Identifying your self-concept!
While I changed the title of this blog post to reflect more of a psychological perspective, as you will find in this post, the objective is centered around a very basic notion, and that is the ideal "That's on them, not me..."
What does self-concept have to do with this?
Well, self- concept is basically how we perceive our behavior. Fundamentally, self-concept encompasses ideals that we use to justify our own behaviors. It explains the how and why we interact with others the way we do. So ultimately, it is not until we really identify our self-concept that we learn why we operate and rationalize our behavior the way we do.
Now, before you continue reading, I hope that you're open and willing to embrace all that you are about to learn about yourself. There is so much truth in the process of developing self-concept that has to be faced and accepted in order to master it.
Thus, I chose to discuss the idea of the self-concept because many of us also fail to establish the relationship between how we treat others and how we see ourselves. We tend to get in a habit of blaming how we respond to others on what others allow to happen to themselves, without actually assuming accountability for our decisions and actions. That, I am afraid, is a very incorrect rationalization and response. That is also a very self-centered response, as well as a very telling response, because if (and when) you respond it this way, it not only illustrates that you're incapable of self-accountability and are in many ways immature, but it too suggests that you have not yet confronted the reason you'd willingly manipulate someone to the point that you get them to respond in a way that makes you feel good about your indecision.
In other words, acknowledge that you play on people's emotions in order to provoke a decision or response that benefits you.
Confronting and addressing the what and why it makes you feel good to act in a manner that does not benefit someone else, is what establishes the relationship between actions toward others and feelings about yourself...
So again, while self-concept directly impacts how one relates to and/or interacts with others, it also illustrates that how you treat others is also a reflection of how you FEEL about yourself!
I think if we all took a moment to be honest with ourselves, we'd come to also understand that the art of redirection and deflection are smoke screens for uncertainty and indecision. When you can't answer a question directly (indecision), what you are really saying is one of a number of things, e.g. (1) I don't want to address the issue, (2) I am anxious about the discussion, (3) I know what I should say, but don't want to say it because it doesn't make me feel good, (4) I don't want to be honest, (5) I don't want things to change, etc.
To put it plainly, when you can't decide or don't want to decide (because often times decisiveness equates to clarity, marinate on that for a second....) then you redirect the focus, attention or decision making to someone else so you can avoid holding yourself accountable for making a bad decision. Which is yet another example of how a lack of self-concept highlights our deficits.
I know that may be a lot to consume, however, if you're thinking it will be too hard or too much to actively work on developing your self-concept, I highly encourage you to do away with that mentality. Not only does developing self-concept help you identify that you need to improve your behavior, but working on these negative behaviors greatly improve your quality of life and interactions with others. There's honestly great gratification with doing the right thing.
And for those about to debate that selfishness is gratifying, I am here to assure you that you certainly do yourself a disservice by intentionally trying to benefit at the expense of someone else. You essentially make yourself severely vulnerable to karma by prolonging the inevitable. You also stunt your personal growth and development. For example, if you notice that you're stuck in a series of negative circumstances, and you predominately make decisions out of selfishness, you're not challenging yourself for growth, you're not learning the lesson, so you're continuously being tested until you make a different (or better) choice.
However, it's typically not until we develop a self-concept that we grow to understand the fact that looking out for ourselves also means holding ourselves accountable for being considerate of others.
And since self-concept is self-constructed, ideally, you have no outside input on what you believe makes you who you are, and propels you to operate and interact with others the way you do, so it's important that you are honest and truthful about your motives when interacting with others and that you properly rationalize your behavior, and remember...
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
The Golden Rule is something I will continue to reference in many of my blog posts because it is an essential ideology, and a true reflection of how we should focus our self-concept. It puts plainly what it means to be considerate, thoughtful and to do right for right sake, and not with the expectation of reward or benefit. But to do unto others for your benefit, is frankly just not kind, considerate or a mature level of thinking.
So you see, when you operate under the notion "That's on them, not me...", you are really highlighting your own deficits and shining a light on your indecision, lack of self-accountability, selfish and self-serving tendencies; however in the brilliant words of Dr. Maya Angelo, "When you know better, you do better."