Saturday, June 14, 2014

How do I get someone to change? (I heart this advice so much)

[Most of this entire problem is snipped -- all that matters is this last question because it can apply to any dilemma in which what we want is not actually what's happening:]

 Dear Carolyn: 

How do I address [this issue] without just complaining and revisiting a few prior discussions? How much complaining is too much complaining?


Any complaining that occurs when you know you’ve made your preference clear, and after you have given the other person a chance to act on that knowledge, is too much complaining.

Upping one or two clear requests to “several discussions” hasn’t stopped her from [doing that thing you don't like], so standing on your head and wearing a glitter vest and serving popcorn for the nth conversation (with n = several + 1) will likely hit the same wall.

The answer to your “how do I address” question is to face the fact of that wall. She wants to [do that thing, obviously, because she keeps doing it]. Why? Only she can say.

I suggest taking this a step further and facing the fact of her. It’s common to go into a relationship, then commitment, with an image of how a shared life should look. Please don’t do that to either of you.

Instead, look at what you have. Look at who you are, and who she is. Look at what you create in combination. Then decide if that’s a life you’ll commit to.

Meaning, instead of taking another run at the idea of [fixing the problem your way], see her. ... You gave her a chance to do [things] your way, or compromise on them, and she stuck to her way. This isn’t right or wrong; it’s just who she is.

Accepting that is a “good way to prepare for a life together” — or for breaking up, if that’s what makes sense. It’s better, certainly, than racking your brain and mine for new methods of changing her ways.

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