Taking ownership is about looking at yourself, in the raw, and really examining what part you had in an arguement, disagreement, hurt feelings etc with another person. To say that you didn’t do ANYTHING is completely the opposite of taking ownership, by simply being involved in the situation, you have some sort of responsibility in its occurrence and in its resolution. Regardless of how small or large a part you had in it.
One of the hardest things in this world for us humans to do is to take full responsibility for our actions and the reaction and consequences of them- whether intended or not. You cannot simply say that you didn’t mean what you said or did to be offensive or taken the way it did and have the responsibility be shifted from you and onto the other person(s). You must take a look from the outside, eliminating emotions and really look at the situation.
It is hard for me to take out the emotions when listening to how I may have hurt someone’s feelings. It is something I am constantly reminding myself to practice.
If a person is direct with me, my immediate impulse is to go on the defensive, but if I remember to take out the emotion and really listen rationally, almost like an outsider, it is much easier for me to see how I may have unconsciously done something rude, hurtful etc etc.
“You must not blame those for your hurt feelings. They belong to you afterall.” I heard this on the radio the other night and the more the man spoke, the more I resonated with his words. What I took from his words were that not everyone is going to like us and speak of us kindly despite our efforts to be a good person to them. It is not our job, nor our business to know what these people think of us because if they truly knew our good nature, we would never be in the position to defending ourselves. But also, it is important to know that not everyone thinks the way that we do and words can be interpreted in so many different ways; what might be humorous to one person, may be rude and offensive to another. If someone hurts your feelings, and you do not know this person very well, maybe give them the benefit of the doubt that they weren’t purposefully trying to offend.
On the other hand, if you do know them, then take into account their personality, their situation and even your current state because the same words can be said to us while we are in a foul mood or a good mood and be taken completely differently. Take a step back and see how YOU could have made the situation escalate to an argument.
This has not helped me 100% of the time fix a situation, but it has helped me understand how to place myself into other people’s shoes. It has taught me how to feel better in the knowledge that I am taking the mature step in taking responsibility for the situation and that when the other person is ready, so will I be without the added emotion and defensiveness that is normally present.