Every day, we’re faced with people who seem totally different from us.
They act and think differently than we do.
They come from different backgrounds and cultures. Their values, beliefs, and motivations may seem foreign to us.
These differences can make dealing with people so challenging. But different doesn’t have to mean problematic.
Understanding why other people are the way they are can make it easier for us to connect with them and work together.
You can’t transform, upgrade or improve anyone without their permission.
Humans are deeply biased — we look for evidence to support what we already know to be the only truth. That’s why changing anyone’s mind is so hard.
“We all have blind spots in our knowledge and opinions. The bad news is that they can leave us blind to our blindness, which gives us false confidence in our judgment and prevents us from rethinking,” says Adam M. Grant, in his book, Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know.
Other people are on a different wavelength from you, and they can’t understand why you think the way you do.
It might be frustrating, but it’s something you’ll have to accept.
Change doesn’t come easy, especially if it challenges one’s current beliefs or actions. It can feel intimidating and scary.
Andy Warhol explains it beautifully, “When people are ready to, they change. They never do it before then, and sometimes they die before they get around to it. You can’t make them change if they don’t want to, just like when they do want to, you can’t stop them.”
Teachers, mentors, good friends, great authors, and those we look up to can only make us think and reflect on our shortcomings and strengths.
They can show us the better path, but we’ve got to walk on it ourselves.
They show us new and sometimes better realities and perspectives, and we take the next step to redefine our habits, routines and rituals accordingly.
“People think they can’t change themselves, but they can. People think they can change others, but they can’t” says Naval.
Knowing the path is not the same as walking the path.
There are more free and better tools to change ourselves than there have ever been in the history of learning, but many people still hold on to their old ways of doing things.
You can influence someone to rethink, though; what you say, do, write or share can be the reason someone attempts to become a better version of themselves.
“You can’t change another person, but you can be the reason why somebody changes.”
I’m not sure who said that, but it makes sense for this post.
You can inspire change — that’s the best you can do.
Real, lasting change is up to every individual.
When we try to change other people, we often try to change them to make them meet our own needs.
If you want to change people, you should first understand why they think the way they do.
“You can’t make somebody change. You can inspire them to change. You can educate them towards change. You can support them in their change,” writes Mark Manson.
You can only change yourself. We can respond to situations and people differently. We can react to our loved ones better.
Our actions can encourage change, but we can’t force change — when you are better, happy, productive, and becoming a better version of yourself.
Your habits, routines and rituals can do more than your words. If you are that desperate to change anyone, show them what it means to be the change. Action, they say, speaks louder than words.
No matter how many times you try, you won’t be able to change anyone’s assumptions, beliefs, perceptions and worldviews.
But you can motivate and inspire change through your actions.
It’s important that you don’t get discouraged by other people’s behaviour. They may not change now, but your life can encourage them to do better.
Take the focus away from the people you expect to change and improve your own experiences first.“Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything,” George Bernard Shaw said. Change yourself first.
Good habits trigger good behaviour in others.
You can only change yourself, so you need to focus on helping others, not trying to change them.
Better habits can be contagious. Be the change; it’s the perfect way to get others to rethink their bad habits.
This post was previously published on Better Humans.
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