Psychology: Two Rules That Can Help You Change Someone

Nobody needs to change for you? very good. But if it should ever be desirable — say your partner, friend, or roommate — according to a study, these two rules can come in handy for you.

True love means appreciating and accepting someone just as they are. With all its flaws and weaknesses. Not wanting to change anything about him. When it’s raining, we dance with this person on neighborhood streets in black umbrellas swaying between sparkling pools, then share a plate of spaghetti at Mario’s, the Italian spot on the corner, and end up pushing one meatball for the other. This is what love looks like. If we live in a Disney movie.

However, if we take a wrong turn somewhere and accidentally crash into the real world of a rainbow, it usually behaves differently. Then there is no table available at Mario’s when we get there completely dazed and soaked in water after a gust of wind broke our umbrella. It is also possible to love someone, but we still want them to change. And the closer we are to this person and the more time we spend with him, the more likely this will happen. Having intimate and close relationships usually means, among other things, compromise and adaptation. To do this, a change is usually necessary. But how do we make a person adapt to us? When it is really difficult to change ourselves – for ourselves. Canadian psychologists from the University of Toronto investigated this question and may have found an answer.

Psychologists compare two approaches to change

Scholars focused their study on partner relationships, but the findings should also be applicable to friendships, platonic partnerships, and other close social ties. The researchers compared two common approaches people take when it comes to change (for someone else’s sake): suppression and reassessment.

In this case, repression means that both parties involved ignore, deny, or downplay negative emotions such as anger, humiliation, fear, or wounded pride, resulting in one person wanting to adapt the behavior of the other. On the other hand, re-evaluation means that they have taken an alternative perspective of the situation, for example taking into account the perspective of the other and the intention of the other, and thus they have seen the meaning and meaning in the change.

Now who wouldn’t think so? In couples who took the reassessment approach, the person wanting to fit in was much better at changing than the other couples.

“Being asked to change can trigger negative feelings in people, as this can be interpreted as a sign that the partner is not living up to expectations or that the partner is unhappy in the relationship,” explains psychologist and study co-author, Natalie. Sisson, “If they also disagree and are not convinced that they need to make the effort to make the change they want, it will only fuel conflict and anger for the demanding person.”

In other words, if we want someone to change for us, it is strategically unwise to state our desire and expect the person to do so without being hurt or offended. On the other hand, it makes sense to offer people something that helps them understand us: what it does to us when they act the way they do. What would it mean to us if he tried to change. Why would we want this change in the first place – because we have a serious interest in the relationship continuing until the end of the rainbow.

Those responsible for the studies recommend two rules of thumb when embarking on change

For their conclusion, after evaluating the results, those responsible for the study were able to elicit two rules that, if followed, increase the likelihood that a person will want to change for us and that they will succeed:

  1. Formulate our request as concrete as possible and explain its background. For example, instead of saying “You can really be an organizer,” we can ask the person to wash their dishes or put them in the dishwasher right after eating them. Because scattered crockery is causing us great stress. And we get upset when we (have to) finally get rid of them ourselves. If one day the dishes no longer stand, perhaps we can gradually deal with the cupboard or the bathroom. It is better to encourage small, tangible changes than to demand a big rethink all at once.
  2. Support the other person in the change process. Once we see that the person with whom we want to adapt to our needs is making an effort to accommodate our desire and accommodate us, it is useful to show or express our gratitude and appreciation for them. And be patient. Because change takes time and energy. But the one who cares about us is usually willing and able to muster both.

In fact, love lends itself to being romantic and sometimes it is confused with a Disney movie for this very reason. Sometimes he makes us do amazing and wonderful things. In the midst of this imperfect, stormy, rainy reality.

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