Jeffrey reminded me of this important point when he told me of his experience as a young father. After attending a parenting class, he began looking at what was happening in his home a bit differently. He sat back and observed a few things before making any decisions.
When his children were displaying undesirable behaviors, he realized he could shift them by shifting his own behavior first.
I’m inspired by how much he cares for the health and happiness of his family and also the humility he demonstrated to go and seek answers rather than having the “I can figure it out on my own” mentality.
Is there anyone you spend a good amount of time with who displays undesirable behaviors?
If yes, think about your own actions, behavior, or response to theirs in those moments. Is there any change you could make that would encourage them to shift to more productive ways to behave?
For example, does someone you care about often get frustrated or impatient when trying to share something important with you? When this was true for me, I came to realize I wasn’t demonstrating good listening skills. Instead I was making him question if I was listening at all, and what’s worse… I was interrupting and speaking before he was finished sharing his thought. NOT GOOD!
I did that consistently enough that even if I wasn’t doing it, his frustration fuse was short because of all of the times I had done it previously. I had conditioned him to communicate that way with me. Once I realized it and changed my own behavior, he was able to shift as well. Quickly, our communication became much more effective.
So as you consider the behavior of those close to you.. Ask yourself.. Am I an enabler? A supporter? A cause of it? An apathetic party to it?
Then ask.. Is there anything I could do differently to help them shift to a more positive behavior?
It may not be anything you are doing wrong. Sometimes, we can choose to behave differently or react differently, even when we are not behaving badly or negatively, and just by making that change, the pattern break can be powerful for the other person.
There is a possibility that it has nothing to do with you, but it’s worth asking just in case there is something you can do to help the person you care about (or have to deal with) make a positive change.
If you have any questions or comments, I’d love to hear them. Please leave them below or go to Contact or Ask Amiee.
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