how things would be different.  I congratulated him for passing the cool test, took him home and reinforced his admirable conduct in the most positive way in which I could express myself.  From then on if he happened to be wrong he admitted it, if there was an issue we talked about it and moved on.  As a result we never stayed mad at each other for very long.  Come to think of it, we never really did get mad at each other.

I write this blog to encourage other men to do the same.  Admitting you made a mistake isn’t a death sentence.  It doesn’t mean you’re the guy who’s wrong for life.  I don’t pretend to speak for all women but I can tell you that most of us can be made very very happy with a few basic things.

Keep your word.  If you say you’re going to do something then do it.  If you find a thing or 2 has gotten in your way, let us know ahead of time.  This way we can adjust our schedules and our expectations.  Do your best to make things right.  We really appreciate that.

If there’s something you do that bothers us try to hear us out.  Make some kind of effort to at least compromise.  I’m sure I don’t have to spell it out that this does not mean give up your favorite thing/pass time/best friend/habit in the world.  You probably know that.  And, as I’m fond of saying, “when momma’s happy everybody’s happy.”  If you make an effort to be generous, by accommodating your lady, she will appreciate you (until you’re all worn out.)

The thing is, we women, really appreciate it when guys make an effort on our behalf.  It doesn’t have to be an enormous gesture, a huge sacrifice or something expensive.  You just have to try.  We LOVE that. Take responsibility for your actions.

Now you may say to yourself; “take responsibility for my actions?”, “what does that looks like?”  It means saying ‘yes, I did/am doing that’, ‘sorry about that’, ‘I’m going to do things differently’ or ‘I won’t do that any more.’  Then you have to keep your word by doing things differently or not doing that anymore.  If you can’t, then you have to say so and make some kind of compromise.  If you can’t make the compromise then it becomes a situation where you have to figure out which is more important, that thing or your relationship.  This is a big deal because as good as it is for mamma to be happy, it’s even more important to be able to discern if you’re with the right mamma.

And I’m sure you’ve realized that the things I’m talking about in this blog don’t only apply to your romantic life.  I feel pretty secure in saying that if you act this way in general you’ll find yourself making a lot more folks happy besides mamma.

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