If you look around at your family, friends, and co-workers, you will see that the happiest people are the ones who don’t pretend to know what’s right for others and don’t try to control anyone but themselves.
You will further see that the people who are most miserable are those who are always trying to control others. Even if they have a lot of power, such as over students, the constant resistance in some form by the weaker people they are trying to control deprives them of happiness.
If you try to control your students, you will be met with constant discipline challenges. If you try to control a spouse or partner, the relationship will be stressful. If you try to control a friend, the friendship will be short-lived. Yet, so often, we try to control those who are most dear to us.
The fact is that you will rarely, if ever, solve a relationship problem by trying to make the other person see that you are right and he or she is wrong. On the other hand, you have probably never heard someone say, “I’m having a problem with what you are doing and I think I have to change what I do or we’ll never solve the problem.”
Yet, that is the secret for improving relationships. Just keep it a secret. It’s not necessary to say it out loud. BUT IT IS ESSENTIAL TO THINK IT.
In any relationship, rather than attempting to correct or control the other person, simply ask yourself, “What can I do to improve the situation?” The result will be an option you will think of that—by YOUR changing—will be so much more effective in influencing the other to change than any attempt at control.