How many times have you caught yourself trying to change things that the other person does or says?
You can tell me, I won’t tell anyone…
In today’s post I want to explain how to stop trying to change the other, and how to use the relationship as for your own personal growth.
- 1 The illusion of changing the other
- 2 6 ways to stop trying to change others (and how to make the most of relationships to discover things about yourself)
The illusion of changing the other
I tried to change my parents for several years, especially my mother. I didn’t like the way she reacted to different situations.
And I used to give her different options…
With my partner, I wanted him to be more this or less that, but the fact was that I was pretty sure about how I wanted him to be.
Does this sound familiar?
I guess that if anything similar happened to you, you’ll have already seen that even if you try to change another, it doesn’t work.
Because a person will only change… if he wants to.
And this “want” has to be true, it has to come from themselves.
It doesn’t work if he or she wants to change, for you.
It doesn’t work if he or she wants to change, to play a role for you.
Because his or her commitment won’t last.
And there are people who feel that they are good just as they are, why should they change?
The fact that you don’t like them, doesn’t mean that they have to change.
You can NOT change OTHERS.
Neither you, nor I, nor anyone.
Because everyone can choose what they want for themselves.
So, don’t insist.
But you can change yourself.
Use your relationship with others as an opportunity to LEARN.
6 ways to stop trying to change others (and how to make the most of relationships to discover things about yourself)
1. Tell him what you don’t like
This is the first step.
If you don’t tell the other what you don’t like, how will they know?
They do not mind readers!
Remember the famous phrase I’ve told you in several posts, when you talk about what you don’t like to say:
“When you do or say … X … I feel … .Y”
Speaks from your own perspective, from what happens to you, but without attacking the other.
You can tell the other the things they do which you don’t like, but keeping in mind that the other can choose to keep doing them or not.
2. Focus on yourself
If you get this step, you’re halfway down the road.
Try to figure out, why does the other’s behavior bothers me so much?
What’s happening to YOU with what the other says or does?
How do you feel?
What’s behind the “I don’t like” or “the other has a problem”?
3. Observe your behavior
Here’s a simple example:
Imagine that “you don’t like it when the other interrupts you when you’re talking.”
Think about the following questions:
- Do you listen to him without interrupting him when he is speaking?
- When they interrupt you, what do you do?
- Do you continue answering their interruptions or do you keep quiet?
- How do you behave before what you don’t like?
Because sometimes, our behavior or reactions, can sustain the problem.
4. Change your strategy
If you tell them not to interrupt, but they continue to do so, don’t tell them anymore and DO something different.
What could YOU do differently?
- Don’t get angry
- Stop answering
- Keep quiet and look into their eyes
- Define a time for you to speak
- Not want to talk until they let you finish
- Not acknowledge the interruption
- Understand it as a debate in which everyone wants to say their opinion
- You could…
There are a thousand things you could do or change by only focusing your attention on YOURSELF.
5. Accept the other as they are
People are like they are.
What you have to value is how much of how they are, you like, and how much you don’t.
But you have to do this assessment NOW, at this moment.
Don’t lie to yourself thinking about a future in which he or she will change.
From 0 to 100, how much do you like how that person is in general?
50%? 75%? 80%?
Set a number.
6. If you can’t accept them, let them go
If the percentage of things you DON’T like from that person is higher than the things you do LIKE,
What are you doing with that person?
Find someone else who has a higher percentage of what you like.
Don’t ruin your life by trying to change the other, because you’re not going to achieve it.
They’ll change if they want to. It’s a personal choice.
But if you don’t like how they are,
What are you waiting for to find the person you do like AS THEY ARE?
If the relationship is with your parents, you obviously can’t “leave” them as you would with a friendship or a romantic relationship.
In this case, try to enjoy what you like about them and find ways to manage what you don’t.
I hope this post helped you, so you can stop fighting with what you can’t fight and learn to focus on what you can.
If you have any questions, write it in the comments.