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The Responsibility Hypocrisy in Nice Guy relationships

A guy I was coaching was really upset with his partner because she wasn’t taking responsibility for what she needed to do and was getting herself into all kinds of issues.

It’s common for Nice Guys to get irritable, frustrated and even outraged by their partner’s failures to take care of themselves, even when such failures have no direct consequences for the Nice Guy.

His only measurable suffering comes from wishing she would be more disciplined, healthy, organised etc. Apart from that, her problems are really none of his business.

But this guy wasn’t taking responsibility for focusing on what he could control, and was instead focusing on controlling her.

I call this “the responsibility hypocrisy”.

We get upset with other people for not taking responsibility for themselves, and in doing so, we’re not focusing on what we should control. The moment we start trying to make someone else take responsibility, we stop being responsible for ourselves.

This guy was getting in his partner’s face and demanding all kinds of things from her, and yet he wasn’t taking care of his own basic needs either, mostly because he was so worried “for her”.

He wasn’t confronting the people who bother him. He wasn’t making progress in his career. He wasn’t disciplined with his morning routine. In fact, one of his main sources of resentment was that he didn’t previously express his issues with her honestly.

So before you start throwing stones from your glass house and getting mad at other people for not taking responsibility for their lives, ask yourself, Am I doing it too?

One of the most powerful and humbling realisations you can have is if you set yourself a rule that you cannot judge, advise, or try to manage other people until you’re doing everything you’re supposed to be doing (i.e. living with full integrity), you’ll quickly realise that you’ll never have time to deal with others because you’re never 100% yourself!

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One Response

  1. This doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to express frustration, just make sure to end your rant with “…and I’m doing it too so I’m no better than you!”

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