My parents don't understand me. They want me to find a decent, stable job and get married...but that’s the life they want for me! I want to live in my own way. Every time we talk it ends up in arguments and frustration. Help! How can I change them?
28 years old, Male
Here comes the bad news! We can’t just run away from the relationship with our parents, and even more importantly, YOU CAN’T CHANGE THEM!! Sorry!
If your answer is “Absolutely Yes,” then you are ready for the next stage -- CHANGE YOURSELF! That’s right, you heard me! TO MAKE A CHANGE, YOU MUST CHANGE FIRST!
How to do that? Follow these 3 simple steps:
Step 1 - Change your expectations
They can’t change you and you can’t force them to change. So accept and respect that THEY ARE DIFFERENT FROM YOU! This will create the space necessary for mutual understanding.
Step 2 - Understand your parents
Why do your parents think in a certain way? You might get an idea from their life stories. Find an opportunity to talk to them casually; ask them about their past, like their childhood and work experience. Then listen, with your heart. You will gain a deeper understanding of your parents, and they will feel understood.
Keep doing step 1 and 2 until you are truly listening to each other, then move to step 3.
Step 3 - Share with your parents
Share your thoughts WITHOUT EXPECTING THEM TO AGREE WITH YOU! (Can’t do this? Go back to step 1) Before sharing, let them know you care about them and want their support. This will win your parents over so that you can solve the issues together.
Remember, no matter how different you and your parents are, what matters most is you love each other. Follow the 3 steps, and you will find the moment you stop expecting them to change is the moment true change takes place.