#336- When Forcing Pushes People Away
As a partner, friend or parent you can always share your opinion and suggest what you would do in their situation, but you can never truly force them to do something. It’s ultimately their choice. Even with the parent/child relationship where you do have some control over their actions, you can’t crawl inside their head and change what they believe. You can hope they eventually see your wisdom, but whether or not that happens is up to them. A person’s mind can only be changed if they do it themselves.
In some cases, there might be an opening, so encouragement can give them confidence to take action, but the choice is still theirs. When you force someone’s hand, even if your intentions are good, you run the risk of pushing that person away and creating emotional distance. You can make your kids to go to church or to a different school, but you can’t make them love it. In fact, you can sometimes do the opposite by creating resentment. If you find yourself in this situation, come from a place of sharing your experience and why it’s important to you without forcing your opinion or will. Provide encouragement, then step back and give them the space to make their own decision.
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