Let me start off by saying, you can never make a person change their behavior. People change because they want to and no amount of whining, arguing, or withholding sex is going to make them act right. You can only control your response so please don’t be disappointed that this isn’t the typical step-by-step “Guide To Make Him Act Right” you’d read elsewhere. This is what I did and it worked for my relationship, doesn’t mean it will work for yours.
1. Never Get Upset or Ask For Change I probably just blew your minds with this one, but the key to encouraging change is not to demand it. You’re not 5, throwing a tantrum doesn’t work because people no longer feel obligated to baby you. What you do is stay calm, cool, and collected. Gather your thoughts first and take time to yourself if needed, but when you approach them about what’s bothering you, stay cool.
2. Communicate Calmly How Said Action Made You Feel Again, stay cool. This gets harder because the person is now in your face and you’re probably replaying whatever nuance they did or continue to do in your head. Push it to the side because you’ve got a bigger purpose right now. As concisely and to the point as you can, tell them how whatever it is they did makes you feel. If you can muster up the affection, tell them how much you care about them and hate having to have conversations like this because it strains the relationship. The point here is to really get to the root of the issue.
For me, the thing with flirting was respect and I felt like every time dude would send a text or FB message “just checking in” with another female that it disrespected what we had and made me feel like I just wasn’t “it” for him. Honestly, there’s a level of vulnerability that comes with this, but if a person cares about you they probably don’t do whatever it is with ill intentions and will respond better to that.
3. Tell Them What You’re Going To Do After you said how you feel, create a change for yourself that doesn’t require him to change. This gets tricky because it can often sound like an ultimatum or a bluff. It’s also tricky because I’m sure some of you are reading this as a ploy. It’s not and shouldn’t be used that way.
When I was dealing with the whole flirting situation, Mike and I went on a break for, I believe, a week or two. My whole thing was I can’t be with someone who does X and I can’t accept it so I will remove myself from the situation. Some situations aren’t that deep but the point to this step is finding a way for you to be okay if the person doesn’t change. Don’t worry about if they’ll respond negatively or not, it’s about you and said action no longer bothering you. I couldn’t accept the disrespect that came from flirting so left. However, you may be able to accept your man leaving his clothes laying around everywhere if you create a little “mess pile” in the corner where you put his belongings for him to sort through later.
4. Stick To What You’re Going To Do This is the hard part. It was really hard for me to accept a break away from Michael and so many times during that time period I wanted to give in. However, I couldn’t and I let his phone calls go to voicemail, his texts were left unanswered and I went about my business. After you’ve decided what you’re going to do, you’re SO is going to think, “Yeah right” and try to test it.
Using the same scenario from above, if you’re man intentionally leaves more piles of clothes laying around (expecting you to fold them or hang them up) or still doesn’t clean up after himself leave that “mess pile” on his side of the bed or somewhere where it will inconvenience him. It’s not mean or inconsiderate, he should clean up after himself and if he doesn’t want to, stick to the best way you can learn to deal with his actions.
5. Give Them Time To Think Up to now, I’m assuming your SO cares about you and wants things to work out the same way you do. Assuming this, your SO is going to eventually take everything you have said, see your change in behavior and think over if maybe their actions are really that bad. Are they? Of course they are but it’s going to take them time to really process where you’re coming from. They may even start arguments with you on purpose because your new behaviors upset them. Keep it calm and don’t engage in an argument or start pointing fingers. Let them know, again, how you feel and that for you to be okay with whatever it is they’re doing that your new actions are necessary.
This can and will backfire if your SO is a spiteful person or not very rational. Mike wasn’t this way and what happened with us was that he started to understand where I was coming from and started taking action towards redeveloping the trust and respect in our relationship.
6. Become Aware Of Both Positive and Negative Changes In Behavior It took Mike and I awhile to fully get things ironed out but I helped things along by staying aware of what he was doing different and how he was trying to change. This helped me become more trusting in the fact that he did respect what we were building and that he did care about me enough to realize his mistakes.
7. Be Appreciative And Reward Honest and Good Effort This piggybacks off of the last tip. When you notice your SO is trying or doing something different for you ACKNOWLEDGE IT!! You don’t need to say anything verbally or be long-winded a simple smile or kiss on the cheek will do.
What do you guys think? How do you resolve conflict in your relationships or what have you learned from trying to change someone else? Is it possible or not even worth giving a try? Share your stories.