When my parents didn't meet my needs and wants, I spent years getting frustrated and trying to change them to be more in line with my desires.
I held a story that their behaviors, personality traits, and strategies were "flawed."
When I tried to teach them concepts that I've learned and tell them how to live better lives, I'd wonder why they didn't listen to me.
I realized later that I had done the same to them: brush off the wisdom they wanted to share with me. We kept hoping that the other side would change first.
The lesson I had to learn is that no matter how hard I try or how strongly I believe my parents must change, I don't have the power to make them different.
I only have the power to change myself.
It doesn't mean that I cannot express my concerns or desires. It's essential to any relationship to share my feelings, needs, and what I'd enjoy seeing from them.
I must remember that by focusing on what I can do differently to help our relationship grow, I'm modeling the kind of relationship I'd like to have.
Giving before receiving:
- Better understanding and meeting their needs/wants.
- Improving my communication strategy, tone, etc.
- Processing my desires so I can meet them myself or seek them elsewhere.
Being the one to change first has always served my relationships and increased others' willingness and desire to reciprocate.