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Old 07-25-2011, 02:22 PM   #1
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"I take full responsibility" - what does it mean?

when someone says "i take responsibility for my actions" what do they really mean? are they saying "my bad", or "i did wrong, now let's move on?" is it a simple acknowledgement of a mistake,or something more? when someone is accepting responsibility for their actions, is there an implied promise to suffer consequences, or make reparations of any kind? or is it really no more than an assertively worded apology? i'm interested to hear your thoughts and opinions about this. it is a question that has been on my mind for some time now....

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Old 07-25-2011, 02:27 PM   #2
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I think most people say it without really thinking of what it implies. It is saying that you fully intend to do what it takes to make something right. Some say it as an apology, but it isn't really an apology. You can make things right without apologizing.

This is kind of like people saying, "How do you do?" Most just mean "hello." The same applies to "How are you?" Most don't really want to hear how you are. They are just saying "hi."

I'm glad you brought this up. I am a big believer in people thinking about the words that actually come out of their mouths (or off of their keyboards), and meaning what you say.
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Old 07-25-2011, 02:33 PM   #3
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That's a phrase I only use when I mean it. I also live my life so that the phrase is true in all my dealings, whether I say it or not.
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Old 07-25-2011, 02:37 PM   #4
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Most of the time it's another way of saying, "It's my fault." In a specific circumstance, it could also mean I will suffer the consequences (paying damages or criminal/legal action). I'm not sure it's an apology.
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Old 07-25-2011, 02:37 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by PrincessFiona60 View Post
That's a phrase I only use when I mean it. I also live my life so that the phrase is true in all my dealings, whether I say it or not.
Yep, same here.

This also makes me think of people who think (and yes I have met quite a few) that if you don't say "I promise" you haven't really promised something. On the contrary. As soon as you say you are going to do something (or that you are not going to do something) you have made a promise.
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Old 07-25-2011, 02:44 PM   #6
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I look at it as, The buck stops here. It means you and you alone are responsible for your actions, be they good or bad, but it seems most commonly associated with a negative action or repercussion.
Upon hitting Post Quick Reply, I take full responsibility for my action ;^)
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Old 07-25-2011, 02:46 PM   #7
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Oh yeah, I also don't ever say, "I promise." Especially at work..."The best laid plans of mice and men, go oft astray."
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Old 07-25-2011, 02:49 PM   #8
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I only say it when I have admitted that I am to blame for something and intend to do what I can to right my wrong.
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Old 07-25-2011, 02:56 PM   #9
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For me it is an understanding or an acknowledgement that I am the "cause" of a situation.
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Old 07-25-2011, 03:19 PM   #10
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For me it is an understanding or an acknowledgement that I am the "cause" of a situation.
That's true, and I thank you for your clarification, Bea.

**********************

For myself, and I suspect I'm the person Vitauta is speaking of, "taking full responsibility" means not blaming others (including God), nor particular circumstances, nor just plain bad luck, but accepting that my own decision(s) and deliberate actions brings upon me a given consequence or set of consequences. It has to do with any placing of claim or blame, something that many people refuse to acknowledge against themselves.

This is not a new concept, but one that I learned while in grade school.
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Old 07-25-2011, 03:23 PM   #11
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Quote:
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This is not a new concept, but one that I learned while in grade school.
I'm pretty sure I learned it from my parents. In grade school I learned that others were not taught this by their parents.
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Old 07-25-2011, 03:30 PM   #12
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Its a phrase I try to teach every adolescent I work with. I have varying degrees of success. To me, it means exactly what it says. No implication of apology at all. Just an acknowledgement of decisions made and a willingness to bear whatever comes from that.

I'd far rather hear, "I take responsibility for..." than, "Its not MY fault!"
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Old 07-25-2011, 03:40 PM   #13
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I think it simply means I'll fix it.
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Old 07-25-2011, 03:43 PM   #14
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Reward the guilty and punish the innocent?
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Old 07-25-2011, 06:20 PM   #15
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saying that phrase is not an apology, but simply an acknowledgement of cause. i'm sorry is an apology, which should be said before it.
because it's "full" responsibility, it implies that you also will take the punishment and/or make reparations to the best of your ability.
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Old 07-25-2011, 06:34 PM   #16
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In reading these comments the idea of punishment, suffering, etc. seems to be a common theme. In my experience that is not always the case. I often use the phrase to politely let people know that it is really none of their concern.
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Old 07-26-2011, 06:59 AM   #17
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For me it is right up there with "I'm sorry you were hurt by my actions". It is NO acknowledgement of wrong-doing, just a way of saying, "I can afford to pay off anyone." I was raised that an apology does the following:

Acknowledge you did wrong.
Resolve to never do it again (NOT resolve never to get caught again)
Make reparations for what you did (NOT write a check and go merrily on your way)
Be truly sorry for what you did (NOT be truly sorry you got caught and resolve to be smarter the next time around)

None of these apply to public figures who believe they are above the law.
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Old 07-26-2011, 07:11 AM   #18
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I think it has become an empty way of saying (especially in politics) that I'm the big guy here and even tho it wasn't my fault, I'll take the blame. I've noticed several times in the last few years the phrase was used to make us think the speaker was probably more sincere than they actually were. I don't pay attention to that but what the actions are in any circumstance.
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Old 07-26-2011, 01:05 PM   #19
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It's simple, people who accept responsibility get promoted, while people who accept the blame get fired.
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