Monday, February 8, 2016

Changing Men

The biggest trap women fall into is trying to change men.

This often manifests in a "nice" girl falling for a "bad" boy. Usually she believes her "love" will change him for the better. Bad idea on many levels.

First, no person can change another person. Only two things create change:
    1) a person wants to change and is willing to do the work to change
    2) a person changes his or her actions, which then changes the reaction

Have you ever known a person, or seen a movie, where a woman was constantly trying to change man (how he dresses or losing weight, for example), while he resists? Then they breakup and suddenly everything she tried to get him to do he starts doing? It is a common theme.

The number one thing men hate is women trying to control them - and trying to change him in any way, even if for his own good, is interpreted by men as trying to control them.

That is not to say men are completely unwilling to change some things. It just means how the changes are approached is key.  Suggestions, not demands. Actions and reactions.

Some examples of how to encourage change are:


Rather than push a man to exercise, you begin exercising and then invite him to join you. But make sure to choose an exercise he likes - and do not make it about his need to loose weight. Invite him to go on walks in the neighborhood or go for a hike. Invite him to join the gym with you. Invite him to play tennis or racquetball. Above all, make a couple activity, not just an exercise program for him. [This also a good idea for children.]


Do not buy clothes for him unless you already know what he likes or your relationship already includes his wearing things to please you.

Try to find something he has already in his wardrobe that is complementary. Always mention something positive about that piece of clothing, how it makes him look or what you like about it. Do not diss his other clothes, just constantly highlight the "good" pieces. Everyone likes compliments and complimenting him and his clothing will usually encourage him to want other pieces of clothing that get the same positive comments.

If he is willing, take him shopping. Men usually have a short attention span for shopping, so make sure you do not take him for hours - and above all, do not get distracted with your own purchases. If you take him shopping, do not focus on radical changes. Stay with his current style but stretch it a little bit. Just suggestions. Tell him how a certain piece of clothing complements him. Encourage him but do not insist he purchase things he is not comfortable wearing. Do not push. Suggest. If he resists, let it go. Do not get upset. Accept his decisions. Remember, this a his own personal decision about the way he looks that he, just like you, has a right to have.

If he feels his decisions are accepted, he is more likely to consider stretching his ideas. If he feels his decisions are not accepted, he will resist - even if he might choose the clothing otherwise.

There are many other examples: helping around the house, taking more responsibility, getting a better job, parenting style, romance, etc. Any aspect that a woman wishes a man to do differently will only happen if he wants it to.  The best way to get a man to want to is through encouragement and appreciation - never force or demands.

This is not about manipulation. This is about respecting another person's rights to make their own decisions. A romantic partner is not your child. A romantic partner is a partner - a partner that you can encourage but not force to change.

You might also consider why you want him to change. Perhaps the problem is you not accepting (appreciating) him for all the positive qualities he already has or you are trying to impress others.

You might also consider whether you would like it if he wanted to change you....

Deedra is originally from Arkansas; an attorney in Scottsdale, Arizona; a diversity expert and motivational speaker with The Ambassador Project; and has a blog at where she shares her perspectives based on questions and experiences. Follow Deedra on Twitter @askdeedra


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