FIX PROBLEMS, NOT PEOPLE
Does your family have problems you can’t seem to get rid of?
Are attempts to solve those problems shot through with such statements as these?
If that sounds like you, your family has at least one problem more than you think—and that problem is your attitude.
Why Trying to “Fix” People Makes Things Worse
“If I could only get him to change his habits, everything would be fine” is the sort of thinking that begins and ends in frustration. In the vast majority of cases, pushing someone to change does nothing but reinforce the hated habit—and generate resentment to further poison the air.
Don’t Even Try to “Fix” Yourself
Even if you’re the one with the bad habit, and want to correct it, be careful you aren’t identifying the problem you have with the person you are. Some people know all the answers to where they should be working to improve, yet repeat the same mistakes as consistently as if they couldn’t name a single self-help author. Usually, the cause is that they see themselves as inherently defective—hence, they rarely get far because the task of becoming a different person seems impossible.
In fact, it is. What they should be focusing on is developing into improved versions of their real selves.
So What Do You Do About Family Problems?
Don’t worry: all that isn’t to say family problems can’t be fixed, once we understand that no person is the problem. However many changes need to be made, we can only implement them effectively after we accept that “it’s all your fault and all your responsibility” is not the answer.
What we need to do is:
If one or more family members refuse to participate, look at things you can do (other than nagging) to get momentum going in the right direction. Once the rest of the family sees your example and the first positive results, chances are they’ll also get interested in helping “fix” the right thing: the problem itself.