You Can’t Want Things for Other People, Even Those You Love

 In Better Life, Relationships

Are there people in your life that you know would be happier, healthier, or less stressed if they would only . . .

  • Not be so hard on themselves
  • Believe in themselves
  • Not be so judgmental
  • Use their time better
  • Not get so frustrated with situations
  • Not be so negative

You know if they would just change what they do or how they think, their life would be so much better.

When I care about someone, I don’t want them to suffer. It’s easy for me to feel like I know what’s best for them. But what I’ve been learning these past several years as I study, use, and teach positive psychology is that we can’t want things for other people. In fact, the more we want them to change, the more they can feel it. And it’s likely to push them away or make them resist changing even more.

What should we do?

Depending on the situation, it may be a much better outcome if we would only . . .

  • Use empathy and understanding
  • Accept them for the way they are
  • Let them know we’re there for them in any way they need
  • Show we care with the Love Language they prefer
  • Not get triggered by their attitude or behavior
  • Be a good listener
  • Keep our thoughts to ourselves

Another great way is to work on ourselves and be a role model for self-growth without judgment of others.

“Be the change you want to see in others.” – Unknown

One of my favorite books that has made a huge impact for me is Loving What Is by Byron Katie. I highly recommend it or at least watching some of her videos. You can learn more about her and her message in my tip, An Amazing Book that Changed My Thinking – Loving What Is

This week, when you wish you could “fix” someone you care about, pause and notice your thoughts, then try one of the options above.

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