Do you find yourself wanting to change other people ? Do you find yourself wishing that people wouldn’t do things that way they do ? Your boss, your spouse, your children, your family ?
Don’t you just wish that sometimes, just this once, they’d do what you want them to do ?
Give it up. Its never going to happen. Not ever. So just stop thinking they will ever change.
People, in general, rarely change. Their behaviour comes from years of repeating things over and over again. Most of those things you are not in control of. You can’t change them. They are ingrained, habits, repetition and instinctive actions that are stuck for life. Other people are influenced by needs, people they interact with, habits formed over years. Influence from others and their situations. If these factors aren’t going to change any time soon, then neither are they. So why would you ever think you could change them ?
How do you do something about this, how do you change the way they interact with you and others. How do we change their habits, their thinking and their rules ?
The secret and what would seem to be the opposite action, is that we change ourselves.
Instead of doing what we normally do, we do something opposite. We say ‘Stop!’, when we would normally say ’thats OK’. We interrupt and make clear our point where normally we would say nothing, we are quiet when normally we would be loud, we are loud when normally we would stay quiet. We are happy when normally we are sad, we are confident, when once we were afraid. This is turn makes us attractive, when we would normally be perhaps unattractive.
The key to changing the behaviour of others, is to do something they don’t expect. Both in a positive and a negative way. If they expect you to do something you would normally do and you do something else they stop, or pause, to think. If they are shouting at you, and you normally shout back, don’t. See what happens. They might keep going, but at some point they’ll begin to ask themselves why you’re uncharacteristically quiet. Its this pause that makes the rules in their heads be questioned. Is this new situation better or worse than before, does it make them happier or sadder than before ? If these new behaviours in yourself change, then slowly they become accustomed to them and new expectations or rules are formed. Their behaviour changes, and before too long it becomes a new behaviour or habit for them. So as you change yourself, so others change. You can become more confident in their presence, more attractive to them, more relaxed, more charming, more important, or whatever you want. Simply make the change in yourself and you will see a change in others.
What happens if they don’t change ? Well if you’re persistent, and patient then it may take some time for them to notice. But chances are they will. Ask yourself if even after you’ve changed your behaviour, do you really value your relationship with them. Probably, you don’t, and if you don’t, then why do you put up with this. Get out. By get out, then remove yourself from this situation, a relationship, be it a friend, your boss, a significant other, stop the relationship, move jobs, or just don’t be friends. You’ll have done all you can, its just not worth it.
Changing your behaviour to change that of others is almost counterintuitive, which is why possibly its not so easy to think of this, especially in the heat of the moment, but changing the behaviour of others is actually best done by changing your own behaviour, you are in control, not them.
Whats more, you can also use this new positively as well as in negative situations. You can become more attractive to a partner. More confident, or responsible in your role. More loving, caring to a family member simply by responding differently.
Just practice this change and you’ll do it so often, you’ll begin to do it naturally, without thinking, and it will become a valuable part of your character.