You Can't Change Them
Well, hello there. Look at you showing up for another session of personal growth work. Always a good idea this time of year. As we hit the holiday season.
Whatever your holiday is, are you spending more time with family and friends and maybe work parties, social events, yeah, me too. And while I would love to say that that's always a infinitely positive experience, you and I both know, that spending time with people especially people that kind of drive us bananas can be really difficult this time of year. Right? Tizz the season for family time, but all year long. This episode will help you to keep in mind that you can't change people.
Believe me, if I could figure out how to change the people in my life to be more like I'd like them to be, We'd both be millionaires, friends. Right? But the fact of the matter is people are not always how we want them to be. Right? And it's annoying.
It's frustrating. And sometimes it's just downright confusing how people behave. But again, we can't change them. So This episode is to help you understand that you have choices about how you deal with other people that are way more constructive than wishing they were different. If there are people in your life, that drive you nutty with their ways, their personality, their habits, their comments, whatever, their smell, This episode is gonna help you learn to stop trying to change them.
Stop dealing all the frustration of them. And start like moving on from that to accept people as they are and to be able to take them as they come. So I hope you get a lot out of this episode because I've been thinking about this a lot. As we roll on into the holiday season. So before I get into this today, I want to remind you that it's really important when you're doing your personal growth work to be able to show up in a really present way with yourself and with others but like with yourself is really important.
And if you don't know what I mean by that or you're like, Rebekah, it's so hard to like be present with myself, Just to let you know, I've created a beautiful visual guide to help you do your personal growth work. Starting with being present. It will help you to figure out how to overcome some of the overthinking or illumination or overdramatization that we do in life, the emotional turmoil. This little visual guide will help you to learn about what presence actually looks like in real life. And just like an insider tip, it's not that complicated.
It's not that hard. It takes like a skill set to be more focused, less scattered, and less overwhelmed. And I, my friend, will help you out with that. All you have to do is head to my website at takeouttherapy dot com and download my free visual guide. It will help you out.
So onward, let's talk about people. Shall we? They suck sometimes. Don't they? Yes.
They do. But not us. We're awesome. People act really poorly sometimes. They are unkind at in moments and generally, it's really hard to be around people that rub us the wrong way.
Isn't it friends, coworkers, our mother, It doesn't matter who it is. We can't change other people. We it doesn't pay to, like, be up at night. Being hacked off that somebody is saying the wrong things or doing the wrong things and trying to figure out, like, why they are the way they are. You know?
It's really a waste of energy. Every human is really different. You, my friend, are very different. We all have a different story. We all have a different perspective.
You know? And we all have a different, like, past that informs how we behave in our relationships in this present day. And even though it's kind of sometimes a head scratcher to, like, try to understand people, at times it's also an emotional burden. Right? It's that laying up at night being like, man, how could she treat me like that?
Or why would he say something like that? Right? It's an emotional burden. You know, we often think, like, if this person was different, I could be happier in this relationship. But the problem with that is, is that it's kind of a little bit of a loop that we never are able to get out of.
It's called it it's like a trance of non acceptance. Like, I don't like how you are, and I'm gonna let you drive me crazy anyway. Right? I've been there. Done that.
It's really emotionally frustrating and difficult space to be in. And to be honest, like, it's not that fun. It's not that fun to be in relationship with people who we don't enjoy. All the time that we want to be different. So in this short, next few minutes, I want to spend some time of like helping you to practice the art of reframing, which means like Let's look at this differently on how we deal with people in our lives.
That we don't understand that frustrate us, that confuse us, or the downright just irritate us to no end. Right? So the first thing we wanna do is like make room for people to just be how they are. Right? This is like the art of acceptance.
It's like, you don't have any control over how people are. Right? And the fact that we want people to be different is kind of a form of us trying to control. It's actually a way that we try to get more comfortable. The funny thing about human beings is we aren't really that pleasure seeking.
We actually are just trying to get out of discomfort. And so when we spend a lot of time wishing people were different, all that that's really doing is like trying to get us into a more comfort emotional space. Right? So what I recommend is to be able to let other people be different and to exercise a little bit of curiosity around that. You know, when we replace judgment and frustration, and confusion with curiosity, magical things happen, my friend.
Why do magical things happen? Because curiosity is like this willingness to explore, whereas the rest of the things that we go through when people are difficult in our eyes are just creating our own suffering. Right? Whereas curiosity is like opening our mind and our heart to the idea that people aren't like us. Right?
They have faults, they have histories, they have different perspectives, and there's nothing we can do about that. They have different maybe relationship values or, frankly, relationship behaviors that they don't even maybe understand. I think that's one really interesting thing that I talk about a lot in the therapy office is like yeah, people talk a lot about the people in their lives that drive them bananas, and they're just like, oh, I wish this person would be different. I wish this person was The thing is, it's like we want people to be like we are. Right?
And they're not like we are. And so at a certain level, it really really helps to just try understanding them through curiosity, through actually, through compassion, to understand that we all get to be the way we are through our life experiences. And if we can a little bit of curiosity around that. It's super, super helpful. But there's also a piece about accepting people's faults.
