You Cannot Change Others

Sometimes, the habits or behaviours of loved ones causes uneasiness, discomfort or loathing.

A spouse wants their partner to stop smoking. Parents want their children to stop playing video games. Children want to spend time with their workaholic parents.

To achieve your desires, you attempt to change others. You punish the other for bad behaviour by scolding, nagging or forced deprivation. Or you incentivise the other for better behaviour by bribing, praising or rewarding.

Eventually, you realise neither punishing nor incentivising works. When you punish, you push people away. When incentives stop, people revert back to their habits and bad behaviours.

The thing is, you cannot change others. When you want to change others, you don't accept them as who they are. Likewise, if someone tries to change you, they don't accept you.

You can only change yourself. Change yourself by first accepting yourself. With self-acceptance, you learn to  better embrace others as they are. Acceptance helps keep our communications clear and encourages us to speak our truths.

Learn self-acceptance. Then you needn't change the habits and behaviours of others.

Inspired by The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz