The ONLY chance you have to change another human being is to change yourself. The only way to change another person's behavior is to change your own.
YOU are contagious... are you spreading joy or misery... or?
These thoughts started with a conversation I was having with one of my nephews. Life is tough... you cannot change the people around you... and it's especially difficult when you're basically stuck with the people around you. I learned a while back(heard it many times before I started to actually learn it) that you cannot change anyone. You ONLY have power over YOU. You are the only person you actually have any control over.
This is something that I am STILL needing to learn and work on... a LOT.
Anyway... I was having this discussion about life and such with my nephew and I said to him that he couldn't change those around him... and that the ONLY way he had ANY chance to change someone around him was by changing himself.
I don't remember the exact words I used but I remembered just as the words came out of my mouth that, it sounded like something I could have put in a book or something... A "quote" I hope I remember... (who knows if I'll ever write any books)
I TRY not to quote TOO much scripture at my nephew but... whether you believe in God or not, there's a LOT of wisdom in that book. You simply cannot argue that.
Anyway... Something I didn't think of then, and so didn't share, was the passage from Proverbs 15...
"A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger."
There's SO much wisdom in there... in the entire chapter really.
But this is the sort of thing I was trying to relay to my nephew... and, to everyone(including myself).
Stop and picture this if you will...(better yet, TRY it out sometime)
You're in an argument with someone... someone's yelling at you, etc...
Collect yourself and respond to them as peacefully as you possibly can.
Think of the possibilities. Picture someone yelling at you for making a mistake. Think about their response as you angrily tell them how dumb they are... or something THEY did... Now think about their response if you sincerely and calmly say "I'm sorry, I made a mistake... I will try harder not to do that again".
Obviously, you're not going to overcome EVERY person and situation with this behavior but I promise, it would make a HUGE difference.
It is extremely difficult(especially if you've never tried it) to practice this.
I'll be blunt and honest and use my own life experiences...
My wife and I have struggled a bit over the years. We both have some growing to do still but we've come a long way... Over the years, there have been times where we have fought over things. We BOTH get stuck thinking the other person isn't listening...(actually, as I think about this situation, I can think of a few siblings that struggle with this as well). As we feel we're not being heard, we simply try harder and harder to get OUR point across. We(many of us) focus SO much on getting the other person to hear us that, we often don't hear them...
With my wife and I... If she's upset about something and is verbally showing her frustration... it frustrates me(again, something I need to work on, not her...) Eventually, I might say something... If I do, she might say something back... and, well... you know where that can go... and quickly. Before you know it, we might be yelling or insulting each other. This has happened for sure.
Now... One day... I was feeling that pressure building. My wife was having a bad day. I was feeling all the feelings I normally do... anger, frustration, fear. I felt she was blaming me for things... that she was taking things out on me that I didn't deserve... etc. I was getting REALLY worked up inside.
I cannot say why or how... but, I walked over to her and just held her. Just a big hug and I didn't let go. She started to cry... and after a minute said "I'm sorry".
I promise... if I had simply engaged her with how my mind was responding inside... the situation would have escalated instead of calming. BIG BIG difference.
So... The saying is that, you cannot change anyone... Really... I could not "control" my wife in any of those situations... BUT... by controlling ME during the situations... I definitely have an impact on what happens next. Seems like the words in Proverbs(written thousands of years ago) are true.
YOU can have a BIG impact on those around you. It's easy to not see just how much... But everything we do... every choice we make... every word we speak... it ALL has an impact on the people around us.
You really cannot change another person but you already influence everyone around you in one way or another. Just how do you want to influence them? Think about it.
So... if there are people in your life that have behaviors you don't like... there are only two things you can do with that...
1. You can stop and think about where it comes from...
2. You can change the way YOU respond to that behavior.
Respond... don't react.(I'm certain I'm not the first to say that...)
This can apply to SO many relationships. Friends or family... coworkers... etc.
I have written before about romantic relationships and how today, we have a LOT of people(an entire society) that is being taught to be selfish... to get EVERYTHING they want and "deserve". People today want the perfect man or woman and spend little, if any, time perfecting themselves.
I see people "falling in love" over and over again. "This is the greatest person I have ever met..." Then a few months later... divorced, again.
Not the point I set out to make, and I've written this before, but I promise... when you spend time focusing on you and how to better yourself... you will see change in others AND... if you're single... Better people will be drawn to you. If you spend more time creating the best you possible... well, I could go on...
But, I think this is getting long.
To the best of your abilities... be at peace with all people......
(another thing I do need a little work on......)
Peace my friends...
Sort of like my blog, only not a blog.
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