If you really love: Don't tell me what to do!

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ok i see - desire to change them. Explain. To teach Protect from mistakes, show a better way, inspire change!

What could be the problem here?

Good question... Because it's hard to ask yourself, especially when others are such jerks and you see obvious solutions.

  • Why haven't you started writing your book you've been telling me so much about?
  • Why do you eat cake if you're on a diet?
  • Cigarettes will give you lung cancer!
  • You've parked your car again so it's impossible to get out!
  • Why did you go out without a scarf?
  • I flushed, you didn't lower the toilet lid again!

And so on...

You know what's weirdest? No, it's not that someone is complaining about the toilet lid being up. 1 It's all done out of love... Or at least it is said to be from her.

Molly Barrow, psychotherapist and relationship books Matchlines author, asks: "Have you noticed that we usually blame those we love the most?". And he adds - this kind of love is crooked, strange and not open.

I'm not asking you today do you really love the people you encourage to live smarter, better, healthier. I don't think I should - and you already know the answer.

Let's take a look instead. what does science say about blame? 

...And how to change another without coercion?

What do scientists say about the culture of reprimands and the effectiveness of instruction?

I call it the blame culture because... Well, it is a culture. It is learned and also repaid. Scolding can become a habit and you won't even notice you're doing it. It's like you don't notice Marge on The Simpsons.

First of all: It is natural to blame.

Although nagging people may seem like the worst, I can reassure you right away that it's not abnormal or rare.

Couples relationship therapist Jamie Turndorf states:

"Many women find it difficult to talk about their desires directly, so they fall into the trap of blaming instead of directly telling their partners what they want. Unfortunately, the more a woman scolds, the less a man listens, and a cycle is born: he does not fulfill her wishes, because he is tired of listening to demands, and she scolds more and more.

And while Jamie is talking about women, this applies to men as well. I also had a problem with reprimanding - I choked people with my (well-intentioned) suggestions.

Scolding is basically like a baby crying. And I don't think you need research to see that babies cry to get attention. They don't cry for themselves! They cry because there is a need - they are hungry, scared, bored, their crotch is wet for some mysterious reason...

Similarly, reproaches are a kind of expression of love. The other person cares, so you try to push them to a better side. Just not very effectively.

It is easy to blame because we understand what we are saying, but we do not (and cannot) understand what others are hearing. For us, the advice "Well, just walk at least half a kilometer today" seems the most logical, because we are able to do it ourselves. In the same way, the criticism "What, push and pull and you're done!?" seems logical, because we haven't experienced it ourselves.

Rebuke is the highest confirmation bias ("I told you it would!") and selfishness bias ("It's clear that you hurt me like this on purpose!") expression. It's a bug in our brain and we all have it.

But we can learn to scold less.

It turns out that: Reproaches are violence... Bringing death?

In 2014, researchers at the University of Copenhagen completed an 11-year study. Researchers compared the lives and relationships of 9,875 men and women (aged 36 to 52). After 11 years, 196 women (4%) and 226 men (6%) were already in anapil, and almost half of these deaths were due to cancer, heart, liver disease or accidents.

...Here's what was unexpected: research participants who claimed during the surveys that they were scolded by their partners fell into a risk group whose probability of mortality was 50-100% higher! In general, people who experience more conflict have a 50-70% higher risk of death!

Researcher Rikke Lund summarized as follows:

"Infrequent disputes do not pose a high risk, but constant disagreements seem to pose a risk." And adds: "Excitement for other people is a sign that we care about them. But when it happens every day, it's not good."

The saddest thing is that reproaches seem to hurt men the most; especially if these unemployed!? Perhaps in this case, rummaging through the garage is actually healthy, because much of the emotional stress for men stems from weak male social bonds, as well as the fear of disappointing their spouse. After all, a man has to be cool and can't be uncool... Or at least that's what people think.

...Oh, and you notice it's about Denmark? We can sense that it is the same in Lithuania.

When it comes to domestic violence, the thought is that violence is when something goes way over your head. But reproaches can be even more painful violence, because the physical passes away, and the reproaches enter the soul and gnaw from the inside for years. Like a parasite, they harm people. Psychologist Dovilė Bubnienė speaks more about this situation in Lithuania.

Unexpected: Relationships need space.

And reproaches are the most harmful when you talk, give advice... But you don't give time to use the advice at all!

One of the most valuable lessons I learned from his friend Milena - let others be. The more you force yourself, the less they will believe you. And when a business process expert Seth Godin speaking of businesses, he speaks of the same reproach. Constant calls to buy the product... It really does not inspire confidence in the seller.

