Secret to Successful Relationships

Secret to Successful Relationships

work with people where they are

Work with people where they areWork with people where they are, not where you want them to be.

As I struggled to learn how to be a manager, mom, girlfriend and then wife, Dad gave me this advice: the secret to successful relationships is to stop trying to make people live up to your idea of who they are. Try this: be with them in their current state.  Start where they are instead of trying to take them on a journey made up of your own goals.

Try this old trick —

Write your name as fast as you can three times.

Now switch hands and write your name as fast as you can three times with that hand.

Notice that your handwriting looks like a Doctor’s Prescription? Why is that? It’s because it is natural and normal for you to use your dominant hand. I just asked you to do something that is not natural and normal for you. Your brain is hardwired to use one hand. Notice how you felt when you were trying to write. If it was easy for you, then you have a different talent than most. Most people aren’t ambidextrous. I’ve seen people stick their tongues out trying to write with their non-dominant hand when I do this exercise. I write backwards when I try it!

So here I was trying to change how you write and you couldn’t do it. If you can’t even write with a different hand, how do you expect other people to change a lifetime of habits and thoughts just because you said they should?

People aren’t going to change because it’s convenient for you. They will change when they are damn good and ready to change. You may be able to assist them if they are ready. But only when they are ready. Meanwhile, if you love them the way they are and work from that point, they may give you the same courtesy and accept you the way you are. It’s all give and take.


Beth Terry

© 2015 Beth Terry • All Rights Reserved

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