Emotional responsibility: meaning, why it is important and examples of emotional responsibility Suffering man.

What is emotional responsibility?

Although the term emotional responsibility may seem complex to explain, it is easily understood as taking charge or taking responsibility for something within affective ties. The meaning of affective responsibility is to establish a bond or affective relationship, equally and with empathy.

Emotional responsibility is the way that each individual has to act with which they consider how they can influence others, the one that is done, said, and take charge of said actions. This way of acting includes presence, gestures, expectations, communication of the emotional state, and explanation of decisions. It should be noted that having affective responsibility is not something that one has or does not have (in the sense of something inside or a kind of ease. Still, rather their it is behaving responsibly with specific people in specific situations.

 What are their characteristics? Assertive communication

The term assertiveness is a fundamental part of emotional responsibility. For example, the effective responsibility in a couple is to speak clearly with it, expressing expectations, intentions, emotions, or things that are simply not to your liking, it facilitates a greater understanding between the two (it also applies to other types of interpersonal relationships).

It consists of having initiative and communication, clearly stating the needs and concerns of another person. Always in a calm, respectful manner and with the will to establish a fruitful dialogue for the parties involved.

Establishment of agreements 

In addition to becoming aware and understanding, it is also necessary to know how to establish limits and agreements to promote a healthy relationship. Even if in advance if he asks the other what kind of attitudes do not suit him and which he can accept, as long as there is the possibility of negotiating an agreement that allows adequately managing situations of discomfort or conflict.

Validate the other

One factor that reinforces the importance of the meaning of the responsibility value is reciprocally validating the feelings of the other person. No person should be less important than the other in a relationship. Because of this, her emotions are not to be underestimated. When validating what the other feels, it implies finding the balance to give priority to the meaning of affective bonds.

Accept the conflicts

Another of the characteristics of an effective person is to assume that in all personal dynamics not everything will be joy, party, and accept anything. Calmly assuming any conflict in any relationship is the only way to consolidate it.

On the contrary, moving away at the first sign of conflict hinders interaction and deep knowledge of other realities outside of one's own, causing a distancing or end of the communication. Maintaining emotional responsibility in a friendship, for example, also implies seeking to clear up any misunderstandings and calmly resolve differences.

However, it is also not recommended to assume a defensive or fearful attitude in the face of the possibility of differences appearing.

Consider that any action will have a consequence

Everyone must be fully aware that every word and/or action will cause some kind of reaction in another person; This is why it is essential to be guided by authenticity and honesty, learning to express emotions and limits clearly, before saying or doing something, questioning oneself in what way it can affect the other and the consequences that can cause in the relationship.

Why is emotional responsibility important?

Why is it important to be responsible? Emotional responsibility helps to face and overcome conflicts that have been had with other people, since no matter how developed this ability may be, conflicts will never cease to exist, however, if it allows them to be solved and overcome.

Therefore, in this context, conflicts should not be seen strictly as something negative, but can be seen as an opportunity to develop the appropriate skills to manage them.

Build healthy effective relationships

Being responsible implies behaving kindly and disinterestedly with those who want to build a healthy affective bond. By being cordial, polite, and attentive to others without expecting to receive anything in return, since this is how people feel good about themselves, tending to transmit confidence in others to develop any type of healthy and lasting relationship (whether as a couple, friendship or other class).

Avoid feelings of guilt

By not knowing what a person feels or thinks, you cannot expect the other to guess. Since this is a big mistake that is made frequently, it is for this reason that when practicing emotional responsibility, promoting a respectful and sincere dialogue with oneself and others about what one wants, does not open up feelings of guilt.

Understanding and respect must be offered in both directions, remembering how each person has their own desires and tastes, which should not be left aside.

encourages empathy

By putting yourself in the place of the other person and understanding from their point of view how they are feeling and how you could act accordingly. Leaving aside egocentrism and individualism, focusing more on the dynamics with the other (of course without putting the relationship before oneself permanently) it is possible to create an affective bond where empathy predominates.

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The meaning of holding responsible is taking into account the consequences of one's own actions on others, and thinking about family, friends, and partners before making a decision that may affect them in some way. In addition to understanding that taking charge of actions does not mean submitting or guessing the other's thoughts.

