Don’t Expect People to Change

Darryl Bachmeier
May 27, 2019

It is normal for a person to resist change but expect others to change for them. In the real sense, expecting change from anyone can be a futile venture. Most times we expect people we have relationships with to change and become better people, to learn to treat us with more respect and to behave more maturely. We want them to become people we can love and admire. Sadly, these expectations are never met. They remain who they are, even as suffer due to their inability to conform to our expectations.

Being in a relationship where you perpetually anticipate a change in the other party is to exist in a toxic space. This can be a slow killer, because most of the time you remain emotionally dependent on this people, wishing for a change to occur so you can start your emotional healing. The anticipation is frustrating and can lead to mild depression if it isn’t handled properly. It is basically a trap that keeps you bounded in a relationship that pays you little or no benefits.

Waiting for someone to change is something that happens too often in relationships. We cling to this kind of hope for change because of the love we have for the other party in the relationship. When they fail once, we give them another chance. They fail again and we think, “Okay, just this one last time. I am sure they will get it right this time.” We are then pushed into the idea that they may not be changing because we aren’t trying hard enough. If only we can push harder or try to influence them better. When this goes on for too long, there is a high possibility that you are the one in need of change.

Expecting change from someone is to set yourself up for huge disappointments. People will always be who they want to be, and you will experience peace and happiness when you come to understand this. You may want them to change for the better, which is a good thing, but you never get to find out how much damage you are causing to your mental health by just waiting for that change. Let it go. The truth is that nobody likes change, even you, so why do you think your partner will decide to conform themselves to your expectations?

How can you solve your obsession with expecting change in your partner?

First, you have to start appreciating the good things about them. It is so easy to keep your focus on the things lacking in your partner that you fail to see places they have been helpful. Ask yourself what you love most about the person and write them down. If you are truthful, you will certainly come across a good number of traits in your partner that you should be thankful for. Be vocal about your thankfulness. Each day, appreciate your partner for these traits and tell them how happy you are that they are in your life.

Resist the urge to enforce change in your partner. You can’t change people if they don’t want change. If you examine yourself, you will notice that there are certain habits and traits you have that your partner wants to see changed. If they can learn to live with you that way, then you too can. That is the beauty in choosing someone and deciding to stay with them. It is all about accepting the individuality of your partner. If you force a person to become who they are not, they lose an essential part of themselves that made them special.

Be comfortable with allowing people change when they are ready for it. No matter how long you have known a person, they still know themselves more than you do. You may think you know what is best for them, but then there is a chance that you are wrong. People are smart enough to tell when they need to change and they act accordingly to activate that change. What you feel isn’t always what drives that change. Don’t just allow them be themselves, give them time to come to a realization that change is needed.

Understand that your relationship is not just about you. Maybe you have spent too much time in the relationship waiting for the other party to please you. And until they do just that, you decide not to give them your full love. That is wrong. You are to love unconditionally if you truly want to love, because if the love you give is dependent on factors you may never love wholly.

Take time to study and understand your partner’s journey. Think about all the experiences, feelings and emotions they have had to endure before meeting you. If you are considerate enough, you will be able to understand why they act the way they do and you will learn to accept them for who they are.

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