TRI Blog

If I Could Just Get Her to Change, Then Things Would be OK

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I have a number of personal coaching clients and one theme has surfaced many times. Come to think of it, it is also prevalent in the lives of friends and relatives.

A busy attorney is scaling new professional heights but his son is investigating controlled substances and has had several brushes with the law. He knows that if he could get his son to change life would be perfect.

An entrepreneur is grappling a key-employee issue. The guy is brilliant and gets the job done. But he is also brusque and alienates everyone. Including, unfortunately, clients. If only he could get him to change…

A senior executive works long hours. When he gets home he just wants to put his feet up and relax and watch some junk on the idiot box. He was a dutiful father and chauffeured children to various activities when young. But now that they have left the house he feels entitled to his ‘relax’ time. But his wife wants to go our for dinner every day and with persons he finds intolerable. If only he could get her to change…

An extremely house-proud woman has a beautiful, almost perfectly trained dog. But he insists on latching on to the trousers of male visitors and his sharp teeth have left many holes. If only she could get the dog to modify his behavior…

We are all stuck in the same rut.

We are all trying to fix someone – children, spouses, parents, siblings, relatives, colleagues, bosses, vendors, subordinates and even pets.

Think about how you have made your well being hostage to the behavior of others. They do something and you punish yourself by becoming miserable.

They are who they are.

You can try to change them, but success is not guaranteed and failure is likely.

Accept this gracefully. You also are who you are.

Try to make changes in yourself and remember that the hunchback is oblivious to his own crook as he notes those of others.

Does this mean that you do not try to induce positive change – or what you consider to be positive change – in others?

Of course not. It simply means that when you fail, and this will happen often, you do not let it affect your equanimity.

People are different for a reason. Learn to accept and celebrate that difference.

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