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You can’t really change another person. If you want change, change your own behavior!

The idea that we can actually change another person is one of the biggest misunderstandings in any relationship. It is driven by our expectation that a person has to behave in a certain way. In most cases we do not like the effect that the current behavior has on us. If that behavior is totally different from how we would behave under similar circumstances, it is hard for us to understand how “a sensible human being” could be so terribly off. We try everything from persuasion to brute force to try to get the change and we get frustrated or upset if that does not happen. The source of this though is the expectation that we have and the meaning we assign to that behavior. I have seen business as well as private relationships that end up in open warfare over expectations that are not being met and both parties are willing to hang on to them even at the cost of sacrificing the relationship altogether.

We normally do not have control over another person’s behavior, but we have control over our own behavior. My recommendation in such a situation is to make a change for yourself and watch what happens. There is a saying attributed to Einstein which relates to this situation: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing again and again and expecting a different result”. One of the principles of NLP is that in case your current approach does not deliver the desired result, change it and see if the outcome is different!

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