What do you do when people won’t change?

Did you ever have an epiphany? I do and usually through experiences that do not lend themselves to such a thing. I mean shouldn’t there be bright lights or a flash bulb somewhere?

But still, you feel like someone has finally found your switch and turned on the lights.

A conversation I had with a friend once was such an occasion. I learned that a situation in her life that she had just told me about had been going on for three weeks. I realized right then that despite our conversations in the past around this very subject, she wasn’t likely to change even though I didn’t like it.

I’m ok with that.

We are to love others but we are also to love ourselves. I think sometimes that means we let some people stay where they are even if we know it would be better for them to change. I used to think that I had to “woo” people. Do you know what I mean?

“Wooing” is when you are always the one initiating, making the phone calls, sharing your life, reaching out. It makes one feel a little too “needy” and I think we do better when we give ourselves and others some space. Christ often gave people their “space”.

When you accept that some people just aren’t going to change and grow, you are freed from that burdensome feeling of responsiblity. And when you become free of a responsiblity that was never yours to begin with, you find yourself growing in areas where YOU need to grow. 


Maybe we sometimes try to help others in an effort to take our attention away from ourselves. Just sayin’.

When you realize you can’t make others behave the way they should and no amount of effort on your part is going to change them, it frees you to get on with your own life without apology or explanation.

I’m not suggesting that we become hard and uncaring.


Only that we think a little before giving away all our emotional energy on people and situations we can’t change and have no obligation to change. Some people are quite content to remain “stuck” all their lives in destructive habits and behaviors.

Real change can only come from within anyway.


We spend so much time trying to “fix” people and situations that we ignore the “fixing” we should be doing for ourselves. I think my mom’s ongoing dementia and failing health has brought this home to me in a very real way. I can’t change what is happening to her. I can’t “fix” her. But I can work on me.

In a way, this journey with her has helped me get off the”white horse” that I use to ride to rescue people. It feels good to be on solid ground.

God bless and have a good day.