Justifying Your Nasty Action And Rotten Deeds

flip wilsonIt’s common, people do whatever kind of rotten thing they do and then figure out all kinds of reasons why their wrong action is actually right action, just ask them!

I’m pretty sure a person is responsible for the action they take independent of the action of anyone else on this planet.

This reminds me of, Flip Wilson if you’re old enough to remember him.  “The devil made me do it!”

“I did that because he did that and she did that and anyway it’s okay what I did because that person sucks and I got hurt and I had to teach them a lesson and blah, blah, blah…”

We all do this to an extent but some people go through their lives doing nothing wrong, as far as they know.  This leads them nowhere.

Do you take responsibility for your shadow ?

43 thoughts on “Justifying Your Nasty Action And Rotten Deeds”

  1. I definitely take responsibility for my own actions, but I have come across people like you refer to. They are self-centered and self-justified. They are the ones that need s little self-examination to see if they understand what the fifth commandment is about: DO NOT LIE.

  2. Yes. A lot of people are not self-reflective though.

    I do think there are always reasons for why I do things, but a reason is not an excuse or a free pass, it is just a flag of something I need to look at.

    And other people, too. Someone at work is trying to walk on me and I do think there are reasons why she’s doing it. But those reasons are not excuses and she’s on the hook for her behavior even if she is not self-reflective enough to understand why.

  3. Oh, but I just reread the article and I think what I consider a reason is different than what the article was talking about. I meant like emotionally, the reason why something triggers me or someone else to react.

    That whole thing of getting caught up in the content (“she did this”) without reflectively asking why is a one-way ticket to a shitty life. It is a really common trait in addicts, I notice. Blaming others for your own shortcomings.

  4. I do take responsibility for my actions – I also carry around a lot of guilt over the smallest things that I’ve said or done, that may have hurt someone’s feelings. I don’t like to affect others in a negative way, and can’t imagine enjoying it.

    I’m also pretty forgiving. I’ve nursed a couple of grudges, but it’s rare – everyone makes mistakes.

  5. “a person is responsible for the action they take independent of the action of anyone else”

    Exactly. I think the reverse of this is also true: a person is responsible for their lack of action independent of the lack of action of others!

    llama – I agree. There is a difference between bad circumstances vs. emotional reasons. You can’t control the bad things that happen to you and cause you to mess up…but you can control the bad things you do voluntarily due to your emotions. We have choices after all!

  6. i do my damndest but sometimes it’s hard to connect the ripple effects… or to figure where one’s responsibility ends and anothers’ begins.

    i think it’s really hard to grow if you don’t.

  7. I do take full responsibility, but I have a really hard time forgiving myself for my mistakes. If I do something WRONG in anger, I make myself pay for it forever. HOW DO YOU FORGIVE YOURSELF FOR MAKING BIG MISTAKES, without blaming anyone else or justifiying, how do you simply understand you were wrong and made a bad choice…. after all it’s not ok…. how do you negotiate the space between being human, and being sorry, esp. if there is nothing you can do to fix it… (never let it happen again) but so many mistakes are one chance one time only…. thoughts anyone?

  8. I take way too much responsibility (weren’t we talking about control freaks not too long ago?) for, well, everything.

    Even my therapist spends half of every session pointing out what other people are doing. “Um, has it occurred to you that x person did y thing and that there was nothing you could have done to change that?”

    When I come across people who don’t take responsibility for things, it paralyzes me a bit. I think I would react the same way if I suddenly discovered that I were attempting to talk to a deaf person… me not knowing ASL… a sudden, jarring feeling of absolutely not knowing how to bridge the gap between myself and the person I’m talking to.

  9. This subject speaks directly with what I have been wrestling with the past while. I am very self reflective and I know that nothing is done to me without some engaging on my part since I am not insulated in a vacuum viewing the world.

    The deal is a situation that has activated some very base qualities within me. Things I wanted to believe I had grown past or become evolved enough to look at dispassionately.

    Obviously I have not and it is very painful dealing with rage, rejection and jealousy. It washes over me and I just go off spewing venom. I am really looking at it and analyzing deep at where is all coming from. How have I stuffed this down where I didn’t even see it festering? I have come face to face with my own emotion of hatred and I am demoralized. I am very much responsible for my actions, I have always known that since I was a small child. It has not prevented me from avoiding the negativity within me though.

    I am praying this is the worst and I will crest and get on a solid path again. Loving detachment is a phrase that set off bells and whistles long long ago, and maybe this is to actually push me to find my way there.

