A while ago I wrote this posting about being responsible for ourselves and to others. To sum up, what this means is that we are responsible FOR our own thoughts, behaviours, reactions, emotions, but we are not responsible FOR those same things in others. We are, however, responsible TO others. It is our responsibility TO be kind, respectful, understanding, and compassionate toward others.
It’s not okay, and it rarely turns out well when we try to take on someone else’s downward spiralling emotions and then try to fix them, nor is it all that useful to allow ourselves to get drawn down into and stuck in someone else’s muck. That said, it’s also not all that helpful or all that conducive when relationship building if we take on an attitude of “I’m going to do, say, and act however I want and if you don’t like it that’s your problem.” Don’t forget, we still do have a responsibility toward those we care about and value.
No, it’s not always all about them, and no, it’s not always all about me. Like most things in life, a healthy balance is what we’re aiming for.