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5 Ways to Change Someone

September 18, 2008

At some point in just about every relationship, we notice something about our partners that maybe we wish we could change. For some people, it could be something small, such as cleaning up after oneself more – for others, it could be something more serious – wishing a partner would be more supportive or a better listener for example.

The truth of the matter is it is almost impossible to change people. Some people don’t want to change, others might have something they can’t change. No matter what help they try to get or life coaching you give them, it’s not enough if they do not have the desire to change. It’s usually not as easy to just tell him or her “I wish you could do this, or I wish you could do that.” While it’s good to be honest about what you like and don’t like, often enough just saying something isn’t enough.

So what can you do if you want to change something about your partner? How can you change someone who doesn’t want to change? Think about this for a minute:

You can’t change someone else, but you CAN change yourself.

While you can’t change an apple into an orange, a caterpillar CAN change into a butterfly if it has the right environment. It’s funny, but changing yourself can actually have much better results than anything you try to do to get someone else to change.

Here are some ways YOU can change to help you change someone else:

1. Check Your Attitude: If you’re constantly negative or have an attitude about things your partner does, chances are it only negatively reinforces the behavior of the person who you wish could change. By becoming more of the attitude you wish your partner had, you can sometimes see it rub off on the other person.

2. Watch Your Reactions: Changing the way you react to things your partner does can also help change his or her behavior. If you automatically become snappy towards your partner for everything he or she does, it’s likely he or she will also do this. On the other hand, if you remain neutral or react positively, it can improve communication and the way your partner also reacts.

3. Be More Giving: The more you give to your partner and your relationship, the more you are likely to receive. Relationships take a lot of work – like most things working is the path to success. Giving your partner the things you wish he or she gave you can inspire him or her to give back. It doesn’t have to be anything major – watching the kids, a backrub, doing one of his or her chores, a hug…

4. Compliment the Good: Anytime your partner does the things you like or want, make sure you let your partner know how much you appreciate it. Positive reinforcement can do wonders for encouraging the good behavior to replace the bad.

5. Let Go: Holding grudges, being picky about every little thing, or being resentful towards your partner’s behavior will not help you or your partner. Being open minded and letting go of all the things he or she does to drive you crazy makes it easier to focus on things that are really important.

If you’ve been struggling with your relationship, doing these simple things to better yourself can drastically improve the situation and how to two of you interact with each other. It’s not possible to change others, but if you be the change you wish to see, there’s a good prognosis for success.

What are your thoughts? Share them in the comments below!

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