“You can't change anyone else, but people do change in relationship to your change.” - Jack Canfield
We hear the advice so often it's now cliche. "You can't change people. Stop trying to change them."
Change in life, and relationships, is inevitable, uncomfortable and uncontrollable. The common advice: what you can control is your attitude and yourself. In other words, you are the agent for change by changing YOU. The other person is the other person’s problem. Simple, right? Maybe a little too simple.
We become entangled with one another for so many reasons and often love, family or friendship is not bound to logical behavior. Add this to advice like, “love the one you’re with,” even though you chose them at age 22 and, well, it gets seriously complicated.
Whether it's you mother, BFF or your spouse, you share joys and responsibilities -- in the past, present and future. But there are things you cannot share no matter how much you talk about it. Things that only you can take on as a responsibility. We get so wrapped up into one another's lives that it becomes difficult to untangle the togetherness from the solo responsibilities.
Regardless of the complexity of your life, if YOU are unhappy, the responsibility for change rests with you. If that seems unfair, consider this: you are the guardian of your happiness, your life and your heart. No one else can know the scope of your joys and sorrows. So how could someone possibly be responsible when they can never truly know your soul?
If you are unhappy, then you can work with the other person to better the relationship, but again the soul work will rest on the individual. It’s not their problem that you’re not satisfied and vise versa.
There is a silver lining. Taking care of yourself, looking inward and growing into being a more fulfilled and satisfied person, doesn’t necessarily lead to walking out of a person's life. People react to positive change around them. You, learning to care for yourself, be more satisfied and centered, can help inspire others to change themselves.