“He who admonishes does not betray” goes a popular saying. This expression seems to bring some relief to the conscience when it comes to affective responsibility. Does saying it out loud free us from being careful about our behaviors or our words?
Think about and allow yourself new ways to relate, such as starting a relationship, dating multiple people at the same time or avoiding labels, it does not imply that we connect automatically. We are still human beings, flesh and blood.
So whatever form or type of bond we establish, affective responsibility must be a north. Let’s talk a little more about this.
What is affective responsibility?
To understand what affective responsibility is perhaps the key idea is the registration of the person. Recognize it as such, understand that it deserves respect and care, occupy the place it occupies in our life.
In other words, affective responsibility is present when we realize that our actions have consequences for others, whether they are intentional or not. This applies to all types of relationships, whether they are romantic, sexual, or friendship.
The concept was born hand in hand with feminist theories, at a time when free, open, or polyamorous relationships were thought to have no values. What it’s about is take care of people with whom we form relationships, whether it is our partner or someone we have only seen twice.
The vindication of this relational modality also seeks to dismantle the myths of romantic love. For example, criticizing that only what you love is taken care of to move to a new level: raising awareness of the importance of mutual respect, of building more egalitarian and symmetrical relationships.
Not giving or demanding emotional responsibility is accepting the romantic myth that to be love it must hurt, and conforming to gender roles, in which men have a hard and carefree masculinity and do not take charge of their own feelings or those of others. others, just like women are assumed to be emotional.
Affective responsibility implies this freedom is not going beyond the other.
How to apply affective responsibility in relationships?
The best way to exercise affective responsibility is let yourself be guided by the maxim that you don’t do what you wouldn’t want done to you. Did it hurt last time they stopped replying to your messages with no explanation? So don’t do it.
Empathy is one of the keys and not breaking this vicious cycle, all it does is keep reproducing it. Let’s see some suggestions:
- To communicate: Many times the idea of communicating is associated with having a chat. However, that doesn’t always have to be the case. Sometimes it will be just a few comments. Any relationship, of any kind, is built with dialogue and exchange.
- Taking charge of emotions: Recognizing how we feel about a certain person or situation, allowing ourselves to feel that way, and also doing something about it is necessary. It’s not about waiting others guessbut to express it first.
- Don’t confuse taking charge with destroying the other person’s expectations: It is important to know that we do not have to respond to or meet the ideals of others. Affective responsibility is an invitation to clarify those expectations and talk. If we always agree, without further ado, to put ourselves at the level of what others want, we reduce the space of our needs.
- It does not imply blaming the other person: In a relationship, things can go well or fail, but the basis must always be respect.
Ghosting and emotional responsibility
He ghost has to do with a practice that is characterized by the sudden disappearance of a person She stops texting during the night, doesn’t answer her phone, and even denies us greetings if we pass her on the street.
although the ghost is usually associated with virtual sphereis not limited to it. In fact, it already existed long before social networks were part of everyday scenarios.
What happens is that it now becomes more palpable or noticeable. At this point, it seems that virtuality frees us from responsibility, but obviously this is not the case. There is a person behind it who clicks the button to block. Let the virtual not confuse us.
Approach suffering with empathy
We cannot change the way others behavebut we can do it ourselves. If we detect ambiguous behavior from the person we are meeting or if his actions begin to cause us discomfort, we must choose ourselves and put ourselves first. Relationships that are unclear end up being toxic.
Whether it’s a one night stand or a couple in their 5’s or 20’s, everyone deserves that we behave with empathy and affective responsibility. Just because relationships today are open or more diverse doesn’t mean you have to abide by the law of the jungle.
A sexual-affective bond can be something today and something else tomorrow; feelings, desire or interest may change. What cannot be negotiated is disrespect or acceptance of treatment.
Finally, we must also not idealize affective responsibility and believe that there will be no suffering. If someone we are interested in tells us that they don’t feel the same way, we are sure to feel bad.
But that discomfort will have an explanation and the suffering will be much less than it would be if we tried to guess why. The conversation can be awkward, but in the end it will have been worth it because there has been care and respect.
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