How do you make a fundamental change in your life, without worrying about what others will think about it afterwards? Will you lose your friends? How will your significant other deal with the change, if they aren’t fully on board?

How do you manage and balance all this without damage to relationships, or even scuppering the very thing you’ve set out to achieve?

Change is a natural part of life and one that I’ve touched on in a previous post. But I haven’t yet delved into how change affects those around you when it happens, or how you are going to deal with any change in your relationships during or afterwards. Up to this point, what we know for sure is that how we manage change directly affects our adjustment to change, how successful we are in integrating change into our lives.

Possibly the biggest single fear reaction to change is that we will be rejected by those we love because of it. Oh my god, I can’t do that! My spouse/significant other/all my friends etc etc will leave, will hate, won’t approve, won’t understand. And so, it doesn’t happen. You don’t get to make the change you wanted to. Or do you? Perhaps it must happen, and you just don’t know how you’re going to deal with everything.

Mostly we don’t give due credit to those we love. We assume due to fear reactions that it’s all going to go south, then usually find ways to make sure that’s what happens. We fail because we expect to fail. They don’t understand because that’s what we expected.

You can’t sell an idea that involves change if you don’t believe in it enough yourself.

If you truly believe in what you’re doing, those around you will probably tag along just fine. If you truly believe and know that a change is right for you, it is. So, the most important single thing you need to do to successfully help those you love to understand the change is to fully understand it yourself.

Why is the change important? What do you want to achieve with this change and how? How will the change affect those you love and your relationships? Exactly how are you going to manage the change and how much involvement will others have? How and when are you going to communicate the change to your loved ones?

Will you need or be able to seek their help? Will you need outside support from someone such as a counsellor?

There are, however, some circumstances where a change that is right for you is never going to be accepted by those close to you. Examples can sometimes include change of religion, spirituality, or escape from a ‘cult’ environment. These kinds of changes are extremely difficult to manage on your own.

Those affected by this kind of change often need help in making the adjustment, dealing with changes in their relationships, and with fully deprogramming from what was formerly a very strongly held belief and mindset. In almost all of these cases, those directly affected by this type of change need extra support to help them manage and can obtain much-needed support by initially visiting LWA (living without abuse) or reFOCUS a website dedicated to providing support for former members of high demand groups, relationships and cults.

I hope the insight in this post has been useful. Please leave a comment below to let myself and others know your thoughts.

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