4 Ways to Motivate Your Friends and Family to Change Their Bad Behaviors

Sometimes our loved ones make poor decisions, and in order to protect them, we hope to help them change their lifestyle. For example, if you have loved ones that suffer from drinking problems or are chain smokers, and you want to help them quit the bad habit, you try to find ways to help them to quit.

Sometimes, people hold interventions to help people overcome their habits. In some cases, these interventions work, and in some cases they don’t. Sometimes, if you truly want someone you love to change their behaviors, you need to put them in control, and you (or a trained professional) can motivate them to change by doing the following.

1. Engage them.

You need to open up the lines of communication about the issue at hand. Talk openly about the issues or concerns they may have about their habits. You can also use this time to talk about their hopes for the future. This type of conversation helps to establish a trusting relationship and makes the individual feel comfortable with you. This way, they’ll be more willing to talk openly with you about their issues, which can help them to consider quitting their bad habits.

2. Focus on change.

Once you have started the conversation, it’s important that you listen for triggers that can be used to locate areas the individual wants to change. For example, listen to their words to determine if they want to change their bad behavior (or any other bad behaviors). Then, continue to ask questions that focus on this change, such as why they want to change, how they could go about change, and what they feel their change will accomplish.

3. Evoke their desire to change.

Once you’ve opened the door to areas the individual wants to change, it’s important to start evoking their desire to actually change. Try motivating them by increasing their desire to change and creating the confidence they need to start changing. All of this will help the individual realize that they are truly ready to start making the change, and this is one of the biggest hurdles to helping them overcome their habits.

4. Help them plan.

After the desire to change has been created and the individual seems confident in their decision, it’s very important that you help the individual plan exactly how they’re going to change. Talk openly about the different options they have available and which option is best for their specific situation. You should talk about their goals and help them to set a timeline, which can be used to motivate them to continue. For example, if the individual hopes to quit smoking by a certain date, use that end date to help create the best plan of attack that will help them achieve their goal.

The road to recovery is not always going to be easy, but it’s important to motivate your loved one to change instead of scaring them into changing. If you cannot handle the burden on your own, be sure to consult with a professional counselor for help.

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