Making Change

So you want to make a change? A personal change? A change in your community? The nation or the world? Enacting change that sustains the test of time? “Gotta start with the man in the mirror!”

Take a long look at yourself. Think! Start with an idea. Search for an idea by reading, doing an internet search or even watching the news. Make sure the idea is one that you can live with.

Then make a plan that you can manage; then take action, one step at a time.

People think they can enact change with a Facebook post but that is purely naïve. Using Facebook or other social media sites can be part of a plan that includes marketing. 

What about changing someone else’s behavior? The only one you have control over is yourself.  But, you can change your own behavior to affect someone else’s behavior.

For example, if someone is yelling at you in a loud, angry manner and you do not want this, the best way to react is to do the opposite. Talk back in a quiet, slow none provoking manner to  deescalate the confrontation. The yeller has to stop yelling just to hear you.

Aggression often breeds aggression. Striking back is often counter productive. Today, video taping someone can be an effective tool in not only getting a record but in getting the person to stop their behavior. 

Silence or ignoring is unbelievably effective but takes skill to master. This often evokes an escalation of the behavior before it stops. People acting in a confrontational manner usually expect a negative reaction. But, if done correctly and at the right time, ignoring that person can be effective. If you are physically being attacked, your opponent expects you to defend yourself or even fight back. But what if you just stopped resisting and collapsed instead?  

Ignoring someone over time can stop someone’s behavior. I had many students who acted out in class and often I reacted by just going to my desk and started to write down the behavior. The behavior will escalate and might get worse but at a point, it will just stop.   This is a behavior modification technique  that was very effective but takes tremendous skill to master. But one needs to be careful using this approach. But in other instances being calm and talking in a low voice without emotion or movement can be very effective. 

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