How to change someone you love

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

How to change someone you love

All of us wish to the change the people we love to the better but in lots of cases no matter how hard we try we find it impossible to change someone unless he really wants to.

Some people try to use criticism to change the person they love but after a short while the negative emotions associated with the criticism become unbearable to the other person and so the attempt fails.

Change always comes from within, this means that unless a person becomes 100% convinced that change is good for him he won’t change. So how can you motivate someone you love to change on his own? This is what I am going to tell you in this article.

The self concept

The self concept is defined as the way someone views himself. If a person thinks that he is a thief then he will keep stealing money as long as he can. The person will keep stealing money because his self concept made him believe that this is the thing that he should be doing.

Our behavior is highly controlled by our self concept to the extent that we will strive to prove our existing self concepts true even if there were bad consequences associated with our actions. The person who believes that he is less worthy than others (self concept) will always try to unfavorably compare himself to others in order to further solidify this self concept.

What do you think will happen if a parent kept encouraging his child by telling him that "He is brilliant in math"? if the message was repeated enough times the child will develop a self concept of being good at math and will do his best to maintain this status.

This child might study more, concentrate more in math classes and play less just to maintain his self concept.

Changing someone you love by changing his self concept

In order to change someone you love you must not criticize him but instead you must praise him in order to help him form a new self concept. Once this happens the person will do his best to change on his own without doing any extra effort.

If you kept telling your alcoholic husband that he is strong and that a strong person like him should never let such a habit control him he will eventually build the new self concept and break the habit. Criticism only lets people solidify their already existing poor self concept and so prevents them from changing the bad habits!!

You must put in mind one very important thing while trying to change someone, the new self concept you are implementing in his mind must be appealing to him and in the same time believable.

For example if the person you love is successful at work but can’t quit a certain habit then you should tell him that a successful person like him should be successful in breaking habits too.

In this case he will surely believe you because you provided him with a solid proof (his career success)

How to change stubborn people

Contrary to common beliefs stubborn people are flexible but they just become stubborn when they feel that someone is trying to control them. A stubborn person is not stubborn 100% of the time but when he finds that someone is trying to force him to do something then his defense mechanisms start working.

If the person you love is stubborn then you can still change him by 1) giving him more than one choice instead of forcing him 2) making gradual small changes everyday that are too small to be noticed but are big enough to make a change happen over time.

Changing someone by understanding the underlying cause

In my book The ultimate guide to break any bad habit I explained how most people fail to break bad habits because they deal with the wrong root causes.

Some people drink to escape the pain others smoke to kill stress while a third group use drugs to escape depression. In these cases pain, stress and depression are the root causes and are the things that needs to be changed instead of the habit itself.

When the root cause disappears the bad habit will disappear by itself but if the root cause remained then even if the habit was broken it will shortly return back.

In short in order to change someone you love you must first understand the underlying reasons behind his behavior then help him change them.

2knowmysef is not a complicated medical website nor a boring online encyclopedia but rather a place where you will find simple, to the point and effective information that is backed by psychology and presented in a simple way that you can understand and apply. If you think that this is some kind of marketing hype then see what other visitors say about 2knowmyself. The book The ultimate guide to breaking bad habits was released by 2knowmyself. The book will help you get over all bad habits that are haunting you in a short period of time.

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