  10. “Obviously I have not and it is very painful dealing with rage, rejection and jealousy. It washes over me and I just go off spewing venom. I am really looking at it and analyzing deep at where is all coming from. How have I stuffed this down where I didn’t even see it festering? I have come face to face with my own emotion of hatred and I am demoralized. I am very much responsible for my actions, I have always known that since I was a small child. It has not prevented me from avoiding the negativity within me though.”

    I can relate to this Daemoness… I’ve been going through the same thing, over the past couple of months. A couple of times, I briefly felt a burning hatred for someone, and I was horrified.

  11. I so relate to Daemoness. I was jealous of someone at a job who was getting favored. I mean, seething hatred jealous. So embarrassing.

    For me, I was acting out the parental dynamic. I wanted the boss’s love (not in a sexual way) but she liked my coworker better. Exactly how as a child I thought my mother wished she had a different daughter. But simultaneously, I rebelled from their control and biting remarks, just like my father.

    Once I understood that old archetypes (karmic even) were being unearthed and that this was really not about the job, it helped. I was still embarrassed as hell, but it helped. Just FWIW.

  12. Generally speaking, yes, I take responsibility for my actions. I’m often oblivious to the things I do, however…but when pointed out to me, or when I become aware of them, I am usually very responsible & admit the error. Of course, I’m also prone to beating myself up for stuff…not sure why tho’

  13. Yes, for the most part. Sometimes I act in fear of defensiveness and it takes me a while to see that I overstepped boundaries.

    I broke up with a friend a few years ago, and when her ex asked me about it–I told him the truth (I was close to both of them, and counseled both of them when they broke up, and they both knew it. When will I ever learn is beyond me).

    It took me about 6 months to see that I had made an error in speaking to him (they are still close, even though they aren’t together anymore).
    And apparently it’s taking me my entire fucking life to stop getting embroiled between couples–it started with my grandmother and mother when I was 7 and has continued to this day. One day? I bloody well hope so.

  14. I like to think I take responsibility for what I do. With a Sun-Saturn conjunction trined Neptune, though, it’s really up in the air: I think I did yet others are unsatisfied or people credit me for taking responsibility for things I wasn’t aware of.

    Most of what people see out of me, though, is my rage and I do, conscientiously, own that. Always.

  15. I don’t think that I have too much of a rage problem, myself.

    But (Omie in particular) I feel for you, it sounds like you are struggling right now.

  16. Yes, and as some of the others have pointed out, probably to the Nth degree. It’s like the mirrors in the barbershop, in front of you an behind you so that your reflection goes on into infinity. Is there an end to responsibity or does it just go on forever?

  17. Omie, it’s tough sometimes. I have the same issue at times, and what really has helped me is finding the lesson in the mistake. Did I let my anger get out of hand? OK then why was I angry, and how could I handle it differently next time. Did I get jealous? Then what was I missing (this is my own interpretation of my jealous moments) in my life that I thought someone else was getting? If my own needs are getting met I don’t *get* jealous, and it took me a long time to realize that. So I’ve learned, thank you therapy, what angry feels like coming on and how to identify what is pushing my triggers. Same with jealous, and a couple other things that really worked a number on me. But after a lot of thought and self evaluation, I’m getting there. If I can see what I could have done differently, and learn how to better handle it next time something similar comes up, I feel like at least I’ve salvaged *some* good from the thing, and I can let it go and make my (now heartfelt, because I understand what I did wrong and why) apologies and move on to the next thing.

    Good luck.

    p.s. it’s hard, but the cool thing about owning it? If I own it … I CAN CHANGE IT. <3

  18. I sure as hell do. I’m a Leo, and my integrity is important to me. Plus I have a lot of Libra (Moon, and Jupiter on Libra DSC), and as independent as I am, there’s that part of me that wants to be socially proper and acceptable. (The Aries ASC and Sun/Mars in Leo winced as I wrote that! 😉 )

    OTOH, there’s this woman in my DH’s family, also a Leo, who barrels through life, not caring what she does or who she hurts. She steals, lies, cheats, on and on, and never took responsibility for anything she did. She gives Leos a bad name. Anyway, she has a Sun/Venus conjunction in Leo, both planets trine Jupiter, but they both opposite Saturn. This is the kind of person that gives easy trines like these a bad name. She’s misused them too much and too often. When Saturn catches up with her, I won’t be around to see the fallout–I disassociated myself from her years ago. I tel white lies here and there, to get people off my back, but never at the level that she does. I couldn’t live with myself. I have no idea how she does…or all the millions of self-unaware clods out there do.

