Thoughts on Changing Others & How to Approach It
Sometimes, we feel the need to change others - and that's normal! It means you care. But, we also need to know that, we can't change others. Only they can do that. Having said that though, we CAN approach the conversation of change in a different light. Today's Tidbit Thursday sheds some light on just that :).
The thing is, we can't change anyone…so,
Although we can't directly "change" anyone, we can influence their decision onto their own change. Our approach is everything! The way we approach someone else's change and growth determines whether or not it will elongate the process or shorten the curve for them. Now, it can be super difficult especially when it comes to loved ones and those whom we deeply care about. We so badly want to help! I get it, I've been there too, a million times over, as I'm sure you have. But, it's important to remember that you ain't perfect, either sugar'! And, everyone is on a different journey and at different seasons and stages in life.
Try to think back to a time when you were completely different in one area of your life or habit. It was a process, right? And, at the time you were living the way you were...it felt right, right? Changing others is never about making them feel wrong, but, rather, about empowering them with knowledge, resources and empathy as to why they haven't made the change yet. A lot of why people don't take action upon change they know they should (and yes, they are most likely aware...), is because it's very hard for our brains to accept that we've been living a certain way that hasn't been conducive to the best decision we could've made up until now.
Your job is to make them feel like it's okay that in the past it was the way it was - maybe they weren't informed, they didn't have the resources, the right frame of mind, the ability to think through the change etc. Whatever it is for them, make it okay that it was that way in the past! Going forward though, empower them with tidbits of information. And, do this casually! People are more malleable in casual conversations than a serious sit down intervention (unless of course, it's required - I don't know your personal circumstance, but this is a good general rule of thumb). They will eventually come around to that once they know better, they can do better.
Another key point onto helping others change is you setting the example. When you talk the talk and walk the walk, instead of just giving advice to them - they will see the positive benefits and effects your habits or changes are making on you and your life. It will rub off on them and they will, in time, approach you.
Be patient. Know that not everyone wants to change. A lot of people are comfortable where they are. If knowledge only was the answer, everyone would be perfect, rich, have abs and be living a fabulously balanced life. Sometimes, it's not in the knowledge, it's in meeting them where they are. It's in allowing them to observe, ask questions, feel okay about the past (cognitive dissonance is a real thing my peeps and it's extremely, ridiculously powerful)!
It's in empathizing with others and sharing our stories of change where the real human connection happens. Sharing a story about when the way you were living was completely different than how you are now and what the process was for you does wonders in building rapport, too! Sharing our personal struggles in the change process or how we did a complete 360 degree turn onto something or the other makes the person you're wanting to persuade onto a change feel like it's okay that so far, they haven't made a change, either. It makes them feel like, they can begin now.
At the end of the day
All in all, after all of this though - you are not responsible for someone else's change, nor are you responsible to clean up other peoples' messes. Let it go, as hard as that is. You are a deeply caring person and that's why it's hard. But, the most caring thing you could do is: meet people where they are and allow them to independently come to the idea themselves. It has to be their idea and it has to feel like they made the decision to change. You can influence them, yes, but know that you are not responsible.
growth is an inside job
Growth is an inside job and giving advice to people who don't want to receive any, won't end well. What will end well, though, is...being there for those whom you care about and providing the support, help and resources they require to make positive change - even just igniting the flame in their mind about certain things starts the ball rolling! The spark is sometimes all people need. Most people are resourceful enough to do their own research and once they start seeing it within you, they will start to become more curious about it upon themselves. Everyone is at a different pace and not everyone has been exposed to the same knowledge at the exact same time as you.
it's in letting go where the real magic happens
If it's really bothering you, ask yourself:
"Am I allowing this persons’ habits or ways take too much power over me? or "do they truly need to make a change for the betterment of themselves?”
Have peoples' best interest in mind and they'll be able to sense you truly care. It's never about being controlling, it's about being caring. It's normal for us to feel the need to control situations and people too sometimes, we are all human and that's definitely a human thing we all have in common - it's how we've evolved. It's in letting go of control in situations where we can't control them where the real magic happens, though.
Be the spark and let go of the responsibility. Do what you can and then forget the rest. When you stop stressing out about changing others is usually when people come to you about that very thing you so badly want to change within them.
❥ Be patient and have heart in the process of it all ❥
Sending you BIG love today & always!
My whole heart, ♡
The Happiness Approach Podcast
Want inspo-on-the-go? Listen to the audio version of this blog post here ♡
In this podcast episode, I share with you some thoughts and advice on how to approach changing others in around 5 minutes!
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Today's QT's: Quote-ables & Takeaways from today's podcast episode & blog ↴
“Before you go ahead and try to change someone else, know that you're not perfect, too!”
“How to change others is that, you can't.”
“You're not here to change others, you're here to lead by example.”
“Instead of making people feel wrong, empower them.”
“It's not your responsibility to clean up other peoples' messes.”