Change is difficult. It’s even more difficult when someone tells you to change. Your ego kicks in and says “I’ll change when I want to change, thank you very much!” We simply don’t like being told what to do. Before any real change is going to take place a person has to look at their life, behavior, relationships, whatever is, and want it to be better…to believe it could be better. Until that inner switch gets flipped, any talk of change is falling on deaf ears. So where does that desire come from?

My gut says it’s a lot easier to see that need for change when life is going bad. If our marriage is on the rocks, or we’re battling an addiction, we have these major problems front and center that are affecting us everyday. Because those problems are so big and life altering, the incentive to change is obvious. No one wants a marriage full of yelling and screaming and pain. No one wants relationships to be destroyed by addiction. Yet it happens. Despite the obvious warning signs, some people don’t seek marital counseling, or treatment for addiction, or take meaningful steps to change. They just continue down that hole until they hit the bottom, and then wonder how they got there. So even when you’re drowning in problems, change can be difficult.

The problem is most of us aren’t drowning. We would probably describe life as good or OK. How do you convince someone to change when they don’t even see a problem? And that brings me to one of my early challenges that I’ve been thinking about. How do I present ideas to people in a way that will make them open to the idea of change? (And I apologize if these first few posts are really philosophical. It’s my way of deciding where I’m going and how I’m going to get there. If you’re waiting for the posts titled “Why Do Men Suck at Laundry?” and “How Do I Get My Wife to Have More Sex?” just stay tuned!)

I went through a lot of potential names for the website before I landed on this one. Early on I wanted to rule out names like “Be a Better Man,” because they sounded accusatory. If you need to be a better man, you must not be a very good one right now. I was drawn to words like ponder and contemplate. Here are some thoughts to consider. I want people to listen, so I need to find a style that is approachable. If people don’t want to listen, then I’m wasting my time. One of the first major things I’ve realized is, you can expect to see some words repeated here quite a bit.

Perhaps. Maybe. It’s possible. I think.

I’m not here to tell men what to do. I’m here to get men to think about what they want to do. Maybe there’s a change they need to make, and they’ve never even considered it. In fact, I’m sure there are changes that I need to make, and I look forward to sharing those with people. I want to go on a journey, and I want people to come with me. Hopefully along the way we get to some crossroads, to places where we see new possibilities. New opportunities to grow, and make life better for ourselves and those around us.

What makes you willing to listen and open your mind to a new way of thinking about something?

SHARE
Nathan Charlton
A husband and father of three, he is first and foremost a Christian, but will openly admit he doesn't have everything figured out. His passions include writing, spending time with his family, and any game by Blizzard.

6 COMMENTS

  1. I feel like I am already an open minded fellow to begin with; however, in order to listen and begin the process of understanding something new, it has to spark the curiosity in me. I have to be drawn to the subject and whatever motives it may have.

    Also, whatever that “something” is, I have to analyze it to see if it truly makes me a better person. Ultimately, I have to make sure it fits with who I want to be.

    • Definitely. There has to be something compelling to get people to consider a different point of view. So maybe it’s both in the presentation of the idea, and then in the quality of the idea. A bad idea presented well is still a bad idea. A good idea presented poorly will probably be ignored because you said it like a jerk. But a good idea presented well…that’s the ticket.

  2. Life’s two biggest motivators seem to be the promise of gain and the avoidance of pain with the latter being the most prevalent in our society.

    I tend to be motivated with what is going to draw people together in a way that is mutually beneficial.

    With that frame of mind, what gets me to open up and listen is when it feels like others involved are not just being self serving or appear to have hidden agendas.

    God gave me two ears and one mouth so I try to start off by listening and asking questions.

    • I like that first part. Promise of gain…avoidance of pain. The problem is when those go against each other. If someone needs to have a difficult conversation with a loved one (the only way to move forward and “gain’), it goes against our desire to avoid pain. Maybe that’s why we hit moments where we freeze and do nothing. Going to jot this down for a future post.

      And something related to that last part that I read recently. Too often we listen to reply, instead of listening to understand.

  3. I’ve been thinking a lot about the question you posed: “How do I present ideas to people in a way that will make them open to the idea of change?” Thinking about what makes me open to change. And the simplest way of putting it is that I am open to the idea of change when the change is presented as an invitation rather than a criticism. It’s like you pointed out in an above comment…even if it’s a good idea, it might be ignored if you present it like a jerk.

    Also, I appreciate the title of your blog. It’s clear that it’s intended for men, but it’s not so exclusive that I feel uninvited :-).

    • Thanks Amy! I like the word invitation. People won’t necessarily RSVP…but it’s their choice! For me at least, I think it’s easier to jump to criticism. It might be because it’s a lot faster. BOOM, here’s the problem! Where being inviting takes more tact, presenting possibilities…it’s just more work. But if it’s more effective, then it’s worth it!

      And glad you like the blog title, and I’d forgotten about your own! Long gone are the days when I’d click down my list of friends on the blog and see who had updated and who was dead. 🙂

Join the Discussion