While it may sound like some cryptic Eastern wisdom, this concept is actually pretty simple. You can take responsibility for something, and, in doing so, lessen the burden of it. Simply the act of acknowledging your share of the blame (whether you think you've done wrong or not) reduces the onus laid upon you. Not only is it seen as a mature and virtuous thing to do, but you also trivialize the implication when you readily accept it instead of vehemently denying the burden, i. e. making it seem less important.

Your own thoughts, feelings, and moods have a conscious and subconscious effect on others' perception of reality. You give off subtle hints all the time without even noticing, hints that other people pick up on, perhaps even without their conscious knowledge, experiencing them as feelings or intuition. Ergo, your own perception of reality influences others.


Behold the demonstrative hypothetical situation!

Billy, a 17 year-old high-school student in upper middle-class suburban America discovers his parents are going out of town on business. You've most likely heard, experienced, and seen in movies thousands of similiar scenarios. One aspect in particular of Billy's domestic desecration is significant to this story. Billy's parents, being affluent, suburban yuppies, have a large collection of expensive virgin wine bottles who've never experienced the tender touch of a corkscrew. Billy and his friends gleefully deflower some of the bottles, throw aside their wooden hymens, and gloriously liberate the libations within.

This scenario repeats itself about three or four times before Billy's parents discover, to their horror, that their collection of liquid trophies has diminished rapidly within the past few months. As they're sitting in the den, gesturing toward the empty slots in their wine rack (now resembling the gap-toothed smile of an eight year-old) and discussing the fate of the alcohol, about which they've hypothesized correctly, (they're not very observant, but they're also not entirely obtuse) Billy happens to walk through the room on his way to the kitchen. His mother, with a fire in her eyes like a young star's birth, locks her gaze on Billy, her head swiveling, and the following conversation ensues:


Mom: (very stern) Billy! Have you been drinking our wine!?

Billy: (continues walking as he speaks non-chalantly) Yup.

Mom: (at a complete loss, stares for a moment into empty space, the raging star in her eyes takes this opportunity to doubt it's existence and it winks out like a dying flashlight. She recovers her ground after Billy has left the room) Get back here!

(After a brief conversation, Billy manages to soothe his parents and goes on to lead a great life and win lots of money and prizes.)

Billy, by taking direct responsibility for his actions, not only threw his wrathful mother off guard, but he also saved himself the tedium of lying and or making excuses which usually serve only to make situations like this worse. (your mother knows when you're lying) Not only that, but by astonishing his parents with behavior they didn't expect, he removed the focus of their immediate thoughts from the vacant space in their wine rack and focused it on his current behavior.

When you simply accept responsibility like this, you take a blow, but you pop the balloon instead of swelling it. It's like someone is attempting to beat the shit out of you with a 2x4 and you give them a gun with no bullets and run away.

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