3 Ways To Destroy Your Need To Change Others

Mandisa Avutia Online a mama's healing space
be free,be you,let others be

You are here because you are someone who values the need to change, right? And in our journey to heal and therefore change or transform, we can get irritated by the people we love who are not doing their work to change. They don’t see the need to change, yet.

So what do we do?

I Need Him To Change

A backstory: I grew up without my father in my life. And for a very long time, I prayed he would change his ways and parent! This never happened. He took his last breath without making amends. Such is life.

What used to hurt most is that he has other children whom he fathered. My two older sisters grew up with my paternal grandmother and I guess had more of a touchpoint with our father than I did. This played on my mind more times than I would like to admit.

I used to cry about the life I was owed. Spoiler: turns out nothing is owed to us, not even a present father! It’s a hard pill to swallow. I believe it is a necessary one if you’re going to move forward with the rest of your life.

She Needs To Be Different

Another short story: I have a friend I love with all my heart. She is a fun time and makes me feel alive. But this friend is also terrible at showing up to my events. She will rsvp as attending and then not pitch!

This, as it would any normal person, got me riled up! I was ready to throw the whole friend away. I felt disrespected and that she didn’t care about the money spent to accommodate her.

What I Have Come To Learn

The above stories show how I wanted people to show up how I see fit. Yes, we can argue that the story of my friend is a reasonable request: show up when you say you will, fine. However, she and my father showed up in their respective capacities. And what I have come to learn is that my responsibility is to figure out if I want to participate in how they show(ed) up.

This has been a huge lightbulb moment for me in life. People will people, always. Our job in our journey to show up as our best self is to decide if we want to participate and that’s all there is.

Below is how I eventually reached this level of peace…

How To End Your Need To Change People

1.)Have Hard Conversations

We avoid hard conversations because, well, they are HARD. But hard conversations are necessary for growth and change. I, unfortunately, did not get the chance to have the hard conversations with my father. He passed on before I had the courage to. Such is life.

But not having that conversation is what has made me so determined to have hard conversations, especially with people I love. I eventually had to have this hard conversation with myself. You can find parts of that revelation in this post What I’ve Healed By Letting My Father Go.

You Don’t Have To Throw The Whole Person Out

The hard conversation with my dear friend. As I mentioned, I was ready to throw the whole friendship away. My wise husband then said, “learn how to place people in your life.”

Quick pros and cons list put me on track to have the conversation instead of ending things or ghosting her. I made it clear to her that she will always know when I am hosting an event but she will no longer be catered for. This sounds harsh but, this is how I get to keep the amazing parts of my friend, without forcing her to show up to things she has no interest in. Or she doesn’t show up because she has anxiety and a laundry list of other problems.

Need to change

As a result, this conversation opened up space for an honest exchange. She shows up when she says she will. The first few times she was not catered for but she knew and understood this. And when she does not show up, I ain’t mad.

2.) Acceptance Is Transformational

Acceptance is transformational it is also hard. When you accept it means you put to rest your need to change others. You realise you can only change yourself.

I had to accept that my father was never going to give me the daddy’s princess seat. I don’t know why, for a long time it made me feel like something was wrong with me. But in accepting he showed up the best way he knew how I have let go of the idea that any of his choices had anything to do with me.

I had to see the value of what he did, he was the other half to getting me here. And for reasons known by a higher being, his journey ended there.

With my friend and with other people, I have had to think about the parts I adore about these people. There is a saying, “you don’t burn the house down just because the toilet is leaking,” or something to that effect. The same goes for people in my life. ( Well, people who start off great, to begin with. ) I have learned to place people in my life and stop exaggerating my position in theirs.

Accept that people will people. People will make choices that work best for them, the same way you make choices that work best for you. All you ever have to do is decide if you want to participate in how people show up for you. The best part, you can also choose the parts you show up for.

My friend was choosing the parts she wanted to show up for. And rsvp as attending to get me off her back because the idea that she could honestly excuse herself felt worse than apologizing after the fact.

3.) You Need to Change :Fill Your Own Void

Sometimes we want people to show up the way we see fit because it is easier than looking at ourselves.

My need to be a daddy’s princess may have been valid as a child but I am a mother of two now. I have grown up and it is now my job to reparent that little girl who feels she missed out. Yes, of course, she missed out. I am not going to invalidate that experience and how it has created a mountain of hurt and issues she’s had to overcome or at least work at it.

I am learning how to fill my own void. I don’t have the option of forcing my father into parenting. I don’t have the energy to make people show up the way I deem fit. So I get to the bottom of what the real need is. With my friend, it made me mad when she didn’t pitch to things because I believed her energy was the type that would elevate the entire event. My need was for her to be in the spotlight so I could hide.

The void: I am not good enough to be in the spotlight. Her not showing up forced me to be in the spotlight. It forced me to HOST! Now I know I can be in the spotlight and give people a fun time. I still find it daunting but at least now I am not hiding.

Conclusion

In a nutshell, do you and let others do them. We all have divine guidance and we do not need to tell people how to be. Everyone is doing and showing up the best way they know-how. It is up to you to have your back, fill your own void and accept people as they are.

This is not to say we shun being close and accountable to others, it is to remind us to constantly do the inner work so we can face whatever comes. Because whether we like it or not, people will people.

Did you find this helpful?

What tip do you have for letting people be?

Share your tips in the comments below.

The goal is to heal ourselves, so we can show up as our best versions. If you feel a connection or know someone who feels a strong connection to a healed way of living, please share this post with them. Let us spread the news of healthier ways to be.

As always, I wish you all the healing you deserve,

need to change

If you spot any typos or inaccuracies please drop me an email: [email protected] so I can correct mistakes. Thank you

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