  19. Avatar

    omie – I relate. I take responsibility when i shouldn’t. When the other person is really taking advantage. Trying to learn to let go and not always feel as if I am doing wrong, or it’s my responsibility, or that everythign is my fault but that’s difficult.

    I learned at an early age that everything was my fault. That’s left me with a fatalistic “well it needs doing, someone has to do it and if no one else does then the shit falls to me to do it”

    Sadly that’s burned me out and left me quite bitter at a few jobs.

    Am now working towards a more “bounded” self-employed life that I only have to take responsibility for MY commitments and the rest of teh world can go jump in a lake. Am also slowly teaching others that they cannot leave the mess for me to clean up and that they cannot commit me to something that I haven’t actually committed to.

    Slow, frustrating progress. But still, you ask a very valid and difficult question omie…

  20. Omie, I’m no psychologist, but I think it’s just a choice that you make.

    Just like a person makes a choice to quite smoking. Doesn’t mean it will be easy. Doesn’t mean they won’t find it too much sometimes and have another. You just make the choice and then you work at it. Try to stay disciplined and try not keep slipping back into old patterns of thought.

    I’m sure you already know this stuff, but you seem(ed) like you were going through a tough spot. Hope you can get to a better place with this.

  21. thanks everybody,

    I think for me, I do own my mistakes.
    In my current situation I can’t have any resolution, the person doesn’t talk to me. Everyone thinks they are the bad guy, and just awful for not talking to me, no one has ever done this to me before, and if anyone had, I prob. would have not cared: I’m ok with having enemies, as long as I feel like I have done nothing wrong.

    In this case they were awful, but I was not impecable, and when no one wants to hear your apology it is hard to have closure.

    It is interesting, I forgave them right away, fully and completely (a first for me) We have sune moon and venus trine neptue in our composite chart,


    We have sun, moon, and venus sextile pluto in our composite, as well as pluto trine the asendant, as well as saturn square pluto and mars square pluto.

    It was all a big deal. I felt more love for this person than I have ever felt in my life. (hey, at least I know I can feel it)

    I am also going through my pluto square (‘course)

    and getting divorced from someone else

    are you guys laughing at me yet? I’m laughing at myself.

    It’s all about letting go for me, and not being the center of the universe.

    Tough stuff and I work on it every day.

    thanks everyone.

  22. omie- You are brave, honest, introspective, willing to learn. I for one am not laughing just cheering you on!

  23. I value accountability very highly but also tend to place a strong emphasis on context. I work with a lot of youth so the degree of influence a person’s environment (esp an unstable, abusive or disenfranchised one) can have is often quite obvious. I don’t think we will ever really know why some ppl, who have been treated so poorly, will still treat others with decency, while for others, the effects are immediate and chronic. We all make choices, but there are a multiplicity of factors behind why some people are ready to take responsibility for them and others, not so much.

    I’m a Cap, Saturn square sun, Saturn ruled chart (Aquarius ASC).

    As for forgiveness, omie, I think it comes through love. I think it is love, not time, that heals.

  24. Good post, Isthmus. Something I’ve always wondered about myself. Also your last sentence is bang on.

  25. Yeah, I think I do.

    I beat the hell out of myself for some things. I’m the opposite person, who feels excess guilt for slightly bad behavior. What’s been surprising me is that when I look back at certain things – say ten years ago — I realize very clearly things that I did that were painful to someone else, and I had no inkling of it at the time.

    For example, I was an outrageous bitch to my son’s father sometimes. We ended up breaking up of course but when I think about what happened later my pain at how he treated me sort of diminishes and I remember how I behaved in kind. I thought I was acting normally at the time,but I could *not* have done certain things and be sitting here today with a much cleaner conscience.

    However at the time I had no idea. I really did not know my own strength, I guess. People don’t, you know? They *really do not know they are assholes*. It takes a whack in the head — a real illuminated moment — to see this about yourself.

  26. I often react with verbal aggressiveness if I feel someone has hurt me. After a wee while I always apologize if I said something nasty and I always realize if I was at fault too.

    Sometimes though I imagine things and react, and that feels extra shitty afterwards because it was all my own fault! I’m getting better at this thankfully. In my teens I didn’t always see if I had done something wrong and it didn’t get me anywhere good.

  27. I HATE you… I use the word with every strong intent and the meaning it carries and implies the feelings of the real meaning.

    PS :- Let letting my frustration out!

