How Letting People Be Themselves Can Actually Help You
Letting people be who they are is a difficult task. Tough decisions surface. It can mean accepting that you can’t change a parent’s drinking problem or an ill friend’s dietary habits—or even your boyfriend’s behavior that drives you nuts. It means accepting that someone you love is learning the hard way. But ironically, accepting people as they are can be a transformational experience that actually helps you out. -April Dawn Ricchuito
Acceptance is transformational for both parties.
Accepting people as they are is transformational. For years, a man tried to get his elderly mother to stop complaining. One day he gave up trying to change her and accepted her faults. This experience of unconditional love opened her heart and she stopped condemning herself and others. If there is some area of your life that you are seeking to change, first practice acceptance. By acknowledging where you are and giving thanks for the good that you have received, you will release an energy that will transform your present circumstances.
—Douglas Bloch in Listening to Your Inner Voice
Let people make their own choices.
You may believe pushing people into doing what you want them to do is for their own good, but you are actually depriving them of their own experiences. No one is happy when they’re pushed into conforming. Wouldn’t you rather your boyfriend plan dates because he wants to, rather than because you’re hounding him? And wouldn’t you rather your alcoholic friend stop drinking on their own accord instead of hiding it from you to avoid your lectures? Letting people choose their experiences allows you to live your own life.
Free yourself from disappointment.
When you release the need to control other people, it frees you from the inevitable disappointment that occurs when they don’t adhere to your ideas. It’s vital to remember that you can't control someone’s behavior, and trying will only result in disappointment.
Free yourself from being judgmental.
When you try to change someone, it means your inadvertently judging them. Did you know judging someone else say more about you than the person you’re judging? It means your aren’t accepting. Living life without judging others actually feels good. Give it a try.
Work on yourself.
Minding your own business like grandma said is the best thing for you. All the energy you expend on trying to change others can be used more productively, where it will be the most useful—working on yourself!