5 WAYS TO CHANGE A PERSON’S DYSFUNCTIONAL BEHAVIOUR

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 If there was one core question that the Hello Sunday Morning project is an attempt to try and answer, I believe that question would be ‘how do we change the behaviour of those around us?’ More specifically, how do we change a normalised, very attractive behaviour like binge drinking? This post highlights what I believe are some core principles that start with ourselves to inspire that change. 

Obviously the HSM project is directed to answer this question in the context of drinking behavior, however I believe that there are some core principles that give us the necessary leg-up to change any dysfunctional behaviour.

I was talking about this concept in depth with three of my good friends recently; Brendan, Simon and Eddie and I started to drop a few ideas. These are the first five we came up with…

      1) Seek to understand – ‘Walk a mile in their psychology’

This is about not having any expectations. People have a lifetime of infinitely different experience in which their reality is their ‘truth’. At all times we need to seek to understand the deeper psychological belief systems that lie beneath the beahviour rather than going to a place of judgement.

    2) Take great action – ‘Be the change that you want to see in the world’

Inspiring change in others starts with your our two hands. Seeing people like my older brother say that doing Hello Sunday Morning has made him change his own drinking behaviours has been one of the most incredibly rewarding part to this process. People learn from people so in any given moment, ask yourself the question, ‘what are you teaching those around you to become?’

    3) Have more fun – ‘Show them the alternative’

In the context of changing people, they need an alternative. They need to see that they can get what they are getting (and more) from doing the alternative behaviour. 

One of the biggest things I have really strived for this year is to work out how I can get all the good things that alcohol would give me, with out it. I want to be able to dance anywhere, be able to talk to anyone with confidence. I guess you could call it prosthetic drunkenness. This is the selling point of a project like this. Facing each moment.. ask how can I have even more fun?

    4) Get a commitment – ‘I’ll do whatever it takes’

Getting someone to commit to change the first battle. I sometimes like to think that on a subconscious level I set up Hello Sunday Morning to commit to changing my own behaviour (and those of the people that surround me) to as many people as I possibly could. I guess it is a little bit extreme but it’s the best way to give them support in their change – talk about their commitment to them and people they look up to. 

   5) Giving support – ‘How can I support you in your decision?’

 The human mind is exceedingly complex and the way in which we want to be supported/loved is just as unique. We need to ask them how they, specifically, want to be loved/supported/helped as apposed to just going with our ‘assumption’ as to what they need.

Get specific actions and make an agreement. With my mates, we lock in a time and date by when we need to achieve a particular activity. Sometimes it’s something simple like a phone call a week. But the thing is to ask first.

SOOOOO, this is our first list… anyone got any more ideas?????? PLS Comment…

5 thoughts on “5 WAYS TO CHANGE A PERSON’S DYSFUNCTIONAL BEHAVIOUR

  1. Chris,

    Great, honor them by holding them to your boundaries. Often I find people get away and propagate dsyfunctional behaviour because we don’t hold our own boundaries well enough – by saying ‘no’ or just ‘calling’ them when something they do is out of line. we are often too fearful of speaking the truth – hoping that they will ‘just change’ themselves. If we don’t, then we are ourselves contributing to their problem – not helping in any way.

    I was challenged once in a difficult situation with a friend to do ‘what is most loving’ – which doesn’t always mean being nice or soft towards them. Acting with love is about saying ‘no’ sometimes or about calling behaviour when it needs to be recognised for what it is.

    Peace.

    1. Asking ‘what would love do in this situation’??? Sometimes it isn’t the most affectionate dialouge but love is long-term. 🙂

      My favourite times in life are when friends (or strangers) have floored me with truth. Hard to swallow, great place to start the change.

  2. Hey Chrisso,

    As to elaborate on numero uno:

    It is to understand how that dysfunctional behaviour serves you. Because it has in a way in the past and our minds being such clever little machines recognise it. Dysfunctional behaviour is a learned behaviour. “When this happens, this is how i cope.” We love to be numb.

    And so humans are a creature of habit. Thats why Drinking, Gambling & Drug cultures play such a huge part in our society. It’s a coping mechanism.

    If we can get to the core issue of what it is that made us want to numb out, there will be a place, a time when we were hurt and it served us to do so.

    I know that for myself i never knew why i drank to extreme excess until recently. It was all to deal with the suppressed pain of my parents seperation. I have since had a chance to go back and deal with this as you know and from that moment have not felt the need to drink heavily since.

    Much love.

    1. Dude that awesome you can pin-point the behaviour back to certain events.

      I guess that is very much aligned with psychoanalytic theory and if we can do that with behaviour, it is such an anchor off our ankle.

      You continue to inspire me Brenno!

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