According to sociologist Zygmunt Bauman, you shouldn't waste your time, and the last thing you want as a person is to waste valuable time in your life with someone who isn't worth your time.


This concept in English has become increasingly popular, referring to the fact of suddenly disappearing. This has been seen especially in social networks such as Facebook, WhatsApp, and Telegram to mention the most frequented.

The person stops communicating, without offering any explanation, stopping answering calls and messages, immersing the other in a maelstrom of uncertainty and causing them to constantly wonder what they could have done wrong to receive such an abandonment.

This phenomenon is quite common within dating or dating apps, where one party gets bored or tired of the interaction and ignores the other's attempts to communicate. It should be noted that it not only arises in these applications, but it can also occur in links that have been known for a long time.


It is another word in English applied to the world of sentimental relationships that take place on social networks, meaning " breadcrumbs ". It consists of the tactic used by those individuals who send minimal signals, reflecting that they are still present, but that they are not looking for a commitment.

 Showing interest intermittently is also seen as a harmful practice in affective ties. People in these cases are sometimes shown as very sweet and involved and others cold and indifferent. This, without a doubt, can confuse the other party a lot, since they will not know what to expect from the other.


This term originates from “ bench”, meaning “ to be on the bench ” or what is popularly known as plan b. This situation has been enhanced after the appearance of social networwhichtion implies maintaining some online contact with someone, but without specifying any meeting.

 It is a type of brief and superficial communication, being a second option, but without the intention of achieving a friendship or anything specific, or showing any kind of consideration to their emotions, except to obtain some benefit.

Imposition of one's own desires

Imposing one's needs and desires is one of the greatest manifestations of a lack of emotional responsibility. In every interpersonal relationship, it is essential to have openness, negotiation skills, and show willingness to reach a meeting point.

When an individual cares only for himself, for what he wants, neglecting the needs of another, he can cause significant damage. Phrases like " take it or leave it" demonstrate a selfish attitude in which space is not given to the emotional world of others.

emotional invalidation

A total absence of emotional responsibility implies that the complaints, requests, or claims of the other person are completely invalidated. If a friend or partner expresses sadness or disagreement with the treatment received, their interlocutor may describe it as demanding, crazy, or exaggerated (a). To the extent that he is even made to think that he has no right to feel that way and even less to expect something specific from the bond.

affective neglect

Finally, it should be remembered that it is not only taking into account the actions carried out, but also what is not done. When you relate emotionally to someone, it is necessary to provide presence, care, and listening, to actively contribute to the relationship. If not, this lack can be seen as irresponsible, selfish, and negligent.

Examples of situations where emotional responsibility is demonstrated

After the above, what does effective responsibility mean? It is important to be clear that different types of relationships develop in life, so below you can see some examples of effective responsibility:

Work environment

The definition of effective scope at work requires honesty saying things in a kind, respectful and empathetic way to someone who has applied for a vacancy that does not meet the profile that the company needs, instead of feeding false hopes and offering feedback positively when you won't get the job.

It should also be put into practice when a colleague or subordinate is made to see some error or area of ​​opportunity, showing empathy and respect, instead of making him understand that he is not always right.

Couple relationships

In the cases of couple relationships, emotional responsibility is demonstrated by being honest when talking about feelings and emotions for the other person, and by making it clear to what level you want to reach in the relationship (for example, if it will be something formal or not) and that it is willing to offer within it.

Family environment and/or friendship

In family and friendship relationships, one is emotionally responsible when the person speaks honestly, concerning what is said and what they are willing to do or to what extent they are willing to compromise. An example is when a commitment is fulfilled. promise.

There is no responsibility with the affective bond when you promise to go to a meeting and cancel at the last minute or decide not to appear, or when promising help or company and the person ignores you without communicating.

Affective responsibility has become more popular, not because it is something recent, but because people today have learned to give greater value to building relationships based on respect and healthy communication. Now that you are familiar with the concept of emotional responsibility, you should be clear that different types of relationships are created in life and emotional responsibility must be sought in them.