Changing Others

Any Journey Begins Where We Are Watermarked.jpg

So, changing my mind had the effect of changing my world.  But what about changing others?  Others are part of the world but others also have minds of their own.  Still, I have witnessed change in others in response to mere change of mind in me.  The key was changing my mind about them, interaction with them, or something relative.  This ability to effect change in others in my world came about incidentally, almost accidentally.  My focus was changing myself.  Remember, I was drawn to self-help psychology to learn about me.  Then, as I learned about me, I ended up changing me, changing me by changing old inefficient and ineffective subconscious programming in me.  The result was always changed behaviour, my changed behaviour of course influencing change in my world.  But frequently, too, my world would change and the only apparent cause would be my having changed my mind about my world.

There are self-help psychology books that teach specialized skills for getting our way, or getting others to change.  I read some of these books and liked some of the suggestions for more clear and concise communication.  I didn't like the choreographing of conversation suggested by some, for difficult conversations, or conversations with difficult others.  It seemed purely manipulative to me.  And then there were books that were overtly suggesting manipulating others.  Even if the point is selling product, increasing business success, or getting someone to do something for their supposed own good, well, I just couldn't see the point in getting someone to do something unless I was honest and up front about what I wanted and they then genuinely wanted to accommodate me.

Hence, the kind of self-help psychology books that most appealed to me were the kind that helped me understand being human.  Initially all I wanted was to understand me, me as compared to other human beings.  Of course, self-help psychology books aren't just written about me, or you, or anyone one of us.  They are written about all of us.  So in learning about me I learned about others and I learned about all humans.  I grew to understand me, and others, and all humans.  I grew to understand others every bit as much as I grew to understand me.  And I learned that others are just like me.  No wonder I didn't want to manipulate anybody.  I also didn't want conflict with anybody.

Late in my business career, I was managing commercial mortgage development for a large financial institution, splitting the territory with a male counterpart.  Eventually, however, only one of us could continue upward in the organization, so we were in competition, or at least he thought so.  It also seemed to bother him that I was a woman, and maybe too that I was polished and professional while he was not.  He liked to try to make me look bad.  And when he wasn't doing that he was bragging about how good he was.  By that time in my life I had acquired enough psychology smarts to understand that he wasn't really a jerk.  His braggadocio and meanness were compensation for low self-confidence not high.  I could empathize with low-self confidence.  His subconscious patterning was just another variation of mine.  It was hard, at first, because he would try to goad me into conflict.  But I worked with myself rather than engaging with him.  I did not let him trigger a reaction from me.

Eventually I got to the point where I saw right through him to a nice guy underneath, literally.  I didn't have to work at it anymore.  Along the way, I always treated him with kindness, decency, and respect but in the end I actually felt that way toward him.  He ended up treating me the same way.  I suppose you could say that my behaviour encouraged this change in him.   And you wouldn't be wrong.  But the change in him also began the moment I started changing my mind.  I took the steam out of his every attack simply by changing my mind from subconscious reactive defence, or attack back, to genuine calm kindness and care.


Re-Dreaming Life's Dream

Changing My World