Too Responsible to Enjoy

"Einstein Eyes" by Mimi Stuart ©


I love my family, and have been loyal, dependable, responsible, and hard-working. I don’t like to complain, but it seems as though my wife enjoys and gives more of herself to her friends than to me.


Dear Responsible,

Without more details about the situation, my guess is that you could benefit from balancing responsibility with enjoying the present moment.

Responsibility is important

Being responsible and hard working are terrific qualities, in that they build self-confidence, and create order, financial security, and emotional safety. In contrast, people who are not responsible cause disappointment, frustration, and chaos in their own lives and relationships.


Sometimes, however, a good quality can become excessive and create its own problems. When people identify themselves with being hard-working and responsible, they focus excessively on the future and taking care of others. As a result of being overly preoccupied and working for the future, they may lose the ability to enjoy themselves in the present.

While people usually appreciate the loyalty and security their responsible partners offer, they may lighten up more around those who know how to enjoy themselves. People who enjoy themselves have a vitality that is very attractive.

What’s key to remember is that long-term passionate relationships require a framework of security, AND thrive on spontaneity, sensuality, and connection in the moment. Both qualities are necessary.

Enjoying oneself

Fortunately, it’s possible to balance responsibility with an ability to live in the present. The best way to learn how to hang out, laugh, and enjoy oneself is by increasing your awareness of your own energy and your energetic connection with others. People are drawn to those who can be vitally present and spontaneous—e.g., enjoy a delicious meal, linger on Saturday morning, or simply take pleasure in wearing a favorite shirt. Fun, adventure, and romance also puts you right into the present.

Responsible people should not forget to pursue their own interests. Enjoying yourself is not selfish. People love to be around others who pursue their passions.

Truly enjoying life in its small everyday moments is also a way to share the part of yourself that feels good, and results in making relationships easy and enjoyable.

I recommend seeing the French movie “The Closet” (“Le Placard”), which you can get on Netflix. A responsible, hard-working man goes unappreciated, until a series of events leads him to discover who he is, what he believes, enjoys, and desires in life. As a result, everyone around him appreciates and enjoys him much more.

by Alison Poulsen, PhD

Read “Live in the now, not in the future!”

Read “Order vs. Spontaneity; Responsibility vs. Chaos.”

Recommended References:

“The Voice Dialogue Series” (CDs), by Drs. Hal and Sidra Stone.

“The Voice of Responsibility” (CDs,) by Drs. Hal and Sidra Stone.