If You Want Someone to Change, Do This First

Have you ever had someone give you a book? 
I love self-help books now, but this wasn’t always true. 
The book my dad gave me was The Magic of Thinking Big by Dr. David Schwartz.
When you’re a father, you want the best for your kids. The biggest problem is they resist when you try to fix them. The only way they’ll change is if it feels better to do something different. 

Shutting Out Everyone

I spent my entire life trying to protect myself from pain. People had hurt me, and I wasn’t going to let them keep doing it. Even if that person loved me. 
I missed out on much of the beauty of having relationships. 
For me, having peace was better than dealing with liars. 

How We Really See the World

We see reality based on feelings. For example:
  • You love your job. 
  • You hate snotty people. 
  • You love having a drink every night. 
  • You hate the smell of cigar smoke.
We rationalize our habits. 
We criticize other people’s habits. 
We’re blind to our own condition. 
  • The proverb says, “Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:5 NLT) 
  • Jesus says, “He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone at her.” (John 8:7 ESV)
  • It feels good to be right. It hurts when you’re wrong. When it hurts more to stay the way you are, you change. 
There is one thing you can offer that will move people to listen. When you do, you’ll be at your persuasive best. And the other person will most open to listen. 

If You Really Want to Help, Do This First

Don’t be judgmental. Don’t tell him he needs to do this. Offer him hope. It’s the only way you’ll ever help anyone – without exception. 
Quit getting frustrated when she won’t listen. Don’t ruin your relationship. When she wants your help, you’ll know. She’ll give you clues. She’ll complain. She might ask you outright. 
Five years passed before I read The Magic of Thinking Big. I was taking a required career planning class. One assignment was to read Zig Ziglar’s See You at the Top.  As I read, the words leaped off the page and sang to me. The next morning I was not only ready to change – I had changed.
You’ve got to love people into change. Accept them where they are – with all their faults, their quirks, and their stubbornness. When you offer unconditional love, they’ll know you care. Then your suggestion will look like hope.
How can you use hope to change someone’s behavior, attitude, or habits?
Posted in change, Commitment, hope, Leadership and tagged , , .

I’m a Writing Coach, a Promotion Strategist, and an Entrepreneur. I help writers engage readers, sell their ideas, and build their tribes. I design non-sleazy promotion plans for artists, writers, and other creatives. When I’m not writing, I love coffee and conversation.