You’ve heard the saying that you can’t help anyone until you help yourself first. And, that no one can change unless they are willing to and want to. If you have determined that there are things about yourself that you would like to improve, self-help might be just the thing that you need.
If you have also found that some of the people in your life need some help too, the best thing you can do is improve those things about you that you see wrong in them. After all, your example might be just what they need.
1. You Can Only Change One Person – The fact is we only have control over one person: ourselves. When you realize that, you’ll start taking more control over your own needs without worrying about how that affects everyone else. For example, if you need to lose weight, but your spouse isn’t very supportive even though they could stand to lose a few pounds too, putting yourself first in this case may rub off on them – especially if you happen to be the cook in the family.
2. When You Are Happy People Want What You Have – When you show people by example that you’re a different person and have accepted responsibility for your life, and it shows through real happiness on your part, people will want what you have and start asking you what you did. You can share your good fortune by sharing the books you read, movies you watched (like The Secret or What the Bleep Do We Know), or the path you took.
3. You Teach People How to Treat You – Dr. Phil is most famous for saying that if people are treating you poorly it may be because you’ve given them permission to do so via actions, if not words. Once you start treating yourself better, your friends and family might decide that they also deserve better. I can tell you this is true from first-hand experience. Finally, after several abusive relationships and working on myself after getting out, I believe that much of the way I was treated by others was because I was treating myself the same way. I treated myself as worthless, so my ex-husband treated me the same way. Others, your children for example, may start treating themselves better as well as you better solely based on your attitude.
4. Learning to Communicate Better Rubs Off – It might surprise you to realize that if you want to stop arguing and fighting in your relationship that it only takes one person to make the change. You have to decide if it’s more important to win fights or to get along. That doesn’t mean you have to accept being walked over, but you can end many fights by just refusing to take part in them. When you teach yourself better communication skills, you’ll learn how to talk to people in ways that keep them from going on the attack and escalating the issue.
5. Mirror the Behavior You Want to See – You might not learn about mirroring if you aren’t actively reading about self-help. But, as you learn more about yourself and how you want to be treated, you will learn how to act in such a way that demonstrates to others how you want them to behave. This works especially well with children.
6. Learn to Compliment Others – When you study self-help techniques and how to build self-esteem in yourself, you’ll learn that an honest compliment can go a long way. As you feel more secure in yourself, you’ll find that you have more good things to say about others. As you compliment them, they will also feel better about themselves and a circle of positivity (is that even a word?) will begin.
7. Learn to Ask Questions the Right Way – Instead of trying to convince someone of a fact by debating them, learn to ask leading questions. Questions that make the person think about their answers deeply will work a lot better than making demands on them. As you read self-help books and practice self-help, you’ll learn the right techniques.
8. Ask How You Can Make Someone’s Life Better Today – You don’t want to be a doormat but you do want to learn how to have a servant’s heart. It feels good to do things for other people willingly without force. When you put your friends’, children’s or spouse’s needs ahead of your own, they will likely do the same for you.
9. Learning What Boundaries Are Helps Everyone – As you study self-help, you’ll learn more about healthy boundaries which will keep you from taking any of the other lessons you’ve learned too far in the wrong direction. Boundaries keep us from either being abused or being abusive to others. We realize that our rights end where someone else’s begins. You can learn more about developing/having boundaries in a free course offered by Richard Grannon here.
As you seek to improve yourself, and put to practice the things that you learn, you’ll find that your friends and family often follow your lead as long as you aren’t demanding of them. Instead of actively trying to recruit anyone into your new-found self-knowledge training, just be the example and they’ll come around all on their own.