Existential Psychology

Small Changes For Some Are Big Changes For Others

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It’s narcissism, plain and simple, that makes people place a lower or higher estimation on the difficulty of a behavioral change than it actually is for the person enacting that change. What we mean by narcissism is judging something as objective truth although it’s really your own subjective perspective, an idea best summed up in the statement “Man is the measure of all things.”

Becoming more aware of the actual difficulty involved for the unique individual, an individual with different experiences, traits, and abilities than yours, can help you decide upon attitudes and behaviors that will be most conducive to helping the behavioral change along.

It really comes down to knowing when patience is needed versus when a gentle push is needed, which can best be decided upon once you know the actual level of difficulty, not what you think it should be or what you think it would be in your case. Changing typical patterns of behavior is never easy for anyone though, it’s like trying to paddle against the current, those neuropathways associated with the old patterns of behavior have been in place for a long time. So the underlying attitude of patient encouragement, where you celebrate all progress and expect setbacks, will get the best results.

Just remember that what is ridiculously easy for you is really hard for someone else, and vice versa. Patience is easy to cultivate when you recognize that small changes for some are big changes for others. The fact that a change is desired at all is encouraging. When the old patterns of behavior come around, instead of getting all negative and pointing them out in a hostile way, remember that these things take time. Refocus on patiently encouraging the desired behaviors and praising them when you see them, not losing sight of the endgame because of a bump in the road. The familiar ways of doing things might not be wanted anymore but they still slip on like a comfortable old pair of shoes. It takes time to break in that new pair.