A colleague sent this to me recently and thought to share it.
Dear loved one,
Whenever we try to change others around, we tend to run into bigger problems than we can imagine from the onset. We generally seek to change people through acts of manipulations, criticisms, orders, threats, or rewards when they take on strange behaviours. This week conduct this test in a safe environment by intentionally telling someone: what they are doing is wrong and there is no hope for them to change in anyway. They will suddenly become quiet, resent you, gossip about you, or purposefully do what you said not to do. So we always seek to try to change people, but rarely succeed. We expect people to suddenly change while we remain unchanged. People develop rigid perspectives on money, family, work, emotions, and their relationships and create severe friction that can destroy a relationship. Can you identify with these thoughts: “If my co-worker stopped…then I’d be able to…?” “If my son stopped…then I could…” “My partner should…then I’d feel…” I’ll give you an if-statement to remember: if you don’t change, you have no right to expect people to change.
We love to judge others and our judgments can be criticism, labelling, diagnosing, and praising. We criticize (You are no good at helping me), label (“You are stupid), diagnose (Stop being rude because you didn’t get what you wanted), and praise (You are the sweetest person for doing that even when it’s obvious that the person didn’t measured up). Each judgment has its own problems but we must learn not to judge others so that we won’t be judged. Remember with the same cynicism we take in judging others, we will be judged because of the law of sowing and reaping. We should all learn to treat people with hope, love and faith to see the desired change over time. Love is patient, kind, not puffed up, does not behave rudely, thinks no evil and believes the best of everyone.
Makes me wonder what it is with us humans and trying to change the other person. We seem so set in our ways when we feel someone is wrong or needs to change.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying if you think or discover a bad behaviour in another person you shouldn’t talk. It is the way we go about it that makes me wonder. I used WE cause I am also guilty. We always think we need to be blunt/straight/factual/unwavering/strict when telling the other person they are wrong or need to change. Yes. Once in a while it is needed. But most times, when we are talking to the other person, we are not exactly being straight or factual. We are not exactly trying to talk to the person to “change”. We just want to force the other person to be like ourselves; to change to suit what we think or feel is right. We always tend to want the other person to be like us; so if I think this person isn’t like me (guess it is an unconscious thing though), I begin to tell the person he or she has some characters that aint good (might be true and might not be true that the person has some bad characters) .
And then when we even really are sure this person needs to change something, we just open our mouths and talk. I think first before we talk to others, we need to check ourselves. Am I also guilty of what am accusing the other person of? If not, are there other things I also need to work on myself? Am I talking cause I really feel the person needs to change or just so I make the person feel bad? How am I going to say it such that the person actually gets the message and isn’t thinking something else? (Sure there would be times the other person would no matter how hard you try think otherwise, but you have done your part).
Let’s learn to talk to each other in love. Let’s learn to respect others (especially their feelings). No two people are the same. What you tell one person and they change might be what the other person might take as something else. Like I love to tell people, if you think am wrong or there is something I need to change, please talk. I might and might not change. It might be your “speech” that would change things and it might not be (cause some other people might also have been on my case long before you on the same issue but maybe the way they went about it put me off) . But please and please don’t come at me like you are perfect and am the one who needs to change everything about me. Don’t come at me like am the bad person and you are the good person; I am the devil and you are an angel. We all need to CHANGE. If someone’s character or behaviour makes you begin to see the “bad” in you, I guess you need to change those things.
Let’s live and let live. Let’s LOVE each other and STOP judging the other person.
He or she who is without sin let him/she cast the FIRST stone.