Are you thinking “if only” he (or she) would do what I want I’d be so happy?
It’s the most ridiculous human behavior. We continuously attempt to change people without getting any result. We keep banging our heads against the wall and nothing changes- zero, zilch, nada. But that doesn’t stop us.
I guess that’s where Albert Einstein got his famous quote.
“Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
I thought that was an AA original but then realized, it’s not only addicts and alcoholics who live like that- most people do too.
If we behaved in our careers that way, we would never achieve our goals. However, when it comes to our relationships we do it all the time. We want people to change, we tell them exactly how to change, and yet they never do.
The expectation of wanting someone to be different never goes away. The other person may agree to a temporary behavioral adjustment as a result of our pointing out how “we think they should be.” That doesn’t mean they will be able to sustain it. Sometimes they will adjust simply to keep us quiet, please us or maybe they really want to change.
Change comes from a deep place within each person. It’s an internal conversation between a person and his or her own soul. (tweetable)
What it boils down to is one thing… reality. I must wake up, give myself a gentle slap across my face, and realize…
I can only change myself: the way I think, act, and speak towards the people I want to change.
Here are some tips to put into action TODAY to start changing yourself:
1. Watch your words.
The old saying “think before you speak” still holds true. Slow down and ask yourself, “How would I feel if someone said that to me?” I have to taste my words before I spit them out. What will happen if I say what I’m thinking? Is there a better way to say this that will result in a positive outcome?
2. Respect differences and opinions.
Every person thinks his or her opinion is important. Instead of jumping in with “No! I disagree. You’re wrong.” Take a minute to realize the other person thinks there is right on and valuable too. Try to respect what someone else is saying, especially if you disagree with it.
3. Look for the positive hiding behind the negative.
Each character trait has a positive and negative side to it. Your structured and organized husband/wife/partner might plan an awesome summer vacation, but can be a real pain when he/she wants the refrigerator kept in order like a filing cabinet. If you are a disorganized and creative person, and your partner is structured and organized, don’t expect them to change. Simply look to see how those traits benefit you. Ask yourself that question? How does this annoying behavior make my life better?
REMEMBER: If your relationships are happy, you will be too.
Let’s make peace in our lives, especially now.
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