Changing other people is a skill that can be learned. Here’s how…

shutterstock_220936639Today I’m going to make two recommendations that appear to be in direct conflict with each other:

Recommendation No. 1:

Don’t try to change other people. Not only does it not work; it creates resentment and distance.

Recommendation No. 2:

There are times when you need to change other people.

The reason why both are true is because you can change other people but only if they’re willing and able to change in the way you want them to.

My way of trying to change my ex-husband was by trying to nag and criticise him into submission, and making it clear he wasn’t good enough. The result was that it didn’t work, I felt resentful and he retreated!

As for my second recommendation, the health of your relationship demands that you do what it takes to get that person to change. There’s only one way to do it: to re-educate them.

Many years ago I discovered that we educate people in how to treat us. Because we do it unconsciously, the results are unsatisfactory and we end up being treated carelessly, thoughtlessly and unkindly.

Changing that behaviour requires that you first change the way you feel about yourself. Do you know, without a shadow of a doubt, that you deserve to be treated with care and consideration?

Far too many people don’t really like themselves so it wouldn’t even cross their mind that they can change unacceptable behaviour.

To begin the process, I invite you to download my FREE e-book, ‘Make Friends With Yourself’. It explains the process I developed that shows you exactly how to do this.

Once this is in place, you need to be clear about what ‘they’ are doing that makes you feel angry, hurt, frustrated or disappointed. Then you need to reflect how you would like them to treat you instead. That’s how you start to identify your personal boundaries.

Write them down in order of importance:

o Which are the things you can live with without feeling resentful?
o Which are the ones that need negotiating?  If they care about you and your relationship, they will be willing to do/stop doing whatever it is that upsets you.
o Which are the non-negotiables, the ones that you will simply not tolerate?

The next step is to clarify what you feel and why. The best way I know is to write them a letter, the kind of letter you do NOT send.

You will know when you’re ready to move to the next stage, take action. The e-book I mentioned earlier will help. Check out the principle on ‘Personal Boundaries’.

If you’re ready to create relationships that are satisfying and fulfilling, my e-book will show you how, one step at a time.

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