Responsibility. It is said of the ability to answer for our actions and commit to our duties. It is also said of an uncommon capacity in our days, in a society that demands rights, but shies away from its duties.
Away from obligations, fueling the narcissistic assumption that we can receive without giving anything in return, it is not uncommon to find people who have become true specialists in evading responsibility.
The main problem, however, is that these people often project their responsibilities onto others and expect the others to bear their obligations and answer for their mistakes.
If we meet a person who does not assume his responsibilities in our life, it is likely that we end up carrying a very heavy load full of our obligations and his.
The strategies of people who do not take responsibilities
Projection is a defense mechanism through which the person attributes his feelings, desires and motivations on others. That person does not recognize his emotions as his own and will project them onto us, blaming us when he feels frustrated, overwhelmed, angry or sad.
If that person gets angry, for example, for not recognizing his anger, he will attribute it to us and even accuse us of not being reasonable, when in fact it happens the opposite. To avoid his emotional responsibilities, pour out those affective states on those around him.
In this case, the person resorts to insults, humiliation and contempt to evade responsibility. This intimidation is usually verbal, through insults, but it can also be teasing with the aim of belittling the other.
Basically, bullying is a power tool. In fact, that person knows that if he can intimidate us, we will not claim his responsibilities. Therefore, he tries to gain a superior position in which we feel compelled to assume his obligations leave him alone.
Attack as a strategy to evade responsibility does not take place on physical but on psychological plane. The person is aware that he made a mistake, but before he is claimed responsibility, he decides to attack us.
Most commonly, the attack begins with something insignificant, an inconsequential situation, but the person takes advantage of it and exaggerates to the point of diverting attention from what is really happening. It is as if he were feeding a small fire to detract the attention from a huge fire occurring elsewhere.
One of the most common strategies of people who evade their responsibilities is to blame ourselves for any mistakes we made. To exonerate themselves, these people will not hesitate to manipulate and distort the facts at will.
In this case, those people want us to pay for their broken dishes. Not only do they not acknowledge their responsibility, but they intend to force us to bear it and are even likely to assume the role of victims.
Avoidance is used by many people to avoid their responsibilities. In this case, the person will not fight or get angry, he will simply try to escape from the situation when we try to make he faces his obligations.
Sometimes avoidance occurs on the physical plane: the person abandons his family or job, but other times he hides behind indifference and silence. In those cases, the person is present, but avoids talking about the issue, usually keeping silent.
Denial can become one of the most frustrating tactics of people who evade their responsibilities. In this case, the person will simply deny everything. If he committed the mistake, he will deny it. If he has been wrong, he will also deny it.
Their strategy is to stubbornly undermine us. The person is not willing to acknowledge responsibility even facing the evidence. He will drain our resources, energy and time by denying his role, to the point that we come to question whether it really happened and we wonder if we were not wrong.
This tactic to avoid responsibility consists of taking a small detail and arguing it ad infinitum. The person does not really agree to discuss the problem or the consequences of his actions, but diverts our attention to an inconsequential detail.
In this way, he makes the conversation go into a loop. This will end up exhausting, frustrating, and annoying us, until we agree with him or completely renounce he takes his responsibilities.
What can we do with people who do not take responsibilities?
We cannot force anyone to take responsibility. We can only dialogue to try to understand that we all have obligations and that a good coexistence depends on each one being mature enough to assume the consequences of his actions, correct his mistakes and take charge of his responsibilities.
Unfortunately, persuasion doesn’t always pay off. Therefore, sometimes the only solution is to know people and lower our expectations. If we know that someone systematically evades his obligations and responsibilities, better we do not count on that person for serious matters.