Changing Others - Try a Small Change Locally
Local action is also much more effective than it might appear
at first glance. It doesn't seem as if my one telephone call to
my senator makes much difference. But when all the calls are
added up in the senator's office, it does. (Most important is
the sense of personal satisfaction from voicing an opinion
instead of doing nothing.) There were no demonstrations
condemning a recent attorney general nomination; instead,
senators received thousands of clearheaded phone calls opposing
the nomination. The nomination was promptly scuttled.
"I object," "I oppose" and "That feels wrong" (spoken in calm
tones without anger) are three powerful assertive statements
that are effective in influencing others. Outrage, calling
someone names and negative judgments are, by comparison,
ineffective because they typically evoke a defensive response.
Getting the opposition defensive often just hardens their
position and makes them more resistant to change. Therefore, in
your local actions, you will be most effective if you are
assertive, not condemning. Blow off steam with your friends (or
with your therapist), but for maximum effectiveness be calmly
assertive with your opposition, your senator and those whom you
would like to change.
|Assertiveness not aggressiveness is the way to change others. Do you know the difference?
At times all of us do nothing. "My efforts would make no
difference" is frequently the reasoning behind the inaction.
"That is not my responsibility" is another favorite dodge. If
something global (or more local) strongly energizes you, you are
a part of it. Take some action: make a phone call, write a note
or talk with a friend. The decision about how much action is
appropriate for you will always be with you, and some
trial-and-error process will normally be necessary to figure out
your correct level of activity. There are those who would
strongly argue that if you have continued negative energy
concerning a problem, you are now part of the problem. Taking
no action keeps you negatively energized and does nothing to
change the global problem.
The ultimate in self responsibility: Wherever I am unhappy, there is where I need to change myself. Most of us blame others.|
More Excerpts This Chapter
STAGES OF HEALING
MAKING CHANGES IN SMALL STEPS (Stage IVa above)
A PERSONAL EXAMPLE
CHANGING OTHERS EFFECTIVELY
A LOUSY WAY OF MAKING CHANGES = SELF CRITICISM
This Chapter's Quiz
Book Table of Contents
Sexual Education Psychology
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