It’s okay to think it’s the other guy who’s wrong, not us.
There is a popular idea that “it takes two people to make a conflict”. This thought is useful because it can certainly be very true, and because it brings us back to our share of responsibility – which is the only thing we can change. And no matter who is responsible, blaming the other does not move anything forward.
But there are times when this perspective is not only inadequate but harmful. Because yes, sometimes it’s the other, not us. There are several possible scenarios that could be used as an example here, but let’s say that if a person disrespects us, and refuses to recognize what they do when they say it, the conflict is certainly not caused by our opposition, but by the behavior that inspired it. There are times when our only “responsibility” (if we want to use that term) is to have chosen to be there, that’s all.
To blame the other does not lead to anything, it’s true. But to admit that he is in error is not “to blame him”, it is to point out a fact that a witness could confirm. Everything is subject to interpretation, as we say … but there is nevertheless an objective reality, and although our perception can be shifted, it can also fall apart.
The thought “the other is wrong, not me” is sweet for the ego, of course. The trap may be to draw a feeling of superiority, a kind of “I’m right!” Childish. And yes, it’s unhealthy … But what’s unhealthy is not the idea that the other is responsible, it’s what our ego does with it when it’s appropriate.
For many of us who “walk” and seek to adopt the wisest and most generous perspective, there is something almost vulgar about seeing things that way … Now, I would say that not only are we entitled to draw up this finding, but it’s even important to be able to do it. To be able to say (or simply think) “no, it’s not me, it’s you” with confidence – without triumphant spirit, but also without restraint – raises the other as much as we do. For there is nothing that raises as much as the truth.
And this way of “stalling” leads us to recover our power, and can encourage the other (if he wants to) to connect to his.
So yes, there is a great nobility to humbly accept responsibility. But there can be just as much to refuse.