Your dating a man who is 89% what you’re looking for, but you really want to see some areas improve.
Or maybe your best friend really struggles with their confidence and you wish you could help them grow somehow.
Well, I’m no expert, but I have tried something that tends to have some pretty remarkable results in bringing out the best in others.
I don’t remember where I got this epiphany, perhaps while reading a dating book or relationship article online. But someone said that if you treat a man as if he were already that awesome man you are envisioning him to be, he will eventually fulfill that role.
Sure, this could backfire. And it sounds kind of like a scary thing to do…to let go of control and just treat someone with the respect and awe you feel they haven’t yet earned in fear they’ll become prideful and never change! You just gotta tell them what’s wrong with them and show them how to fix it!
Well, that was my response at first, at least.
But I decided to experiment with this theory on a few friends. And you know what? Over time, it worked!
But there were some pretty amazing things that happened before the final result I had hoped for was realized. I started to change.
I worried less. I trusted more. And my relationships improved. I became more happy with myself. I believed in myself more.
Because, it’s hard to treat others as that beautiful creation they seem to merely be potential for at the moment unless you can do the same for yourself.
Ok, most of the time I don’t like all that “just believe in yourself” hoopla fluffy talk. Quite honestly, saying I believe in myself just backfires on me and reminds me of all the dumb things I’ve done recently. I’m reminded about all the ways I don’t believe in myself. (because I embrace all the bad all the way so I can breakthrough purely on the other side with real optimism and not mustered up glee like rotting apples taped to a tree)
Anyways, when I have hope for others, I realize there is hope for me, too. I see we are both people full of potential, and we will have a hard time reaching that potential if we don’t treat each other as if we had already reached that destination.
Andy Stanley, a Pastor in Atlanta who does the opening and closing talk for a large Christian Leadership conference, has said that in order to find out if you can trust someone, you must go ahead and trust them first. How else will their trustworthiness be revealed?
Same goes for someone’s potential. Let go, and let that person grow. Keep encouraging. Keep going. Trust that person does want to become what they have the potential to be. Let someone surprise you. And you’ll surprise yourself in the process.