Too many people are saying dump someone who makes you unhappy. Good advice if being physically abused, good advice when first getting to know each other, bad advice for “antique” friendships. Better to deal with what the other person is doing that hurts.
However, as a wise man by the name of Gregory Bateson, said “Communication is response.”
Which is why when it comes to trying to change someone we have to experimental scientists. If you are not getting what you want from a friendship, you have to try some change oriented tactics.
Emotional Fitness Training Tips
Here are tips for seeing if the other can or is willing to change.
Tip one: Start with feedback which a gentle way to let someone know your feelings about some of the things they do.
Feedback is the best way to offer criticism; As pundit Franklin P. Jones notes: “Honest criticism is hard to take, particularly from a relative, a friend, an acquaintance, or a stranger.”
Feedback does not directly criticize. Moreover, it leaves the option of responding to the other person. This fact makes it more likely the other person will do what you want. Just as most people do not like criticism most people do not like being told what to do.
Tip two; When feedback does not work immediately, try Broken Record. Pick one point, and repeat using feedback but adding a bit of anger with each repetition.
Tip three: Try the Stop Plan when the hurtful behavior occurs. Although developed for children, works with adults also. Here the Poster Coach for that one.
Tip four: Rearrange your behavior and your attitude. When the other person cannot or will not change, you can do a number of things to preserve your feelings and the friendship.
- You can distance emotionally from the person.
- You can arrange to spend less time with the person, particularly times you know will create tension or pain for you.
- Protect your feelings by improving your self-soothing skills. Buy my eBook devoted to creating calm in your life. Costs only $2.99 which is less than a latte.
- Ask for a quid pro quo. Recognise that change is unlikely. Ask the friend to add a good to the friendship instead of changing. Or give yourself a good when hurt occurs.
- Practice forgiveness. No one is perfect and we all do the best we can when we can, so forgiveness of the other and of yourself is essential to preserve what is good in any relationship.
Tip five: Do a cost/benefits analysis before ending the friendship. If the above tactics do not work, you may need to end the friendship. Before doing that list all the good – including all the past goods; then list the bad. Decide rather than letting things drift.
Tip six: Remember what matters.
Thank you for all you do
Remember to share all you find of value on the internet. All who post crave recognition. A like says “Thank You.” Comments say you have read and thought about the post. Sharing is a gift to three people: the blogger, the people you share with, and you for your kindness blesses you.
Post Inspiration: This post was inspired by a WordPress Daily Prompt: Rearrange
Links of Interest
These links are for those not familiar with Emotional Intelligence or the idea of Emotional Fitness.
- Emotional Intelligence (en.wikipedia.org)
- The five components of emotional Intelligence (www.sonoma.edu)
- About Emotional Fitness Training (emotionalfitnesstraining.com)
- An Emotional Fitness Program for Parents (amazon.com)
Even the most learned researchers and therapists quarrel about much. Take their advice and mine carefully. Don’t just listen to your heart, but also think; don’t just think, listen to your heart. Heart and head working together increase the odds you will find useful advice amid all the promises and hopes pushed at you be others. As others have noted, take what seems useful, leave the rest.
Disclaimer two: Forgive my grammatical errors
If you need perfect posts, you will not find them here; I will understand if you don’t follow, like or share what like me. Not only am I dealing with an aging brain, but all of my life I have been plagued by dysgraphia–a learning disability, Some of my posts might be peppered with bad spelling, poor punctuation, and worse words that make no sense. If you want to hang in with me, thank you; you are kind. If a post doesn’t make sense or bugs you too much, stop reading, I will understand.