We must respect the freedom of others to make their own choices. If we do not respect that freedom, we will do two things:
• We will nag or otherwise try to control them, and they will begin to resent us.
• We will continually frustrate ourselves as we demand that someone be or do what we wish for them when they do not want to. When they resist, we will end up being angry, shaming, guilt-inducing, or resentful—or all of the above. This path destroys love.
The hard thing is to be honest and clear and to take responsibility for our own wishes, realizing that other people are free to do what they want. We can make our best case, we can even invoke consequences for their choices … like letting go an employee who doesn’t want to step up and get with the program, or saying goodbye to someone who doesn’t want to commit to a relationship.
Sometimes clear consequences are the only thing that will cause someone to make a choice — whether it’s the choice we want or not. But we can’t control whether they make a choice or what choice they make. We can only be the best we can, offer them the best we have, and then allow them to choose.
Let’s talk more about consequences and the law of responsibility.
Until next time …