Don’t Try To Change Others
May 12, 2022
Whether you are a busy business executive dealing with a colleague who never sticks to deadlines, a frustrated customer seeking a response to repeated complaints, or a parent trying to get your teenager to be more compliant, we often find ourselves caught in situations where we feel that other people’s actions negatively affect us.
For most of us, the natural reaction to these situations is to demand that the other person change their behavior.
Sadly, the reality is that most people will not change, at least not when we want them to. But, for some reason, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, we get caught in this illusion that we can change the other person. This obsession with making the other person operate to our expectations is often a cause of deep frustration.
So, how do we solve this issue that causes us frustration? How can we make ourselves feel better when others refuse to change?
Simple- by accepting that you can’t make someone behave or act the way you want unless they want to.
As long as we believe that the other person MUST behave or act differently, we will continue to experience deep frustration. If we can get over this obsession that someone must behave as per our expectations, we will release ourselves from the feelings of clinginess and frustration.
You may now wonder, ” but this does not solve my problem. The other person’s actions are creating an issue for me.”
Here is the point. Once you acknowledge that the other person will behave in a way that you may not like but cannot do anything about it, you can begin to look beyond the person and pursue alternatives.
- Instead of depending on the person to do the all-important task, you will assign it to someone else, or if the person is the only one you have to rely on, you will seek options to replace the person with someone else.
- Instead of getting into unending arguments with your teenage kid about their behavior, you will seek out alternative approaches. Maybe the kid has a point of view that you are not paying attention to, or perhaps your behavior is triggering the aggressive posture.
The key point is to make peace with the fact that no one can make the other person behave differently unless they want to. When you accept this simple truth, you will feel less stressed and frustrated when you encounter people not acting as per your expectations.