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Therapists and authors of some books about self-help and new-age awareness may tell you that you cannot change other people you can only change yourself. Whilst there is some truth in this is not entirely accurate. Trying to get anyone else to change so that we (rather than them) are the ones who benefit from the change is what is impossible.
For a start every therapist, teacher and author on self-help and self awareness is in the profession of helping or encouraging other people to make changes in their life. A therapist who was ineffective getting anybody to change would not remain in business very long. Of course the training that the therapist undergoes is about the do's and don'ts, the right and wrong ways of getting other people to make changes in their life.
The truth is that it is very hard for us to get other people to change unless we go about it in a particular way. One of the essential requirements before we can get anyone else to change is that the person has to want to change and can see benefits for themselves in making these changes.
As every therapist knows changing is uncomfortable, even painful. People only change when the discomfort of being stuck where they are is greater than the discomfort of making the change. Like a good therapist you can tell people about the changes you want, explain why they will benefit from changing and encourage them to change. But stop short of applying pressure to make it happen just the way or at the time when you want it to happen.
Another Myth is about Waiting and Wanting - the myth that I can’t be happy until I get the other person to change (but then I’ll be happy).
Believing that I will feel better or my life will improve only after I get the other person to change (the way I want them to) is often a sign that you too have some serious issues to deal with.
On the other hand it’s OK to want other people to change and It’s OK to tell them what you would like them to change to explain why you want it and ask for them to change. But the other person needs to see benefits for themselves before they will feel motivated to make the change.
The greatest mistakes we all make at the start of a new relationship:
ABOUT MY PAST
1. I want all the bad bits in my past repaired or fixed up
2. If you love me you will help me to do this
3. If you don’t help me, my past won’t get fixed up
4. That means you don’t love me
ABOUT MY FUTURE
1 I want to make sure there are far fewer bad bits in my future
2. If you love me you will want to help me with this
3. The best way you can help me is for you to change
3. If you wont change for me, my future will stay the same as my past
4. That means you don’t love me
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