Ultimately, one has to heal oneself. No one can do this work for another person.
Let’s take a broken leg: A doctor can set the bone, prescribe medication, and guide the healing process. Other people can support that person while they heal by taking care of driving, shopping, and other tasks, but ultimately, the person is responsible for doing things that will help their leg heal like keeping their weight off of it, physical therapy, and following medical advice.
It is the same with mental or emotional wounds. A person has to heal themselves, and they have to choose to heal. And this is not easy.
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We may also want to feel like a hero for helping someone else to boost our own self-image.
We might be attracted to someone because we believe that person is wounded and we can help them. We might believe we can love someone out of their issues and that this will heal us or help us feel bet...
Sometimes, people expect others to be able to heal them when they don’t want to take responsibility for healing themselves.
Another person’s dysfunction is not about love or a lack of love. It’s about their woundedness; perhaps past traumas, addictions, or other factors.
You can’t lov...
While we can’t heal someone, we can support them as they heal.
Support verses Enabling
Support means that you care about the person and can offer love while they’re in the process of changing. For example, if you want to support a spouse in their recovery from alcoho...
Many of us find ourselves wanting to change other people in our lives. It might be a partner, a family member, a friend, or even a coworker.
We have judgement around what is going on with them and believe that they should behave in accordance with our thoughts of what’s good for them.
Ultimately it is up to the other person to decide if they believe there is a problem, and if they want to do anything about it. If they do want to change, we can support them in their decision, but they must do the actual work.
You can’t change other people, so do yourself a favor and stop ...
“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”
“If you do not change direction, you might end up where you are heading.”
“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I a...
As a substitute for working on ourselves
When we’re trying to change other people, it’s often because we have our own healing to do. We might think it’s easier to change another person than to change ourselves. Trying to help another person is not a substitute for do...
As always, the first step is noticing. Notice if you are trying to change or control someone. Are you more invested in their healing than they are in healing themselves? Are you using manipulation, anger, or other forms of control?
Are you relying on someone else to heal you? Are you lookin...
Why You Can't Change Other People
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