Do you think you’re able to change someone? I’m guessing intellectually you know you can’t. After all, how many times have you heard “The only person you can control is yourself”?
Yet you continue to think:
“Maybe if I’m nicer to her…”
“Maybe if I appease her…”
“Maybe if I ignore her…”
“Maybe if I kill her with kindness…”
Aren’t these all attempts to alter someone’s behavior?
In one of my earliest blog posts I describe how I thought I could change my husband’s ex wife’s behavior by giving her advice. It went over really well.
We can’t change someone’s behavior, values or the filter they see life through, to fit our needs.
People in high emotional conflict can’t see the good intention or hear the words that are meant to help.
In some cases we can influence, give others another perspective that may lead to insight on their behalf. But this usually happens with people we have an established relationship with; are close to and respected by.
Not quite the description of your relationship with the mom or stepmom in your life. Right?
Whatever is going on with her, it’s bigger than you.
Release yourself from this burden. Lighten your load.
Honor your own moral standard as best you can and repeat to yourself “I am not responsible for her actions.“
Focus on what is your responsibility (at least partly) – the dynamic in your household. Make changes as you see fit.
Less worrying. More laughing.
Less stress. More fun.
Less anger. More love.
Real, lasting change will only come from within. What sort of change are you looking for?
© 2011 Jenna Korf All Rights Reserved
(Photo credit: Tina Phillips)