Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Making Others Change

Have you ever been in relationship with someone and thought "If I could just get them to change this"? Maybe it was a personality trait, something they said all the freaking time, a bad habit. We can even give you the benefit of the doubt and say that maybe it wasn't even for selfish reasons.  Maybe it was that you could see a behavior in them that you knew was going to get them into trouble down the road, and you just wanted to save them from that. (Ok, maybe it was just that it bugged you and you wanted it to go away.)

But the truth is that you can only change your own character, not someone else's.  Think about that for a minute.

You can only change your 
own character.

When I began to really internalize that, it was hugely freeing for me.  I didn't realize until recently that I'm a bit codependent. I often feel like it's my job to "fix things"... or people even, I guess.  I suppose this goes back a long way... I've always felt, in my family, that it was my job to make sure everything was okay.  My dad used to call me Perry Mason because I would so go to-bat for my sisters to make sure they were alright.  I think that's continued into today.  Maybe not so much the "Perry Mason" part, but the feeling responsible for everyone.

But, I'm not.  I'm not responsible for everyone.  You're not responsible for everyone. It's unhealthy for us to make ourselves responsible for everyone.

When I am tempted to change people because I think they should change (whether that's right or wrong), or when I find myself emotionally obsessing over it, I remind myself "This is not your job.  You can only change you."

It at least helps.


  1. i was always the "perry" in my family too--it is so freeing not to be huh :)

  2. I have the hardest time letting my family be in these situations I always seem to think I know just the best way for them to do soemthing. Letting go and learning to let them make their own mistakes and own grand ideas has been hard but worth it in the long run.

  3. Yeah, doesn't work, does it? I have a hard enough time dealing with my own things that annoy me.

    1. LOL No doubt... sometimes it seems easier to just yell at other people about THEIR annoying things, but it never does much good, does it?


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