Like for example, many people have a parent who is either overly involved overly judgmental or not involved at all and doesn't engage. Right? Like, I think we can all relate to these three models of our of our parents, of our, maybe our grandparents, maybe our, you know, our extended family. I have a ton of siblings. And so that's one area that I also use in this as an example.
It's like, you know, we grow up with these people and then we all become adults. And sometimes we look at each other and we're just like scratching our heads, going like, how did you get here and I am here. Right? So people have faults. And accepting them as the way that they are as opposed to being like, well, you're kinda messed up.
That's a really nice way of bringing in some acceptance, curiosity, and non judgment. But here's a deal, like, accepting people's faults doesn't mean we don't have boundaries. Okay? And so sometimes when people are like, let's just use the example of a critical a critical sibling. Right?
Like, some people have siblings that are really critical of them. And they're openly critical. Even as adults, we act like children. Don't we? And it doesn't just because maybe you have somebody in your life that's overly critical of you and maybe it's like passive aggressive, like, oh, so I guess you're not coming then?
Or that's the that's the longest you're gonna stay for? Or oh, well, I was hoping to see you for longer. Or oh, you're not gonna make the green bean casserole, even though you were never directly asked to make the green bean casserole. You know, stuff like that. Accepting that not everybody has elevated communication skills and emotional regulation skills in relationship doesn't mean we don't have boundaries.
And so the number one thing that I always recommend to people is like practice healthy boundaries in every single relationship. Regardless of whether you've known some of your whole life or a whole month, your boundaries are how you teach them to be in relationship with you. Right? Saying the hard things, like, hey, I I don't love it when you say things like that to me. Or ouch, that kind of hurts my feelings.
These are ways that we can teach people about what we need in relationship And here's the deal. Authenticity wins. Okay? Like, walking on egg shows, not saying hard things, letting people kind of walk all over you and be rude or be annoying, that's not super helpful to you. Right?
And so my suggestion for you is if you can accept their faults, awesome. And if there are things about them that directly impact you, for example, you don't really like the way you get treated in a relationship, then just be willing to teach people. And then the hard part is if they're not willing to learn, you might need to leave. Leave unhealthy dynamics in relationships. They're just not good for us.
Frankly, they're not good for our mental health. So do I mean, like, leave all the relationships in which people aren't like you are? No. I don't. I mean, like, don't engage in unhealthy dynamics point out things that are not okay with you.
Be treated in a way in which you would treat yourself. Right? Like, no one's gonna treat you better than you treat yourself, my friend. So disengage from unhealthy dynamics. Okay?
Because here's the deal. Adult to adult relationships, they aren't about control. Or they shouldn't be anyway. And if they are, that's not healthy. You get to choose how and when to engage in your relationships and when it's time to close that door.
You get to choose. But first, before you choose that, My recommendation for you is to be empowered in relationships in which people drive new bananas and you'll be amazed by how much better you feel. Like, I can be friends with people that just annoy the crap out of me. Because I don't care if they're annoying. I don't have to engage in that.
Right? Like, for example, I think we all have friends that gossip I don't gossip. I just don't do it anymore. It doesn't make me feel good. It it just never it just stopped resonating for me at a certain point in my life.
But of course, I hang out with people that do that. You know what I do when they do that? I just ignore it. I don't engage in it. I allow people to exercise their right to be themselves.
I tell people, like, that doesn't that's not interesting to me to sit here and talk about other people or I say, I don't really have anything to say here. Right? I just teach people who I am through my own authenticity. And if they want to be themselves, it's cool, but I might not wanna be around them. And I wanna let them know, like, this behavior isn't something I necessarily wanna be around.
So again, you have the opportunity in your relationships to not be passive aggressive, to not be passive To not be aggressive, you have the opportunity to get empowered, to let people be themselves to practice curiosity. Ask good questions. Like, why is it important for you to say that? Right? Or how come you feel that way?
Tell me more about that. Curiosity is like a skill set that we all really need to learn. Because what it does is it just it's authentic. Right? It's it feels good, doesn't it?
When somebody asks you questions about, like, why do you feel like you need to do that? Or Why don't you feel like you want to do that? Right? It's like it's a deeper engagement in relationship. So and it's also, again, just a way of getting empowered in relationships and not trying to change people but trying to understand people.
Rather than control, we want to exhibit curiosity. This is how we can navigate relationships with people that rob us the wrong way. And we all have those people in our lives. Whether it's in our family, in our friend group, or maybe in our neighborhood or at work. We all have these people.
So hopefully this episode gives you a couple little ideas about how you might navigate some of these relationships just a little bit differently. So you're not up at night. Hoping people would change. Wishing people were different. Because I've been there and it is a waste of your precious energy and your intelligence and your emotion, to be honest.
Okay. So that's today's work. And if you wanna dig a little bit deeper into working with me, check out my website. I've been working hard, like a little busy web designer behind the scenes, making things really easy to navigate on takeout therapy dot com. So come.
See what resources I have for you. Okay. I'll see you next time.