Why Do We Keep On Trying to Change People Even Though We Know They Won’t Change?
Practically everyday I nag my husband over one thing or the other. Sometimes the nagging starts as soon as he wakes up (which is he doesn’t take too well). Now I’m not a stubborn person who wants things my way all the time. My issues are very simple and very genuine (although he might disagree with me here).
Let’s take an example – I wake up in the dark when everyone else is snuggled in their blankets, cook all meals – breakfast, lunch and dinner, wake up my kid for school, make his tuck box, give him breakfast, make him ready, send him to school, get ready and leave for office. This is my routine.
Now let’s see his routine, he wakes up when all the work is done, has tea (which I made btw), gets ready and goes to office.
My reason for nagging in this scenario is very obvious – get up early and do your share your housework. Not too much to ask for, right? Unfortunately, it’s the same story everyday and nothing ever changes.
I realized after many years of marriage that in this process of complaining, the one who ends up suffering is only I. Not everyone wants to change (or not in the way you think they should) and that’s his or her prerogative. You simply can’t change some people and trying to do so often just makes things worse.
I was frequently frustrated that he wasn’t listening to me, I was tired of nagging and most of the times it felt like I was talking to a brick wall. I realized that the reason of my frustration was the fact that I was trying to change someone who doesn’t want to change and prefers to live life the way he has been living since forever.
We Tend To Think Their Problems Are Ours
When it comes to distant family or friends, we accept the fact that their problems are not ours and most of the times leave them alone. But when it comes to people close to us, we get sucked into trying to change and fix things because we feel we know what’s correct and we try to enforce that thought on others regardless of what they want.
We tend to believe that their problems are ours and we need to fix it. This futile thought ends up taking most of our time in controlling something / someone that cannot be controlled. For e.g. just because I’m affected by my husband’s laziness, its not my problem, it’s his problem. However if his laziness is making me stressed, worried or angry then it’s my problem and I need to figure out how not to be stressed or angry. So my concern should be to reduce my stress and not to force him to be more active. He is extremely happy being lazy and he doesn’t want to change that at all so nagging him continuously to get up early and do housework has just made things worst for me, not for him.
Issue was that I was getting stressed because he would sit and I would run around, so I found a solution to reduce my stress. I taught my son to help me out (which he is super happy to do for now). He helps me with the work and now I don’t even bother to change my husband who continues to be lazy (which I still feel he should do something about but it’s not my problem anymore, it’s his). Now, I’m healthy and happy and he is unhealthy and lazy but then most men are like this, right?