If I knew how to change someone to do something I wanted them to do, I would sell that and make billions of dollars. More often than not, one of my clients presents a problem that involves someone else’s behavior. A mother-in-law who stops over too often, a boyfriend who is always late, a partner who isn’t romantic enough- any of these events leads to frustration and hurt. What I encourage them and you to do is make your request. Many times, part of the issue is that the other person does not know that you want them to do something, or stop doing something, for that matter. Even if it seems obvious to you, often times other people do not think like you do.
After your request has been made, I encourage you to be okay emotionally whether they honor your request or not. What?!? Many of my clients struggle with this at first, but then find this concept very empowering. It is perfectly reasonable to make a request that your mother-in-law to call before she comes over, for your boyfriend to come on time, or for your partner to leave you a love note from time to time. Remember that whether they decide to honor this request has nothing to do with you. It has everything to do with them. What you can do is choose to love them and enjoy their company as they are. This helps decrease the drama and frustration.
Being on time might be very important to you, but that doesn’t mean it is important to someone else. When we get upset every time they are late, we are putting our emotions in their hands. When they are late, you become upset, and this leaves you powerless to their behavior. In order for you to feel okay, the other person has to be on time. Guess what? Most people do not change their behavior even when we ask them to. Importantly, other people’s behaviors have no impact on us emotionally until we think about it and choose to make in mean something. No matter what people do, act or say, we don’t have to give them the power to determine how we feel. This is a game changer!
Think about someone in your life and think of two things that you want them to do because if they did, it would make you feel so awesome. Next, really contemplate what you would be thinking and feeling if this person did these two things happily without being prompted. Really sit with this, close your eyes and imagine them doing these two things. Can you identify the main thought you would have if they did these two things consistently? My challenge to you is to consider that that thought is available to you now without others having to do these two things. You can feel better on your own. You can decide: I’m not going to let anyone else’s behavior determine how I feel. We are all responsible for our emotional lives because only our thoughts can create our feelings. We get to decide how we want to think, feel, and behave even when someone else does or doesn’t do something that isn’t to our liking. Take your power back.
“To love someone is to strive to accept that person exactly the way he or she is, right here and now”-Mr. Rodgers
Make no mistake this does not mean that you cannot communicate your needs and desires to someone and create limits when someone violates an emotional or physical boundary, but it does mean that you take full responsibility for how you think and feel in any situation. Make your requests and communicate your wants, but do not be dependent emotionally if the request is not met. You get to feel however you want no matter what anyone else does or doesn’t do. I think you will find that your experiences with others will be more relaxed and less dramatic because you are open to letting the people around you be who they truly are without requiring them or sometimes manipulating them to behave in a particular way. Letting go of these expectations can be hard at first, but turn empowering in the long run. Give it a try, even for just a period of time and watch your relationships, or at least your experience in them, thrive.
If you are struggling with upset in an important relationship that you don’t want to see end but cannot find a way to feel better, reach out for a consultation call with me and I will help you @ https://mindyourstrengthcoaching.as.me/schedule.php