Expert Blog Compelling advice, stories, and thought-provoking perspectives straight from YourTango's lineup of Experts to you

Can You Get Someone To Change?

Heartbreak, Self

Do you often run into others' resistance when you want to offer them something that might help them?

Andrew, a new client of mine, is very enthusiastic about what he is learning about Inner Bonding. Naturally, he wants to share his experience with his wife, children, other family and friends. Yet he finds himself time and again coming up against their resistance. They don't want to be converted to Inner Bonding or anything else. They don't want new words and concepts imposed upon them. They don't want anyone trying to change them.

Andrew is intent on getting his friends and loved ones into learning what he is learning because he feels lonely when they don't understand his experience and don't want to join him in it. It is always lonely when we opt for growth and the people important to us are not on the same path. Andrew wants his changes to bring him closer to the people he loves, not farther away, yet his family and friends seem threatened, not only by his attempting to convert them, but by his changes as well.

Andrew needs to use what he is learning to embrace and release his loneliness, rather than protect against it by trying to get others to change. If Andrew has a chance of influencing his loved ones to change, it is not going to be because of anything he says. The only way we actually influence others to want to change is when they see changes in us that they like and value.

Often, when I give lectures and teach workshops, the feedback I get from others is that what prompted them to want to further pursue Inner Bonding is not anything I said or taught. Usually they say things like, "You seem to have a lot of peace and joy. I want that too." "You seem to feel secure within yourself. That's what I want." "I want to be able to access wisdom the way you do."

Andrew came to this realization and wrote to me, stating that, "it may take many loving encounters and setting a good example before we should expect our friends and loved ones to understand, and want to understand, our new experience in healing, and how we are doing it. It can not only be threatening to others to see us change, but also threatening to them when they feel we are trying to change them or their thinking or their vocabulary."

Andrew realized that he needed to share and reach out to others without "unnecessarily trying to convert them to Inner Bonding, or trying to impose words and concepts on them when they are not ready or interested to hear them. I think as new 'converts,' whether with respect to religion or Inner Bonding, in our enthusiasm we try to impose our new thinking and new vocabulary on others."

This does not mean that you can't share your excitement and learning, but the key is—what is your intent in sharing? If you are sharing with the agenda of getting the other person to want to do what you are doing or believe what you believe, then your sharing is controlling and the other person will likely resist. It can be loving to yourself and others if you are sharing with no agenda other than to share yourself and your joy, but it is not loving to share with an agenda to get others to change.

We can certainly influence others with the love, peace and joy that can result from practicing Inner Bonding, but even that does not give us control. A major part of the Inner Bonding process is learning to accept our lack of control over others' intent to learn or protect. While it is very lonely when the people we love are not open to learning, we have to accept our lack of control over other people's choices. The best we can do is to continue doing our own inner work so we become a beacon of light that influences others to want what we have.

To begin learning how to love and connect with yourself so that you can connect with your partner and others, take advantage of our free Inner Bonding eCourse, receive Free Help, and take our 12-Week home study eCourse, "The Intimate Relationship Toolbox" – the first two weeks are free!

Connect with Margaret on Facebook.

This article was originally published at Inner Bonding . Reprinted with permission from the author.


Explore YourTango