“He makes me so mad.” “She drives me crazy.” “They make me laugh.”

What’s the common element with these statements? They operate on the assumption that someone or something else is able to force a specific reaction from you.

When in reality the statement uttered by defiant toddlers and teens everywhere rings truer. “You can’t make me.”

It all comes down to something called personal responsibility. While I can’t control the circumstances or people in my life, I can (and should) control my reactions to them.

The fact is that I choose to get mad or crazy or amused. I choose to forgive or hang onto bitterness. I choose to overlook faults or get easily irritated. I choose to give people the benefit of the doubt or make assumptions. I choose what I say … or listen to … or watch … or even eat. (Not that it’s easy to make the right choices. But it is possible.)

So, when I’m faced with difficult circumstances or frustrating people this year, I’m remembering that I have the power to choose my reaction.

What about you? Do you take responsibility for your choices or make excuses? How does that affect the outcome?

You Can’t Make Me
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One thought on “You Can’t Make Me

  • January 11, 2012 at 9:48 am
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    Do I take responsibility ? Usually, but once in a while, about once a year, I fall apart and the outcome is disaster. Need to be dead and loving it.

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