9 Things You Are Absolutely Not Responsible For — No Matter How Guilty You Feel

Some things are simply out of your hands, and you'll find peace once you let go.

carefree woman enjoys sunshine in a field Herbert Santos / Pexels

Oftentimes, people find themselves spiraling and stressing about countless circumstances.

While it’s natural to feel responsible for certain aspects of our lives, we are not meant to be in control of everything. It’s important to reflect on and recognize what we are responsible for and what we aren’t.

Instagram account, lifegiveusalemon, recently shared a post originally credited to wetheurban, suggesting some common misconceptions people tend to believe are their responsibility. 


Here are 9 things you are not responsible for, no matter how guilty you may feel at times:

1. Maintaining other people’s happiness

It’s natural for you to want everyone to be happy, and this is a beautiful quality to have, but each individual is responsible for their own emotional well-being. It's important to remember that we can support others, but we should not carry the burden of ensuring their happiness. 

This can get challenging when it comes to family, and it’s necessary to find a balance between showing up for your loved ones while still holding space for yourself. 



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On TikTok, author and journalist Harlan Cohen described the negative impact this can have on one's own well-being.

“When you make it your sole purpose and your happiness is dependent on other people being happy, there’s only one thing you can guarantee, and that is being miserable,” Cohen explained.

2. Your traumatic experiences

Trauma is deeply personal, but you are never responsible for the traumatic events you had to endure. 

Healing from trauma often requires professional help and support from loved ones, but it’s not something anyone should blame themselves for.



Adam Russell is a creative writer who offered some perspective on this topic in a TikTok.


“The way you’ve been treated by others and had to deal with circumstances is not a true reflection of who you are,” he said. “The only thing that you’re responsible for is allowing yourself the time to heal.”

3. Fixing everything that’s broken

It’s common to feel compelled to fix every problem that arises, but some things are simply beyond our control. 

Accepting this can lead to a healthier approach of focusing on what we can influence rather than dwelling on what we can’t control.



Tabitha Brown said it herself, “Some things are broken. Some people are broken. You didn’t break them. You didn’t break the thing or the person. Yet, you almost about to break yourself trying to fix it. Don’t do that.”


4. Other people’s reactions to your boundaries

Everyone has their own boundaries. Some people are better at setting them than others, but enforcing boundaries is crucial for self-care and maintaining healthy relationships.

Don’t set your needs aside for someone else, no matter how they respond to your boundaries. Everyone is accountable for their reactions, and respecting boundaries is a two-way street. 



According to Rossana Snee, a therapist on TikTok, if a relationship ends because you upheld your boundaries, a right you are entitled to, this is a sign that the foundation of your connection was flawed.


“In a healthy relationship, setting boundaries does not result in retaliation, being cut off or manipulated,” she said. Rather, the right individuals will honor and respect your needs.

5. Other people’s perceptions of you

People are always going to form their own opinions and perceptions, often influenced by various factors that have little to do with you. 

While it’s important to strive to present yourself authentically, you’ll never be able to control how others perceive you, and their perception of you is not your responsibility to live up to. 

Rather, other people’s perceptions are irrelevant and harmful to your well-being, and the only perception of you that truly matters is your own. Forget the rest.




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Embracing self-awareness and self-acceptance will help you navigate these external judgments.

“You need to stand in your own truth that you know who you are. You know how you show up for people, you know how you treat others, and you know what your intentions are,” Kris Ashley, a coach, author, and speaker, explained on TikTok.


6. Your loved ones’ choices and actions 

As deeply as you care for your loved ones, they are autonomous beings responsible for their own decisions. While you can offer guidance and support, you can’t dictate or control their actions.

The only things you are responsible for are your own choices and behaviors. 

7. Someone else’s growth

Every person’s journey of personal growth and development is unique and self-driven. 

While you can provide encouragement and resources, you can’t force someone to grow or change if they are not ready or willing. 



This willpower can only come from them, and if you happen to outgrow people you care about, it’s a sign that they are no longer aligned with your path.


8. Someone else’s insecurities

Everyone deals with their own insecurities — it’s a part of life. But you can’t take responsibility for someone else’s self-doubt or low self-esteem. 

When you feel responsible for nurturing another person’s lack of self-confidence, this can cause you to put their feelings above your own. Katerina Eleftheriou, a content creator and podcast host who shares life lessons on TikTok, further explained how this overly selfless behavior can lead to you frequently “abandoning yourself” in favor of someone else.



Offering kindness and support can be beneficial, but ultimately, overcoming insecurities is a personal journey that everyone must go through on their own.


9. Things that are out of your control

Life is unpredictable, and there are countless events that are beyond our control. Accepting this reality will free your mind and allow you to focus your energy on the aspects of your life where you can make a difference. 

Dwelling on what we can’t change will only hold us back from experiencing the beauty life has to offer.



As Tori Gordon explained in a podcast clip posted on TikTok, you are not responsible for the things that happen to you but you are responsible for how you respond to these circumstances. 


“You have to get comfortable with realizing life’s nature is uncertainty, and you learn how to get comfortable by practicing,” she stated.

Recognizing what we aren’t responsible for can free us from unnecessary guilt and stress.

If you have been struggling with guilt and stress over circumstances out of your control, you’ll find greater peace of mind when you allow yourself the freedom to let go and trust the process. In fact, once you relinquish control, things will begin to fall into place naturally. 

When we learn to embrace our limitations and focus on what is within our sphere of influence, we can cultivate greater resilience, self-awareness, and healthier relationships within ourselves and others. 

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Francesca Duarte is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team based in Orlando, FL. She covers lifestyle, human interest, adventure, and spirituality topics.