There are no responsibility borders in any direction.

You have to be aware of how much you can handle. Responsibility is not measurable as such and you might not realize you have taken on too much.

We are responsible for all our actions, we need to drive carefully and use a proper language to not hurt anyone. We are accountable for how we perform at our work and how we conduct in society. All those responsibilities are taken without much ado.

A stressful situation might occur when we are thrown into taking responsibility more or less against our will but in the line of a position we hold. Like if we are held answerable for someone else's actions, that we have little or no control over.

It could be a small group of people at work who are appointed to finish a job and you are set as their superior. The situation can be stressful if they: don't do what they are supposed to do, or at least not the way they are supposed to, or; (they) do not accept your rank and don't pay any respect to what you say.

How can you avoid feeling stressed in such a situation? You need to "take a step back" and examine the situation from a distans. Ask yourself which is your place in all this? And remember you do not help anyone else by taking over their duties.

Sort out who is really responsible.

  • Your superior who gave the order to you perhaps had too high expectations.
  • Your eagerness to please or win points with your superior may have blurred your good sense and made you accept the job knowing deep down it would be more than you could probably handle.
  • The members of the group who were quite irresponsible in that they didn't take their job seriously.

Proceeding from those suggestions there are three things you can do. However, stop for a moment and decide what is more important to you: that the job is well done or that you won't loose your face.

  • Talk to your boss and explain to him that his expectations are unrealistic, that you can get the job done but under slightly different circumstanses. Make sure you have an idea of how to do it.
  • If you have taken on too much responsibility tell your boss that he should get someone to replace you as you realize you don't have the necessary qualifications for the job.
  • Talk to the group, explain to them they are the ones responsible for getting the job done. Emphasize how beneficial it will be for them to do it correctly and finish in time.

What you have done is split the burdon and given it back to him/those who are just as involved as you are. And that is the only best way to do it. We should all be as accountable as we can. Which of course is much less for children, sick or elderly people.

If you feel you may not be able to perform as well as expected or as you want to and you tell that to the person who assigned the job to you, he may ask you to do it anyway. Possibly he doesn't have the time or skill to do it himself and is content if someone else will. Then the pressure on you will be radically less and you might pull it off without any problems.

As a parent we often face the extra "work" when caring for someone else's child. Now and then a child comes to play/visit one of your's. Naturally his/her parents expect you to keep an eye on the children while playing; make sure they don't ride a bike in a dangerous area or surf improper sites on the internet.

It could be wise to discuss the safety rules in advance with the parents so you know what rules the both of you have and what can be permitted in your house. Most parents appreciate you taking up the subject, and if they don't, that should send you a signal about what it might be like if your child comes to their house.

All in all, we are all responsible for how we chose to live our lives and with few exceptions, no one else should be held liable for another persons actions.

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