Can we all agree that if people were to just do what we want them to do that our lives would be that much easier? Our days would go by much smoother. We are essentially getting our way which is something I know we can all agree that we want. But to what extent? How far are we willing to go to impose our will on other people for the sake of getting what we want?
After hundreds of thousands and millions of attempts of trying to make strong suggestions to others, here are some things I have learned and continue to learn:
(1) You can’t make anyone do anything. Period
ESPECIALLY somebody grown. It is one thing to offer helpful tips or suggestions but to approach it in an authoritative way, that’s the easiest way to not be heard. A lot of our stressors come from power struggles in which we get anxious if we don’t have power or we lose our power. We don’t like it when people try to make us do what they want us to. First thing we say is, “Look, I’m a grown woman/man.” Some of y’all may use more colorful words than that. We automatically come to the defense. How can we expect someone else to react any different?
(2) It promotes a very self-centered, narcissistic, selfish mindset. You remove that other person as the subject and replace them with yourself. It ain’t about YOU! When you make yourself the main factor, you are limiting any type of genuine concern you have for the other person.
(3) Basically, what you are saying is, you have all the right answers.
YOU DON’T HAVE THE ANSWERS SWAY!
Again, helpful suggestions and unsolicited/forced advice are two different things; Experience is not synonymous with expert. Nobody likes to be around “know it alls.”
(4) Sometimes, all you can do is pray. In the most extreme of situations like a family member, loved one, or friend is constantly messing up or making terrible life decisions, we want to come in and save the day. If you aren’t equipped to be a life guard and you dive in, y’all both gone drown. If you are anything like me, I wear my emotions on my sleeve and I’m always wanting to help somebody. I just recently had someone very close to me tell me, “Alana, you cannot save me.” As disappointing as that sounds, it’s the absolute truth. Pray that he/she will begin to make sound decisions and love them through it; Even if that means loving them from a distance so it’s not negatively affecting you.
Next time you try to strongly impose your thoughts, opinions, and suggestions upon others, how about you(we) even more strongly consider these four things.