You Can't Make Me – Or Can You?
“You can’t change someone else.”
It’s a common piece of advice that few would argue the wisdom of.
(At least not anyone who’s tried to train a spouse to put dirty socks in the hamper or attempted to make a teenager respect curfew.)
But while I’ll agree we can’t create on another’s behalf, I’m also quick to point out we have a significant influence on those around us – an influence that many of us don’t acknowledge nor manage.
I’m talking about how my scary crackhead neighbor became the model of love and peace (for me, anyway), and how my boyfriend perfectly reflects my expectations of him (good, bad or ugly).
The fact is we flow an energy – all the time. It’s never shut off. The thoughts we think and the feelings we feel contribute to our ongoing vibration. And that vibration affects others.
Have you ever found yourself doing something out of character? It may have been you were responding to someone else’s vibe.
I love the example Laura shared in the New York Times about how she refused to buy into what her husband was selling (divorce). Her commitment to what she wanted overruled his passing fancy for a midlife crisis.
(I don’t mean to minimize what he was experiencing – but Laura’s grounding in love and support proved stronger than what he was temporarily flowing.)
The way I learned this in Landmark Education was that we “create” another person by how we “know them to be.”
So as I know you readers to be generous and wise and appreciative, you are. (And man, am I grateful for that!) As I suspect President Obama to be wise and well-intentioned and capable, I see evidence of that. As I think of my mailman, my brother, my clients, my dogs, my fellow commuters in traffic .. whatever I’m thinking, that’s what I elicit from you.
In Landmark one of our homework assignments was to get others to attend our graduation (where they would be hard-pitched entrance into the program as well). Which is why I don’t recommend Landmark.
Anyway, a young man reported back the next day that he had done his homework and asked his girlfriend to come to the event, but she said no. He wasn’t surprised at her answer; after all, she’s pretty stubborn.
Our course leader, Barry Terry (the most brilliant and amazing coach I’ve ever met – which is saying something), asked him in front of 200 other course participants: “Who did you call to invite?”
“My girlfriend,” he replied politely to bring Barry up to speed, as if his attention had lapsed. (Barry’s attention doesn’t lapse. Ever.)
“Who did you call?” Barry asked again with a tougher tone this time.
“My girlfriend,” said the young man a little less confidently this time, as now he wasn’t sure what Barry was really after.
This time an intense and demanding tone: “WHO did you call?”
“I don’t know what you want me to say … I, I called my girlfriend.” The young man was flustered now.
Barry addresses the rest of the audience and asks: “WHO did he call?”
In unison, an audience of 200 replied: “His stubborn girlfriend.”
He called his stubborn girlfriend. Now the kid gets it. Kudos to him for realizing so quickly that he thought of her as stubborn, and thus that’s what she must be for him.
Barry tells him to let her out of the “box” he’s put her in and to call her again, right now. Only this time to call his open girlfriend.
The young man returns ten minutes later with tears in his eyes. (He’s officially my hero at this point.)
She said yes.
Same request, same girl, the only difference was his expectation.
Powerful stuff, folks.
This is why they train salespeople to expect to get the sale, right? So they’ve at least got that going for them.
(Who here has never had the experience of buying something they didn’t really intend to purchase? Or sleeping with someone they were sure they wouldn’t? ha)
If this post weren’t already this long, I’d love to explore how entrainment and that “like attracts like” thing contribute to this phenomenon – but, I’ve likely tested your patience already.
(Wait! Not that .. I expect you LOVE this topic and are eager to hear more later! lol)
What I’m simply suggesting is to pay attention to what you’re flowing energetically and how that’s affecting others. And vice versa: pay attention to what’s affecting you and make sure it’s a trip you want to take.
You know I can’t wait to hear your stories about this in action!