Top five unapologetic ways to change yourself
You’re always you, and that don’t change, and you’re always changing, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Neil Gaiman
Changing yourself is difficult, not only for you – who has to do it – but it can be a scary time for others around you who also feel uncertainty about the future, particularly partners. Change can mean moving forward and leaving some precious people in the past. This week Happiness Weekly discovers five shameless and unapologetic ways to change yourself … without hurting those around you or leaving them behind!
1. Make the decision final
If you have decided to change, then make the choice and stick to it. It’s when you’re airing between being able to change and not changing that it leads to confusion, and people around you will get impatient and possibly hurt. Generally what happens there is you’ll be on the breaks and all of a sudden you’ll accelerate and take everyone around you by surprise … or give them whiplash!
2. Be open about your change
Be positive and open about the changes you want to make. Resist the temptation to blame your partner, it will only hurt them or cause them to become more anxious about what’s ahead. For example you could say “I want to become more assertive because I think it will make me a happier and more fulfilled person, and I could see it impacting our future in a positive way because I’ll be able to step up a little more”, rather than saying something that could come across as more attacking such as: “I want to be more assertive because I feel like you’ve been controlling me because I’m going along with what you want, when I don’t really want it.” Can you see the subtle distinction?
3. Act with good intentions
Be the change you seek, don’t make your changes out of revenge for someone else. Empower yourself and focus your energies on being positive and encouraging other around you to grow. Don’t push people down to make yourself feel stronger, that kind of power is short lived. If you’re always acting with good intentions, your aura will shine to those around you and they will want to be around you through your changes and support you. However, if you choose to change selfishly and you decide not to take others on the journey with you and don’t communicate it, your aura will do the opposite and cause your loved ones to distance themselves and protect themselves from whatever you have in mind. Generally you become secretive and withdrawn when you choose a selfish change, and it’s this kind of change that will leave you very lonely for a while. It doesn’t mean it’s not fruitful in the end, but it’s certainly the harder path to take and while many psychologists support people making changes on their own (at least for six months), it’s not entirely necessary in all cases.
4. Listen to those around you
Everyone is entitled to an opinion – you can’t control everything. But when you’re amongst a lot of change in your life, and you’re soaring and feeling invincible, it’s hard to remember that. You still need to listen to the people who love you because they’re the ones looking out for you. Listening to each other is a very important part of communication. It’s ok to agree to disagree, or call a time out – but neither should leave the room without explaining they’ll be back or saying the conversation is on hold until you have both calmed down. Generally this kind of tension erupts because change is occurring and the person changing feels great and empowered, but the loved one is feeling very vulnerable and anxious because the communication has altered or isn’t flowing as it usually does – this is another reason to act with good intentions – because then they will feel unconditionally looked after. Also try to keep the communication going between you and don’t assume things or act based on assumptions.
5. Continue to act with integrity
If you always act with integrity and continue being true to yourself, then the core you should remain the same while the changes occur. This will also keep your friends and loved ones around because they feel as though they still know you – you will still be your predictable self, with a few additional features that make you mind-blowingly awesome! If you do decide to push someone away, do it openly and honestly – communicate what is happening and why it is happening, and again, stick to that decision to avoid any hurt or confusion later. There is nothing wrong with road-mapping a change together with your loved ones and going on the journey in partnership, in fact it could be healthy! Some people prefer making changes alone, some people need to make their changes alone, but if you can do it shadowboxing with a partner, it’s not such a lonely or daunting ride.
Communication is 90% of your relationship. Don’t forget to work on it every day!