“I haven’t got the slightest idea how to change people, but still I keep a long list of prospective candidates just in case I should ever figure it out.”
One of life’s mysteries is how we can change people. American comedian David Sedaris mentions this in his quote. He says he has no idea how to change people but has a long list of people he is hoping to do just that if he ever figures out how to. Unfortunately this will probably be one of life’s unsolved mysteries. It is also one of those things that will forever be something we will never have control over. We can’t change people and how they think, feel about something and even how they act. Often times this is what either makes or breaks a friendship, a relationship. This doesn’t mean it is impossible as all hope is not lost.
Lifehack’s Nancy Fulda wrote about 12 Ways To Help Someone Change. These ways can be used in an effort to help them change without feeling like they are under a microscope and being ridiculed:
1. Recognize that This is Not Your Decision (As the saying goes “you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink”)
2. Accept Imperfections (We all have them and we need to encourage not discourage them in wanting to change)
3. Modulate your Own Emotions (Remove your own emotions from the situation because it is not about you. It’s about them)
4. Listen (Don’t judge. Try to understand their perspective.)
5. Change Yourself First (Sometimes in order to have true change both sides within a relationship has to be willing to make their own adjustments)
6. Be an Example (If you have the desire for them to change in a certain way model that behavior in how you conduct yourself)
7. Avoid Criticism (Empathize, don’t criticize)
8. Use “I” Statements (“I feel uncomfortable when you say things like that”; “I” statements open the door towards communication)
9. Find the Courage to Speak (Express how you feel otherwise they will never know to change)
10. Express Unconditional Love (Show love and support so that they know you care about them and their own well being)
11. Hold Firm to Your Convictions (Stand by in the things that you believe in)
12. Be Patient (Remember Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is getting someone to change.)
Using any of these 12 ways will put you and those you are hoping will change on a path towards solving this mystery once and for all.
What does this quote mean to you and how can you apply today’s message towards developing your relationship skills?