Love Letters to Humans (no. 92) — Responsibility is Not Control

We are responsible for what we contribute to our relationships. ~ & ~ We cannot control someone else’s experience of their relationship with us.

There is no such thing as the single, objective entity we have come to call “the relationship.” Friendship, partnership, marriage, enemies, community, that ill-defined situation between you and Corona bae… anything we call “a relationship” really contains multiple relationships.

Every relationship you are in is YOURS. You are in it, and it is in you. It is yours to experience, yours to navigate, yours to make decisions about, and ultimately your business.

Every relationship someone else is in is THEIRS. They are in it, and it is in them. It is theirs to experience, theirs to navigate, theirs to make decisions about, and ultimately their business.

Does that mean we don’t impact each other? Of course not. We are social mammals, wired for connection, collaboration, and love. Other people affect us. We affect other people. Every decision we make has consequences, and we share consequences within the relational ecosystems we inhabit together.

AND… trying to manage or control someone else’s perceptions, thoughts, feelings, and experiences—specifically their perceptions , thoughts, feelings, and experiences of us within THEIR relationship with us—takes us squarely out of our lane and into the full-time, Sisyphean task of minding other people’s business.

The only perceptions, thoughts, feelings, and experiences of you that are within your control and scope of responsibility are yours… and they matter. You will be the source of your self-esteem when you make the decision to be.



Mind your business and do what you came to do.