Wednesday 4 April 2012

Can I change you?

What do you think?  Can one person change another? They can certainly affect your behaviour or influence you but can they fundamentally change you?

No, I don't think so.  I expect many of us with partners can think of traits our other halves display that drive us bonkers and we would prefer them to be different. Take for example the issue of our dishwasher,  my husband is pretty good and he will tidy and load the dishwasher.  These are good things.  He will also empty the dishwasher but will he put one hundred percent of the clean items back in their rightful homes?  Err no. So why Not?  I asked him one day and it turns out that as a child he regularly did the drying of the dishes but he was always ask to stack them neatly on the side and his Mum would place everything away and that has subconsciously stuck with him.

So what should I do after eighteen years together, try to change him? Keep badgering and making him put it all away, causing animosity and a bad atmosphere in our house? Or the other option, I could change me and try to accept it for what it is, a little annoyance that I can easily get past.  I prefer to go with this second option, my marriage is important to me and I am lucky to have found a good man who is supportive and loves me.

I think what we all need to remember is that our own response to any situation, in this case my husbands behaviour is owned by us. We are the controllers of ourselves. I am the controller of me. He can only effect my mood if I allow him to and for something as silly and unimportant as this I do not allow him to. Luckily, in the last few years I have grown enough in myself to know that he is a good man,  I have a good husband and that I would be silly to let this get in the way. It is a small price to pay for his other good qualities.

Now, don't get me wrong, I am not perfect.  There are times when I am at the end of my tether and silly things are the last straw and make me as cross as anything but thankfully those times come less and less nowadays. Traits that I regularly pray for are patience and tolerance.

The other week I had a conversion with a group of people at work, around the premise that you can only change yourself and not others. I re-iterated that you will only feel bad from someone else's actions if you allow their attitude/ behaviour/ language etc to effect you. I told them that what we can do is change our own reaction or response.  The answer I got from this group of educated adults was that they would then feel resentful at having to be the one to change and this would just lead to negative feelings once more.  This really made me see just how blessed I am and that the awareness I now have around my life is so valuable.

Things for Mich to remember in life - I am only responsible for me.  I can only change me. I can only be me. 

What's your take on this?  Have you thought about it before?

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