Neuropsychologist Paul Pearsall in Psychologists Make Mistakes Too states: "Families break up more often not because of too little communication, but because of too much."

...Your partner, children, colleagues or friends are not part of you. They're just tired of listening to prompts! The bloggers Strelka and Belka, who have a wonderful article, talk more about this topic I recommend reading "Closeness and distance in love".

No plant will grow without space.

And here: Fight - you will make enemies.

And that's why some people believe in vaccine harm or think vegans are crazy.

...Why don't they understand basic things? Because some scientists and vegans were too aggressive. We generally don't like having our point of view challenged, but the one I mentioned confirmation bias is only part of the problem.

  1. First of all, yes, some people realize that they understand very little. However, due to Dunning-Kruger effect most of us don't.
  2. And if you think it's more important to present arguments through feelings than through logic... Think again. Research conducted with parents who believe in the anti-vaccine movement shows that evidence through emotional stories or images did no more to convince them than the bare fact.
  3. Finally, arguments do not make us feel unpleasant, but rather make us want to run or fight. Other studies show that regions of the brain responsible for survival are activated during arguments... And the logic centers turn off. In other words, this is the reason why you used such a nonsensical but sound argument in that argument.

The short version is that disputes only create new enemies. And here's another thing my friend Milena does - she doesn't argue with lunatics, because an argument won't bring them to their senses. Only slow, long, calm will help...

...Who? I'll tell you right away, but let me finish with one more investigation about the controversy.

It turns out that one of the best ways to calm your opponent down and bring them back to their senses is ask him to explain his point of view. Do not demand to defend yourself, but simply ask for an explanation. Maybe not he, but YOU are wrong? After all, it's possible that you're asking your trailer to pass by and you don't know it at all!

What to do? How to change others for the better?

I guess you can already sense it. I guess that won't be unheard of for you. So where's the catch? The most difficult part is to look at your own darkness, your own behavior and shake the reproaches out.

It might not be easy. I will be surprised if you take it too! You will be a better person immediately. But the most important thing here is to try. At least a little. I will train myself over time.

...Reprimands turn any relationship into slavery. Do you want it?

I invite you instead of reproaches and anger, instead of the desire to forcefully change another to be what Milena was to me.


You see, Milena is a vegan. She believes in eating animals not very moral and definitely not organic, and communicated with me - an omnivore who did not even promise to become a vegan! And suddenly, after three years of dating, I myself decided to try veganism for a month. Just to check.

She didn't force me. Never. Instead, she was a good friend and invited me to vegan fests ("Come, there will be free food!"), parties ("Come, there will be pizza!"), agreed to meet when I was having a hard time ("Let's meet Riddick, let's talk!").

  1. And when you hang out with someone who likes you as someone who invites you over for free food, pizza, and good conversation... How can you NOT be friends with them!?

And no, Milena is not my girlfriend, so don't say "Oh, you just got pregnant here...". She's just a damn awesome friend! How can you NOT want to be like a good friend?

So, look at your relationship. Are you a friend to loved ones? Or maybe more of a heartless asshole who only cares about expressing his opinion, "fixing" and controlling other people's lives?

Good friend:

  • Will express his opinion openly, without muttering and crying.
  • Bad opinions. Because if it's not interesting, it's not interesting, NOTHING NEEDS TO BE FIXED. Even if a person uses drugs (smokes, drinks, sitting on facebook...) is his choice and you, as a friend, will not try to force him.
  • Will seek to understand the other. Will listen. And not so that he can immediately give advice and a solution - he will listen SINCERELY, because he is INTERESTED in getting to know other souls.

If it is impossible for you to be sincere, open, not demanding - then honestly think about whether it is worth communicating with the people you communicate with. And think, don't you have communication injuries that you should slowly heal yourself?

Here's the short version:

  1. Nobody likes being DEMANDED of.
  2. When he demands, you either want to fight (even in stupid ways), or ignore, run away, hide.
  3. No one wants to deal with selfish, non-listening, assholes.
  4. Everyone wants to have friends who help, listen and inspire.

I guess if you want to demand... It's better to just ask. Ask because no one has to do anything.

And when you open yourself up, when you let someone else choose for themselves - that's when the biggest changes happen. Magically, people start thinking "Maybe I'd like to?" and try what you've been suggesting for the longest time. Then all you have to do is smile and enjoy that your advice was used.

...Love people who are not like you. Because only through friendship will you change the world. Well, of course, you can do it differently. I'm not forcing you to do something. Just sharing my point of view. 😉

And what do you think?

  1. Although it is also strange here - after all, one has to raise it, and the other lowers it - everything is fine if the toilet lid is left as it was. Logical!