Although I trained as a Psychotherapist and Yoga teacher back in the early 90’s, to keep the qualification, it is a requirement to continue my education in these fields this is called CPD (Continued Professional Development.)
Each year I choose a training, workshop, study or webinar to further my education and recently I attended a great CPD about the mistakes that we make in our relationships. I thought I’d share some of my learning.
Relationship Mistake No. 1
Stop trying to change your partner. Why? Because you can’t. It turns out that you’re not a God after-all and you’re not them, so you can’t change someone else.
When you really stop to think about it, it’s actually quite egotistical to think that we could have the power to change someone else?
Whoever you’re in this relationship with, know this, they are unlikely to change. Even if a tactic you employ such as shouting or crying works, it will only be temporary and is unlikely to change their behaviour for good. Just think of all that wasted energy.
Here’s an interesting question, knowing that you can’t change them, how do you feel? Helpless? Frustrated? Angry?
The trouble with anger is that is often leads to blaming, victimising and even bullying and then you still end up feeling bad or helpless.
The other place we can step into is a state of helplessness, which leads to victim thinking and behaviour. So ultimately, trying to change someone or something that is beyond your control leads to us feeling bad.
It’s a choice
So what is the solution? Acceptance, if we are prepared to deal in the truth that this is the reality, this is what he/she/they are like, take it or leave it. Can you accept them as they are? Beneath your desire to change them, what did you originally love about them? Can you embrace that again? What is it that they do that you do like? Can you build on this?
Another thing that you can do to empower yourself, is to take your focus away from them and put the spotlight on you instead. What can you change about you? That’s where your power really is. Maybe it’s time to get into a better relationship with yourself. Explore your own interests, create new friendships, challenge your fears and do more.
Take responsibility for your projections.
You probably wont like this next bit, but the very thing you want them to change or do differently, is the one area that you probably most need to look at within yourself, something you ought to be working on.
It’s the smoking gun scenario, i.e. when we point the finger at someone else, we usually have three fingers pointing back at ourselves.
When you make a shift in your own thinking and behaviour, it changes the dynamic of the relationship and then perhaps the other person will change a bit, in order to accommodate the change in you.
Stop victimising, stop blaming and start taking responsibility. It’s time for you to grow.