#25 – Part 2 Accountability & Intimacy: Who Decides Whether You’re Being Accountable?

What do you do if someone is trying to hold you accountable, but you don’t think you’ve done anything to be accountable for? What if you don’t feel sorry or remorseful for a minor mistake that you’ve made? What if someone is using accountability as a weapon and using it as a tool to blame, punish, or shame you? Accountability can be a confusing, complex, and messy topic, and this episode will answer all these questions—and more.

Biggest Takeaways From Episode #25:

  • When someone confronts you about something, you need to determine whether you have the same perception that you have acted in a boundaryless, offensive, or boundary-violating manner.
  • Everyone has sensitivities and vulnerabilities that we may not know about. Another person may take offense and feel pain about something we say or do even though we had no intention of causing harm.
  • It’s possible to weaponize accountability and use it as a tool to punish or shame other people. If you’re in a situation where someone is using accountability as a weapon against you or you use accountability as a weapon, I recommend listening to Episode 19 (When They Go Low . . . We Go Lower) to learn how to respond.
  • Must accountability be followed by contrition or remorse? The answer goes back to whether you agree that you needed to be held accountable. If you made a minor mistake or you simply don’t believe that you’ve done anything for which you need to be accountable, you may not feel remorse at all. Keep in mind that some people may not show remorse even when they feel it.

Highlights from Episode #25:

  • In Episode 22, Vicki talked about accountability and intimacy. This episode is a follow-up to the previous episode, and an answer to a blog follower’s question about accountability and remorse. [00:46]
  • Vicki shares an example from her own life when no offense was intended. [03:57]
  • Everyone has certain vulnerabilities and things that they’re sensitive about, Vicki explains. [08:29]
  • We learn more about what it looks like when someone uses accountability as a weapon, and what to do if someone uses accountability as a weapon against you. [10:13]
  • Vicki addresses a question that was submitted to her on her blog: “does accountability need to be followed by contrition?” [13:57]
  • It’s not helpful for us to have outsized shame responses or pain when we’re essentially being human, Vicki points out. [19:51]

Links and Resources:


Hi, I'm Victoria!

I love guiding my clients on a journey of Returning to the authentic truth of who they are, Reclaiming what is theirs, and Receiving everything that is meant for them.


  1. JoAnn N on August 31, 2018 at 9:18 pm

    Hi Vicki,
    Thank you for your work and making your pod casts available. I tune in weekly since reading your book and starting an in house separation from my hus and of 13 years. This separation has been for 4 months so far this time. He recently went to his family reunion with out me, both agreeing since we are not functioning as a couple at this time. Using your 5 step boundary solution, the
    Story in my head was that he would again tell family members that I was not there because I was visiting my parents “who are old” like he did when he went to my step grandsons baptism without me the month before in another state. I was visiting my parents, but that is not why I wasnt at the baptism or reunion)
    I didn’t feel he was taking accountability and would again blame my not being there because I was visiting my parents instead of facing up to the fact that we are separated and not functioning as a couple because of his betrayal and addiction.

    I requested that he take ownership and be accountable if family members asked as to why I was not there with him. He asked me what I wanted him to say. I told him that was not my job to tell him and that he should prayerfully consider what to say if or when people ask where I was. He agreed. He said he inspired as to what he would say.

    I have two questions:
    1- I’ll admit that I was angry and hurt that he used that as an excuse when he went to the baptism but I was calm and talked to him respectfully when I made the request. I had no intention of shaming him but after listening to your pod cast #25 I wonder if my wanting him to be more honest is using accountability as a weapon?

    My second question is… do I have the right to ask if anyone asked about me not being there and if he was accountable?

    I tried to identify my motive for wanting to know this and I have accepted that what other people think of me is none of my business. I do however feel that in our once per month meeting I would like a report back on this. My therapist says that I need to stop investing more in the relationship than he does and collect information only and allow him time and space to share information with me. But I typically don’t get much information from him unless I take the initiative to ask for specifics.

    okay I said only two questions but I have a third question. I have your outline for a couple’s meeting who are in separation and would love to get that information from him during our meeting. Remember, we have been working on this for over 6 years. This separation he has said he is doing his work because HE wants to, not for me, or others. Our therapist seems to think that if he were in a healthy place he would automatically share that information. My experience is that he does not share that information unless I ask for it. But this time around I am not to take the role of his rescuer, his mother, or savior and just collect information and see where his feet take him, not just hearing lip service. Im not even getting much lip service when we meet. So does that mean he’s not in a healthy place and is not doing the necessary recovery work? Or, does he need to be given that outline with an explanation of what I need to know?

    Thank you for your consideration in this matter.

    • Vicki Tidwell Palmer on September 5, 2018 at 9:08 am

      Hi JoAnn, these are great, and complex, questions! Let me take a deeper look at each one, and I will answer either in a future episode or on the blog.

      (If you’re finding that you need more support and guidance navigating through these kinds of issues, I invite you to join my Survive & Thrive Membership Community. You can find all the details and join online here.)

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