Two Approaches to Responsibility

Blog Entries, Essays

There are two types of responsibility responses people will have.

And they are:

1. Responsibility Complex

You see these people all the time. You may even have some affectionate nicknames for them. The “go-getter”, or alternatively, “control freak”. They will make sure something gets done, but to their specifications. OCD (not the clinical kind) and other controlling compulsions fall into this category. Usually, the stress of responsibility will wear the person down, and he will have to either give up or let someone else assume the responsibility.

2. Bystander Effect

These people see that something needs to be done. But they don’t take any action. And why should they? Someone else will do it. (That’s a link to some fascinating reading. And it looks cool in orange.) These people will throw their garbage on the ground, or leave their plates for someone else to clean. It’s not laziness or depression. It’s not as though they’re apathetic to the situation. It’s a lack of responsibility. They feel that whatever it is will be done anyway. Just… not by them.

This is even worse when paired with someone with a responsibility complex. The bystander will let them do it, and avoid responsibility.

There’s a third category. It’s called Utopia! It’s what happens when a team effort of responsibility is jointly assigned and fulfilled by various members in any unit. Everyone does their share, and nobody leaves their work to someone else. This is shockingly uncommon. That’s one of the major reasons that we benefit from having a government, or any sort of societal structure. Some people just won’t do their share without being forced. No, I’m not venting!

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