Why are human beings so change averse? Change is inherent in everything that touches our lives but one area that it seems most troublesome in is relationships. Regardless of the nature of the change people seem to struggle with transition and adjustment. In the Headspace meditation app ( https://www.headspace.com/headspace-meditation) there is a pack devoted to accepting change. My eyes have been opened to my own rigidity and as I have tried to identify sources of change in physical, emotional, and intellectual areas of my life I have found that changes can wreak havoc on relationships.
Even positive changes can make people uncomfortable. In the past year and a half confidence has replaced anxiety in my life and my newfound confidence has left some having to learn to interact with me differently. Interestingly enough, my confidence has forced them to see me as a strong and healthy individual who is capable of making independent decisions. The people who enjoyed a sense of control preferred that I ask and listen for advice. They struggle with my sense of self-security because it is a loss for them in a sense; they have lost their ability to manage me. With some of these individuals I find I have to constantly reassert myself and gently push back. My positive change is not readily welcomed because it nudges them toward change as well.
At times I struggle to know which of these relationships I should just let go. It is work to constantly readdress and reassert myself as an independent, capable thinker and my emotional strings are tugged and pulled. I have to remind myself that it is a loss for these other people to have to withdraw their control and input and I have to smile politely as I reject or decline their ideas and suggestions and confidently state and put forth my own. Perhaps it is good for me to continually exercise this sense of confidence and if the relationship is valuable it can be worth the effort. Change takes time, and practice, and sometimes a lot of patience.
Leo Tolstoy said, “Everyone thinks of changing the world but no one thinks of changing himself.” I have changed myself and in my own tiny way, I am changing my world but it isn’t easy and it isn’t always pleasant.
I am interested in knowing what positive changes others have made that have led to difficulties with relationships. What can one do to maintain and effect positive change in one’s relationships?