  28. Very interesting and timely topic! I’m dealing with it today! On Saturday I got a letter from a job I had interviewed for. it stated that I hadn’t been offered the job but was the alternate candidate and could still be offreed the job if the first choice didn’t work out in the next 90 days or the person resigned. I called my Pisces friend who is 4 years older than me who knows the employer and it turns out, the person who got the job offer, to discuss this. She said that she knew the person who had gotten the job and he was a good person because he had stood up for her 5-6 years ago when she had a conflict with the administration and I should be happy that a good person got the job at least! When I responded that I had called her to discuss my letter and my situation and she had once again turned it into a situation about herself, she got upset. Then she said I wasn’t spiritual enough and it would take a lot of practice for me to be altruistic, but that if I thought about a good person getting the job, I could let it go…. So I got upset and I said this was really messed up logic and asked how did something that was about me become something about her and her superior spirituality? She then accused me of being self centered and raising my voice at her. In order to show the fallacy in her logic, I asked her how would she feel if her husband left her for another woman for example, and I told her that she should be altruistic and let it go if I told her that the woman he left her was a good person. This question went in one ear and out the other. It was dismissed as irrelevant. Saturday, she left me a voicemail stating that she was sorry but I had misunderstood her. I didn’t call her back because it was the same struggle of superiority over me instead of a sincere apology. Sunday she left me another message to go swimming with her. I ignored it because I didn’t have the energy to argue again. Today, I called her and she insisted that I’m self centered and I raised my voice at her Saturday. She is denying years of rants about all the people who have done her wrong, that I patiently listened to in the interest of our friendship.

    Talk about a problem with a shadow. I am shadow boxing with a Pisces. I am a Scorpio with Mars in Pisces in the 12th house …

    She decided we shouldn’t see each other for a while. I said thast was fine because that’s how I was feeling about all this. Then she said she’d call me in 2 weeks to see if we could go swimming again…. Is this crazy or what…

    The odd thing is I’m the only one who does laps in the pool and she just bobs up and down in the water because she doesn’t want to get water in her ears….

  29. Who me? I don’t have no shadow. 😀

    Saturn in scorpio first house. I am a shadow???? All I see is shadows??? Others see me as a shadow???

    Seriously, I have been dealing with standards. I duked it out with my long time nemesis this weekend. And found that she has a standard for how women should behave. She is a church lady so she is sanctioned by god to decree how women should be (snarl). Cleavage can be a problem for her. No lie, I witnessed her one holiday sitting in front of the lawrence welk show saying is that cleavage, is that cleavage. It offends me. I end up in defense of the attacked. There is no resolution here.

    We resolved that she has standards in this matter. And I guess I have standards too. And never the twain shall meet. I really can’t parse out the shadows but anyone reading this I am sure has a read. Spare me the analysis please.

    It’s weird because judgement is involved in how I make decisions in life. I guess the key is I don’t have to speak them. Refrain from thinking out loud. And the important thing right now for me is becoming aware of when I am trying to hold someone accountable to my standards. Because lordy lordy I sure don’t like being held to anyone elses. Yaaaaay: this awareness has gotten out from under her.

    And one more thing: God bless my big ass ham cleavage!

  30. I feel recently I have had to. I have only really had one instance in my life where I felt so incredibly violated, deceived and tricked that I just didn’t care how I acted in anger or revenge back at them once they decided to cut me off. I just didn’t care! But now, I see that I was really struggling deep down with some issue I have to get at. If I can unearth the issue, and heal it…I believe I can continue to be responsible. I let things go most of time, eat it, bury it. I just let it go. And then later I process it when I can handle it better. And I will look at my part in it.

  31. I dont believe there are justifications for ill intent or deeds that will ever prove successful for those who choose to be that way. To me, the universal mind or the mind of god, or however the source is percieved, doesnt think like us, basically to me, you hate, the world you create and experience is filled with hate for you and those of like mind, etc. Oh the ends do justify the means, its a good Idea to pay attention to those means IMO

  32. I know someone like this. It lead him into a mental hospital. I think it got to the stage where when finally faced with the reality of his situation the only place to go was further inside his own fantasy world. He’s in there now, talking about how he’s in a movie…and he has a whole story worked out about why they’ve put him in there. It’s astounding really.

  33. Oh dear @ opal. It can get that bad??? Is it really worth going into prison about. Well, at least he’s safe??

    I just needed to put a disclaimer on what I wrote. I am not condemning people who do church. My grrr is only about using the name God to justify mean and malicious behavior. At least if it’s the debil, there is admission of wrong doing on some level.

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