Being Responsible To versus Responsible For

Danielle DuskaPsychotherapy

In any relationship it can be easy to slip into patterns of being Responsible For someone versus being Responsible To someone.

Recognizing when we are being Responsible For and knowing how to be Responsible To others is a valuable skill for maintaining mental health and flourishing in interpersonal relationships. 

Here is guideline to help you understand the difference between being Responsible For versus Responsible To:

When I am Responsible For others: When I am Responsible To others:
I: fix; rescue; control; carry their feelings; don’t listen.  I: show empathy; share; confront; level with the person; am sensitive; listen; set boundaries.
I feel: tired; anxious; fearful; liable; resentful; angry.  I feel: relaxed; free; aware; have high self-esteem. 
I am concerned with: the solution, answers, circumstances, being right, details, and performance. I am concerned with: relating person to person, my feelings, and the person.

If you are interested in learning more about these skills or ways to facilitate healthy interpersonal relationships, you can book a complimentary consultation at or by calling 403-454-7600.