You are responsible for you


Demetria Slyt, Opinion Writer

Are we responsible for the thoughts, actions, or behaviors of others? Absolutely not. This is because everyone is their own person, in charge of their own lives and decisions. Does it make sense for us to take responsibility for our own shortcomings and mistakes OR to take responsibility for others’ mistakes? Obviously, we take responsibility for our own. People are unpredictable and in reality not “controllable.”  

One of the biggest causes of stress and anxiety are things that happen outside of our control: things we can’t change and things we are not at fault for. For example, a parent’s divorce. Speaking from personal experience, my parents separated when I was 10 and like many children of divorce I blamed myself, I felt responsible for the decisions of others. Today that feeling still weighs on me, but I am overcoming it because I remind myself that it wasn’t my choice. I’ve accepted it and I am working on moving forward. 

Over the years, I have gained a lot of perspective on what I can and can’t control from watching my parents grow following their separation. I don’t blame them, sometimes people just aren’t meant for each other and we can’t control that; the mistakes and decisions they make are their own and not of those around them. They are responsible for themselves, as are the rest of us responsible for ourselves. These experiences shape who we are and also shape the person we will become. For those that are not following what I am saying, let’s consider this from a different angle. 

Are superheroes responsible for the damage done to the city they save or is the villain? The destruction was caused by the villain, so wouldn’t that make them responsible? Believe it or not, this is actually a pretty relevant topic in movies and comics. There is always some kind of backlash at the heroes from the community being protected, the community blaming the heroes for all the damage; damage that was outside of their control. The heroes at some point blame themselves as well. Eventually, the conflict is resolved and the heroes are heroes once again. While sometimes real life isn’t always like the movies, this scenario is in some ways relatable. People often blame themselves, for many reasons, much like our movie heroes are blamed by the city. 

There is an article I found on Psychology Today entitled, “The Myth of Managing Emotions” The aforementioned article, written by Michael J. Formica goes much more in-depth about a similar concept to the one above. I personally found it really helpful in further coping with my own insecurities and anxieties about my parent’s divorce, as well as other experiences that have challenged me.  


Demetria Slyt is a Dakota Student Opinion Writer. She can be reached at [email protected]