Own Your 'Stuff'

Owning Your Stuff

Individual Counseling | Columbia, Mo

This isn't a fun topic for people, although I would argue it's one of the most necessary things that people should do.  Personally, I love this topic. I love seeing people self reflect in such a way that they can honestly own whatever it is that they're doing in a given situation.  I also personally love this topic because I'd rather know what my stuff is then have it metaphorically slap me in the face later on to the point that I feel completely blindsided. 

It's also worth noting that this (owning your stuff) is the antidote to defensiveness, one of the four horsemen for couples who are in conflict

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With all of that said, it's not necessarily fun to go through the process of owning your stuff. It's just not. It's uncomfortable, it's unpleasant, it involves self reflection and some level of self-doubt, as well as developing empathy for the person who's in the situation with you (or people, plural).

But then you get to the end result,  which is really about knowing yourself in a deep way, owning your faults, your quirks, your eccentric tease, the little nuances that make you who you are, and knowing what your core values are. 

If this isn't already obvious, this also ties in with self-reflecting on your own role BIG TIME (found as one of three things to do when dealing with difficult people). 

And I think it goes without saying, but I am absolutely of the belief that taking ownership of your stuff is necessary in fundamental to personal development and growth, as well as positively impactful on your relationships. In a nutshell, it's worth it.  

So, now we can get to the how-to. Yay, the fun part! 

1.  Self-Reflection

You must engage in self reflection. (Duh, right?) This can't be done in a variety of ways. You can start to journal, start to meditate, question your motives for doing things, or ask a beloved person in your life (someone you highly trust and has your best interest at heart, ideally) some questions about how you come across.  The last of these ideas can be difficult for people to do – I highly recommend it, but only if you have a safe and trusting relationship with that person.  

2. Apologize

This one seems obvious, but it's important to say. If you self reflect and/or realize that you made a mistake, freaking own up to it and apologize for your part in it! Only your part. I know, I know, much easier said than done. I get it.

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However, that does not negate the fact that it should still be done. Yes, apologizing can suck, but there comes a point where the relationship you have with a person (if it's important to you) should take precedence over a need it to be right or any other reason for not apologizing. In a sense, this is an applicable owning of the stuff.  In other words, this is where you put your money where your mouth is. If owning your stuff is important to you (it should be), then apologies can, should, and do happen.  They get easier with practice – I promise. 

3.   Be Objective

Try to be objective about the situation.  If there's a certain situation that comes to mind with this topic, then what you can do to attempt to own your stuff is try to think about the situation from an objectivepoint of view.  Here's one that can look like – you pretty much position yourself as a fly on the wall (this might be you thinking about the situation, but this can also be done during of the situation). If a fly were watching the situation unfold and had no stake in either side, what would that fly report? I highly doubt the fly would report that one person was angelic and the other was demonic. Try to be objective. 

4. Listen Until They Feel Heard

LISTEN to the other person’s point of view. This ties in with a previous post - we must  listen in such a way that our partner  feels understood.   This entails setting aside your own agenda until it’s your turn to speak.

This also applies to groups of people, but for the sake of writing, let's stick with one person. A really simple way of starting to own your stuff and recognize your role in whatever circumstances are is to actually listen to what the other person is saying. Most of the time, people just want to be heard. Yourself included – I'm not ignoring that by any means. But I will say is that the easiest way to be heard is to listen. If a person feels understood and heard, they are way more likely to listen to what you have to say. 

 That's all from me for now. Until next time! And start to practice owning your stuff!