It is possible that you have heard at some point about the concept of affective responsibility that seems to have become fashionable in relationships, but in reality it has been with us all our lives and is key if we want our relationship to work.
But in reality, it is applicable to all relationships, whatever their type, and the indispensable tool for terms such as breadcrumbingghosting or slow fading They are not part of our life.
we tell you what is affective responsibility? and why it is essential to demand and practice it in our relationships.
What is affective responsibility?
In the book Let it be good love: Why affective responsibility is key in your relationships from psychologist Marta Martínez Novoa, there is a clear definition of what is affective responsibility. She defines it as “being aware that relationships and, especially, the bonds that are created in them are made up of several people, not just ourselves, and that all the people involved have feelings and needs.” That is, affective responsibility takes into account what others feel without neglecting what we feel, and applying it is to act accordingly with this.
Let it be good love: Why affective responsibility is key in your relationships (Self-help and improvement)
Respect your own needs and emotions but also respect those of the other person It is something necessary from the moment any type of link is established, because whether we believe it or not, anything we say or do, and also what we do not say or do, has an impact on our recipient.
Iria Reguera, psychologist and editor-in-chief of Trendencias explains that “affective responsibility is important in any relationship, not only in romantic-sexual ones. Sometimes we are so focused on our own feelings and emotions that we can forget that the person in front of us is a human being with their own emotions and feelings and that any human interaction involves emotions and these are a non-disconnectable part of the human relations.”
Not only in relationships, but in any relationship whatever it is. Although we talk about friends with benefits There must be emotional responsibility. With our family and friends, there must be an affective responsibility. With our coworkers. In short, with anyone with whom we have an interpersonal relationship. Iria Reguera adds that “every time two human beings interact there are emotions involved and it is worth taking them into account. It doesn’t hurt to try to be a little aware of how we affect others and not just how others affect us. We call it “affective responsibility”, but we could perfectly call it a minimum of education, respect and empathy.”
Understanding that there are things that I can do, say or think that will affect another person and thus, act accordingly, is to practice affective responsibility and empathy.
But be careful, because Iria Reguera warns us that “this does not mean that, by taking into account the emotions of the other, we keep quiet about how we feel or swallow our emotions, thoughts and desires, but rather that we must communicate them in a way that tells the other person and, for that, we use the assertive communication. Let’s not confuse affective responsibility with letting ourselves be stepped on or not hurting the other at the expense of our own well-being and, in the same way, let’s not confuse thinking of ourselves, taking care of ourselves and respecting our desires and needs with being insensitive to others and passing them by. on.” Affective responsibility must take into account the emotions of both parties.
Why affective responsibility is necessary in relationships
First of all, and as Iria Reguera points out, “thinking about how our actions are going to make the other feel and trying to take those emotions into account and respect them, is going to make the other person feel respected and taken into account. Going to make them feel that their emotions count and it will help them feel seen as a human being.”
In order to talk about a healthy relationship, it is essential to talk about affective responsibility in that relationship, “especially when it is given in both directions”, as Rueguera explains, since when you give it, it is easier for you to receive it. This “is the breeding ground for healthier relationships and healthier communications”, in the words of the psychologist.
Affective responsibility in sex
Affective responsibility is not synonymous with love but actually a necessary tool for any relationship, even if we talk about sex without commitment. “That the person with whom you are having a casual affair asks for affective responsibility, it is not that she is in love with you, but that emotions are a non-disconnectable part of human relationships”, explains Iria Reguera. When we talk about flowing in a relationship, we cannot forget about affective responsibility, not even in relationships like situationships that generation Z like so much.
Affective responsibility must always accompany us, in any relationship and also in sexual ones. It’s not that we have to go on the sex positivism movementis that we have to keep in mind whenever we have a person in front of us with feelings and emotions and that they deserve the same respect that we want for ourselves.
How to have affective responsibility
Martínez also explains in his book that “we have normalized many behaviors that do not comply with affective responsibility, but this does not mean that they are normal.” A clear example is that phrase that we have to banish from our relationships if we want them to be healthy: “nothing is wrong with me”. This type of passive communication assumes that the other person must know what is happening to us. Having affective responsibility is communicating what happens to us.
The way to do it is first of all, Think before speakjust like when we avoid sincericide. If we put ourselves in the place of the other person and we practice empathy for communicate assertivelywe will also be having affective responsibility with the other person.
in his book I love me, I love youMaría Esclapez explains that “talking about one’s own feelings, respecting those of the other person” is using affective responsibility, just as it is if we talk about the couple and as the psychologist explains, “make intentions and expectations clear about the couple relationship”, as in the hardballing, “negotiate limits in the relationship and respect them” and “reach agreements and modify them as the relationship evolves”. For this it is essential talk to our partner and do it with techniques like the fog bank if we see that the conversation is stagnating and we cannot reach an agreement.
I love myself, I love you: A guide to developing healthy relationships (and improving the ones you already have) (Bruguera Tendencies)
“The effort is necessary. Relationships have to be cared for and that requires time and energy. Communication, quality time together, affective responsibility. It’s not easy to have a relationship, but it doesn’t have to be hell either, ”says the psychologist on her Instagram account.
Having empathy, respect, communication, practicing active listening, reaching a consensus, setting limits and thinking about the consequences of our actions and our words, is having affective responsibility and with it, the task of caring and being cared for will be much easier.
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Photos | Andriyko Podilnyk, Priscilla DuPreez, milan popovic and Dominic Sansotta in Unsplash
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