I find it very difficult to change my personal habits and behavior, preferences that I have long lived with, decisions that have been comfortably been part of me since ages ago, even if I understand that I am capable of making that change, even if I know that I’ll become a better person if I decide to do the right thing.
But I think it’s a lot more strenuous to try altering another individual’s character, more stressful and tiresome to convince the other guy that he is wrong, especially when he strongly believes he is right (even if he really is not). It seems to me that it is impossible for me to spark a change in him without his permission. Not today, not tomorrow, not ever, if we have a communication mismatch. Sure, I can point out what I see and what I feel and get flustered over an annoying behavior (which I don’t have any control of), but change will not happen just because I’m irritated. Sure, I can try to positively influence a different, better, response but I’m still going to ultimately fail if the story that the other person is telling himself is the story that it’s alright not to change anything, that it doesn’t matter.
Arguing and forcing beliefs and ranting are ineffective. If I truly want to ignite productive behavior from myself or from somebody else, I feel that it’s better for me to start understanding the circumstances that’s brought me (or the other guy) into this situation, to analyze it carefully, to look for situations where it’s easier to accept the changes that can make us more remarkable than who we are right now.