Are You Being Helpful–Or Are You Trying To Force Solutions?

My friend, Lily, who has been featured in several blogs here and here really wants her boyfriend to sell his house so they can move in together. She is a stylist in Manhattan, an artist and a connoisseur of sales (do you say connoisseuse? Like masseur or masseuse? Like chauffeur or chauffeuse?)

Anyway, she might not be a connoisseuse of boyfriends…stayed tuned to find out! Because her boyfriend says he wants to sell his house but he doesn’t want to invest any money to fix it up. She suggested he buy new, nice carpets and he agreed. But when it came time to ordering them, he chose the cheapest–not nicest carpets. She suggested hiring someone to stage the house, but when it came time to find someone to do that, he bucked and said, “I can’t believe people can’t see the house for its potential and have to be shown a nice house right now!”

There you have it. Each time she was trying to be helpful he ultimately didn’t want her help. And it dawned on me two things: she was not minding the Say-Do Gap (I wrote about that here) and kept hoping that if she only said it differently, he would change and take her up on her suggestions.

We can’t get people to change.

We don’t have a tumbler key that will turn their lock. They have to want to change. They can’t just say they want to change.  You have to see them change. We are totally powerless over other people, places, and things…

And then the bigger question. I asked Lily, “Are you being supportive and encouraging—or are you trying to force solutions?”

She wanted to help sell that house so that they could move in together. She was trying to force a solution…hurry it up…make it go the way she wants…

“I have to admit I have been trying to push things in a certain direction,” she said.

Sometimes we just have to let a bird go and watch it take off in the direction of its choosing.

Today’s question: Are you being supportive and encouraging—or are you trying to force solutions?

Which brings me to the article in The New York Times Magazine about who’s wearing the pants in the family here…is the economy as we know it changing the way men and women relate as we know it?

Click like if you agree with this – and if not, tell me why not!

About dianabletter

Diana Bletter is the author of several books, including The Invisible Thread: A Portrait of Jewish American Women (with photographs by Lori Grinker), shortlisted for a National Jewish Book Award. Her novel, A Remarkable Kindness, (HarperCollins) was published in 2015. She is the First Prize Winner of Moment Magazine's 2019 Fiction Contest. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, tabletmag, Glamour, The Forward, The North American Review, Times of Israel, and is a reporter for Israel21C, and many other publications. She is author of Big Up Yourself: It's About Time You Like Being You and The Mom Who Took off On Her Motorcycle, a memoir of her 10,000-mile motorcycle trip to Alaska and back to New York. She lives in a small beach village in Western Galilee, Israel, with her husband and family. She is a member of the local hevra kadisha, the burial circle, and a Muslim-Jewish-Christian-Druze women's group in the nearby town of Akko. And, she likes snowboarding and climbing trees.
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1 Response to Are You Being Helpful–Or Are You Trying To Force Solutions?

  1. Excellent question, on national and personal levels!

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