Asking People to Change

When do you have the right to ask someone to change? Do you ever have that right? Some people would think not. No one else has the right to make a human being change themselves in any way.

Other people see things in a different light. They believe that if a person is a significant part of your life, you should be able to ask them to change things about themselves that you find objectionable.

I have a bit of a problem with this idea. Surely, we should accept people as they are?

theimperfectmuslimah Asking People to Change

But then, how far does that go? We should accept people as they are but if a person is behaving in a way that harms me, I wouldn’t want to accept that. Nor do I think it’s necessary that I should.

This is an incredibly hard issue to find a hard and fast rule for. So is it then that every situation is different and you should ask people to change only when their behaviour is harmful to you?’

That’s a better option. But it’s still not perfect, because who gets to decide what harm is? How do you find a balance between the harm that’s caused to you by the person’s behaviour and the harm that’s caused towards them by you asking them to change?

I suppose choice plays a large role here. If you ask someone to change and they choose not to, you in turn have a choice to tolerate their behaviour or not. That seems reasonable.

Asking people to change is a delicate, difficult process and I’m still not entirely sure where I sit on the sides of the debate. What I do know is that it’s not something to be done lightly.

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