Strategy 3 – You Can’t Change Someone Else
…but you can change how you’re dealing with them.
We can spend way too much time pontificating about what someone else ‘should’ do. How do they know they should? We tend to judge others by our own standards or values, but an important to remember is that they are OUR values and standards, not someone else’s. There is no universal way to think, everyone is different in their personality has been shaped by the influences in their life, their education and the culture or society they have been brought up in. Of course there are sociably acceptable behaviours, but again, people brought up different ways will have a different set of social rules. We can’t expect someone else to change or to have any comprehension of how other people see the world, so making assumptions about how someone else ‘should’ act is wasted stress causing energy. If their behaviour isn’t acceptable to us for some reason, this needs to be communicated.
Control freak are the most extreme at thinking everyone else ‘should’ behave, act, think, live, know the same as they do. Control freaks live in ‘Should-land’ and believe they do things the right way, so everyone else should of course do things they way and if they don’t then they need to learn!!
Life has a way of holding a mirror up to ourselves, especially in personal interactions with others, what you see in others is often what they see in you also. You can break the impasse of being at loggerheads with a control freak, not by thinking they should do something different, but by doing something different yourself.
Making yourself upset, frustrated or angry by the way someone else is behaving is going to increase your anxiety and stress, not theirs. You can choose to blame them for making your upset, but the result is the same, your anxiety and stress is affected not theirs.
You can also choose to do something different or to think in a different way – why should you and not them? Because it puts you in control of the situation and by finding a different way of going about things, your anxiety, stress and frustration will reduce. There is always more than one way to achieve something.
Sometimes we can just let it go and accept the other person for being different. Be amused that this person is so rigid and make it a learning process of how to deal with them, change yourself not them.