What not to say to your loved ones: It’s on you

Often in my spotty hobby to approximate a healthy human, I confront the concept—usually offered in a casual manner as if it should be obvious to anyone with a speck of intelligence and self-awareness—that the best possible reaction to the emotional condition of others is: That’s on you, partner. If you want to feel that way, it’s on you.


He thinks: I feel you, man. He doesn’t think: But it’s on you. (Source: ScaryMommy)

It’s your problem. Indeed, it’s your fault. Indeed again, it’s a failing, a flaw, and actually quite stupid to feel that way, to react that way, to be who and what you are. It’s on you, babe. I got you, but it’s on you.

As one who loves a number of people each as flawed and maddening as I, in bewilderingly different ways, I’ve come to realize that “It’s on you” is a terrible joke. It is, in fact, crap, to which the healthy, mature human should relegate to the fuck-it category.

“It’s on you,” given only a smidgen of thought, is sociopathic—the opposite of empathy or sympathy. One of those, maybe both. Both of which are supposed to be good things.

So much of what I do affects others. No, I can’t control how they feel about it. But I can anticipate their responses and design my actions with some consideration of their responses. To ignore their anticipated responses is thoughtless, cruel, even sociopathic on my part.

And if, despite all efforts to mediate the concussion, I’m forced to say “It’s on you” or a more elegantly (the word “artfully” seems to be popular now) worded equivalent, I prepare to apply some sort of first aid. Because it’s not only on them. It’s on both of us. Or in a group, on all of us. It gets all over everyone in the immediate area. So the injured need(s) to be helped, and the perpetrator is obligated to oversee whatever rescue efforts are required.

It’s the right thing to do. And, you guessed it, it’s on you to do it.

After some practice, it gets easier. If you happen to be an ascended master, the pain involved on all sides can actually be pleasing. It becomes another valuable nugget in the cairn of life’s lessons, something to be treasured, appreciated.

I haven’t gotten there yet. Still a pain, but at least I try, because I know it’s never just on you. Or me. It’s on all of us. There’s some love in there someplace, right?

KJC dingbat-thumbnail


About Keith Croes

Nice to meet you. Thanks for dropping by.

Posted on November 29, 2015, in behavioral health, Cultural observations, emotions, human development, mental health, Pop culture, Psychology, self help, spiritual growth, Spirituality and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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