We are all constantly trying to change people, whether we realize it or not. In almost every interaction we have, we are trying to get people to behave the way we want. Choose the way we want. Think the way we want. Whether you’re in sales or social work, it’s all the same. We are always trying to “bring people around to our way of thinking”.
But what makes us so sure that our way of thinking is the way to think? Each and every one of us lives in our own reality, based on our unique perception of the world. We all see everything through our own lens. And we want to try to force everyone else to do the same – but that’s impossible. They are no more likely to do that than we are to go see our lives through their lens. It wouldn’t make any sense.
We don’t like the way someone behaves, so we try everything we can think of to shift it so that it’s pleasing to us. We don’t like the way someone reacts to us, so we shift ourselves to elicit a different reaction. There is a constant knee-jerk need to either change them or change ourselves. We do all of this automatically, unaware of it because we do it ALL THE TIME.
This behavior is just one of many forms of grasping and attachment we engage in on a daily basis. We are so afraid to release and let go. We are so afraid of not keeping our little reality exactly the way we like it, unwilling to see what lies beyond. Ironically, what lies beyond our attachments and fears is usually peace. Contentment. Calm. A willingness to accept the flow of life as it comes.
The truth is that you aren’t going to change people into who you want them to be. Nor should you hope to do so. Do you like it when other people try to control who you are? Of course not. What a lovely world it would be if we could all just let go of our shit and allow everyone to exist as they truly are.
This doesn’t mean that you let people walk all over you. It just means that you accept that they are not you, and that’s okay. It doesn’t mean that you abandon yourself, either. You have as much right to live in your own truth as they do. But you both have that right, and that means you both have to expand your capacity for understanding, compassion and awareness. That’s not always the easiest, which is why we try to change people instead. But, if you can come into it from a mindset of love and kindness, that’s a good place to start. The less you resist the natural flow, the easier it all becomes.
I encourage you to let go of who you expect people to be and tune in to the reality of who they are. Everyone involved will end up much happier. I even expect that you won’t encounter so much resistance and conflict with others once they feel accepted by you and free to be themselves in your presence. When you allow others to be who they are, you can step into your true self as well. It’s a good feeling.
Sending you love, and encouragement, and patience. You got this.