Who Can You Change?

If you could change one person in your life right now, who would it be? In your head, picture that person smiling. Thank them for who they are and for the lessons that they teach you about yourself.

That person you’d like to change – you can’t change them. No one can change anyone other than themselves. The people you’d like to change can teach you a great deal about yourself and your patterns.  Remember this post about how to change how others treat you?

You can’t change someone else, but you can control how often you see them. If the person is someone you can’t (or don’t want to) limit interactions with – like a spouse or family member then be sure to read the post mentioned above. Also, in some cases the difficulty is the result of a series of miscommunications. Check that you’re not reacting to a tone the other person might not even realize they have. Also check that you’re not reacting to an assumption you (or the other person) made.

You can’t change someone else – you can change your response to them. If you notice that you tend to react in a certain way when with one person in particular – notice when you’re reacting in that way and consciously chose to behave differently. I used to find myself feeling attacked and getting very mad when I was around one person. I couldn’t avoid him, but I could change my behavior. So, one time when I found myself heading down the path of feeling attacked and getting angry, I consciously choose to stay calm and answer each question calmly, accurately and concisely. Much to my surprise, he matched my tone (instead of me matching his) and calmed down.

Where in your life can you take control of your reactions?