Monday, February 1, 2010

Revolutionary Man - What To Do When Others Don’t Want You To Change

Great post from Jayson. When we decide to change ourselves and our lives, those around us often stand in our way for a variety of reasons - but we must be able to follow our own inner call to change not be derailed by those people.

What To Do When Others Don’t Want You To Change


Here is a great question from one of my clients.

As many of you know, once you start engaging in personal development work, be it getting some coaching, going to therapy, or finding a spiritual path, many of your closest friends and family members might feel very uncomfortable with the “new you.”

Here’s a great example that some of you might appreciate, followed up with some useful tips.

Here’s my client’s question:

Last night I had dinner with my bro. We got on the topic of “what the f*ck am I doing?” with all my time, going to spiritual talks etc.

My bro gave me a piece about, “You need to be clear with your friends what you’re doing since you are so out of touch, you need to be clear with Mom and Dad. People need you/ want you back. No one understands what is going on with you”. I was patient for a while, and then I got angry and heated. I started defending myself, fired up.

How have you dealt with friends and family who didn’t understand what you were doing during personal development work? I offered my bro an answer from one of your blogs – “it may look selfish, but I’m trying to work on myself to be a better person”. My bro said “what problems do you have – we were blessed growing up. What are you angry about? You shouldn’t be so angry. Don’t feel bad” Of course, this only stoked the flames even higher.

I’m feeling angry, pissed, locked up and helpless. If you have any thoughts to share I’d appreciate.

So what is going on here?

This is a classic example of how other people are threatened by a man’s personal growth and evolution.

I remember this process vividly for myself. As I dove deep into my own personal development work and spiritual practice I heard comments like this: “We like the old Jay better than the new Jay.” or “Yeah bro, we were thinking about having an intervention with you,” as If I was an alcoholic or something.

In systems theory, when one aspect of any system changes, it disrupts the entire system or the homeostasis of the system.

As you change and evolve, the system, which is your old friends and family members, feels a threat and does it’s best to keep you in your old role. This happens largely unconsciously on their end. This can be one painful aspect of differentiating from your family.

If they were able to talk about it and had some skills, they might say things such as, “When you change and grow, I get scared because I no longer know how to be with you or relate to you.” or “When I can’t place you into the role I’ve always known you in, I feel threatened, scared, and uncomfortable.” or “I feel safe and secure knowing who I think you are and when you show me signs of something different, I feel very uncomfortable and I start to question myself.”

So, what to do?

Whether or not you understand them and their process is irrelevant.
Read the rest of the post.

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