* We Can’t Change Another Person But We Can …

Its one of the hardest lessons in the highs and lows of life. Accepting that others really are different and we can’t change them … no matter how much we want it!

mother daughter conflict

We can never make an other person change, no matter how hard we try. We can make requests. We can show them how we want them to be. We can manipulate them or even resort to nagging and bullying … but in the end it will always be up to them.  They have to be willing to change themselves.

As adult human beings we only have the ability to change ourselves.

We do have options however! That is what this post is about. You can apply this checklist at work, at home and in any situation where you are having difficulty with an other person.

Here are the 5 options I share with my clients and would now like to share with you.

Before you jump ahead, take a moment to think about a recent difficult interaction and how you wished that person would change in some way.


Now consider these 5 approaches.

1. Can you make a request of them? Can you share with them the impact of their behavior and how you feel, then request a different behavior?

2. Can you change your own actions? How might you have contributed to this situation? What can you do differently?

3. Can you change your thinking and re-frame by seeing things from different perspectives? From their perspective? And as an observer?

4. Can you open our heart and find empathy for the other person as an imperfect human being? … just like you! Can you accept them for who they are, faults and all? This is the spiritual path of acceptance and compassion.

5. The final option is the remove yourself from their company. Step away and regroup. You can review these options and if it keeps coming to option 5, then consider making a break from this person.

So next time when you realize you are expecting someone else to change, instead of going over the same old frustrating negative thoughts and habitual responses, try a new mindful approach.

And keep practicing …

I certainly still am!



11 thoughts on “* We Can’t Change Another Person But We Can …

  1. I like your list and try as I might to get on with EVERYONE in the entire world, I have found that for some people option 5 is the only option. It took me a long time to realize that.


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