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You Can’t Change People Around You, But You Can Change You

Do you have a person in your life that you want to change? It might be a family member, such as a parent, a child, a sibling, your partner, a friend or a work colleague? Irrespective of whether that person is involved in your work or personal life, you may feel if they changed, your life would be perfect. However, right from the outset, it is important to know that you can’t make a person change. People are who they are and unless they desire change themselves, there is really nothing you can say or do that will help. However, you can support them and inspire them. In the latest blog from me, Karen, a Mental & Emotional Wellbeing specialist at Becoming Aware, I look at ways that will help you to cope with that person or group of people, and show you that when you actually change yourself, the people around you change.

Sometimes, that person has to stay in your life. Let’s look at a few scenarios. You love your job but you have a situation at work with your boss and feel powerless in his/her presence and the saying has never been truer, 'it’s their way or the highway’. You need your job and so you have to find a better way of dealing with that person. Or perhaps you have a teenager who is proving very trying at the moment and of course it’s not possible to dismiss them from your life. Again, simply telling them they have to change is rarely the solution. All that does is set up resentment and stubbornness. Or, you love your partner, couldn’t be without them, but do find some of their habits and things they do quite frankly irritating and exasperating.

When you change yourself, the people around you change

There is a Dr Wayne Dyer quote, “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change”. This also applies when you substitute the word ‘things’ with ‘people’.

Just because you think someone needs to change, doesn’t mean they do, can or will. So, it’s a fact you can’t change the other person, and that may make you feel powerless or helpless, but what if you do have some level of power and control? What if you can do something about it without having to wait for them to do a thing? The best way to take your power back in this kind of situation is to change yourself. That doesn’t mean you need a physical change, often what needs to change is how you feel about them or what is going on. So, look at it from a different perspective. When you change how you see or feel about that person or how you view a situation, the people around you will change or go. They cannot stay or behave the same if you have shifted your thoughts, feelings and beliefs and are no longer triggered, affected, or bothered by it. This may seem impossible in certain situations, but do give it a try. It really does work.

How to make changes for yourself to cope with a person you feel needs to change

· Focus on the person’s positive points – not the negative ones

· Talk optimistically and confidently about that person

· Remind yourself of the good things

· Don’t take things personally – their behaviour is not necessarily about you

· Make a conscious effort to decide how you want the relationship to be

· Temper your expectations – if you expect something, it will be like that

· Look at your beliefs around them – if you believe they are rude, they will be

· Support and inspire the person

· Make a conscious effort not to keep moaning, but to ‘let it be’

· Keep bringing yourself back to the moment

· Seek help from a professional who can help you release how you feel

How can Becoming Aware help you to feel differently about a person in your life?

It’s true that when you change yourself, the people around you change. However, if nothing seems to be working, as a Mental & Emotional Wellbeing specialist, I have helped many people think differently about the people that are around them. I frequently work with both parents and teens with both parties seeing the relationship from completely different perspectives. The teen feels he/she is always being told what to do and is being continually nagged whereas the parent thinks they are right and the child would be far better off if they did things their way. If you feel I could help you, please call me on 07766 427966 for a free without obligation chat or email

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