Most of the people we’re surrounded by every day – our loved ones, friends, colleagues, neighbors, etc. – have flaws. There are things in their behavior, appearance and way of thinking that we want to change.
Some of the stuff they do annoys us, we don’t agree with their opinion on particular topics, we don’t like some of their habits. And all of this prevents us from enjoying their company, appreciating them for who they are, accepting them and being good to them.
Eventually, that brings disappointment and discontent in our lives, makes the other person feel bad, and ruins our relationship.
And this is a result of us wanting to change them.
Why would we take an individual, someone that’s already a part of our life, who’s already perfect in his own unique way, and try to change him so that he can answer our expectations and be who we imagine him to be?
Isn’t that selfish?
Of course it is.
And if we stop for a moment and think about it, we’ll realize how ridiculous this desire of ours is.
Trying to change others is an awful thing to do.
We live with an ideal of how another person must behave and whenever he doesn’t do what we expect, we’re disappointed.
We don’t let him be who he is and try hard to change him. But when we do, he becomes another person and is different from the one we loved/became friends with/ had something in common with.
And we’re still not satisfied.
So let’s see how we can turn that process around and have great relationships:
9 Ways to Stop Trying to Change People
1. Let go of ideals.
Why would you have your own version of who others should be at all?
You can’t decide how they need to live their lives, you can only choose who to be in yours and accept him for who he is.
2. Respect their individuality.
Those around you are individuals, just like you.
They are unique human beings and have their own way of thinking. Everyone sees the world in his own way. It’s not right or wrong, it’s just different.
All the people in your life are complex mixtures of opinions, emotions, values, knowledge, experience, dreams, interests and goals.
Don’t change that! It’s taken them so long and so much to get here. Respect that!
3. Focus on their good sides.
Flaws are inevitable, but why focus on that?
Instead, see the good in others. Only this little change can make you so much more happier. And without changing anything in them, you’ll start appreciating and enjoying who they are.
4. Put yourself in their shoes.
Everyone is fighting a battle.
Most of the people you see every day have been through a lot, and this explains why sometimes they act bad, can’t trust you, are rude, want to be alone, etc.
You never know what’s going on in their life, so keep that in mind next time you start judging.
Their problems may be bigger that you expect.
Often people have money issues, are hurt, have a disease, or else, but don’t tell anyone about it.
So don’t try to change them, don’t take it personally if they behave in a way you don’t like.
5. Be compassionate.
The best way to show understanding, love and acceptance is through compassion.
This will help both you and the other person no matter what the situation is.
6. Be grateful for having them.
Whatever it is that you want to change in them, it can be put aside.
Meanwhile, thank them for being here, appreciate who they are.
After all, they too have decided to be part of your life, to stick around, to put effort in keeping this relationship.
If you tell yourself that each time you’re with them, you’ll start seeing them as the blessings they are.
And soon all the things you don’t like about them won’t matter anymore.
7. Remember why they were important to you in the first place.
Maybe they are your family, you became friends, met under interesting circumstances, have spent quality time together, had a lot in common once, or else.
Go back to that time and remind yourself of the things that made you decide to make them part of your life.
They’ve done things for you, made sacrifices, dedicated their time and spent it with you.
And that’s enough to be thankful for.
8. Accept them and everything they do.
Stop trying to change things and interfere. Let everyone be who he is and accept his view, opinion, actions and behavior.
That will make your life so much easier, will simplify your relationship and both you and the other person will be free to do what you think is best.
9. Stop comparing.
Wanting to change someone means not agreeing with him, not approving his way of living life.
And that’s a result of comparing him to yourself.
But why should he be anything like you?
He wants other things in life, has a different approach and other stuff is important to him.
So let him follow his own path. Let him make mistakes and fail. That’s how everyone learns, grows and eventually succeeds.
Now you see why trying to change people is a bad thing. It’s actually a flaw of ours and something to work on.
You can lead a great life, have healthy relationships and make the best of each day that’s given to you by letting go of all judgment, comparison, ideals and expectations that concern other people.
Instead, let them be who they are, accept, be compassionate and enjoy every minute you get to spend with them.
That’s how life becomes a beautiful journey full of love, peace and contentment.
Are there people in your life you want to change? What is it that you don’t like about them? How do you deal with it
Lidiya K. is a writer and blogger in the fields of self-improvement, life hacking, human potential and minimalism. She’s the creator of Let’s Reach Success , where her mission is to motivate and inspire and think of creative and unusual ways to overcome fear, procrastination, insecurity, clutter, failure, overthinking, discontent and much more.
How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.