Everything from nail biting to abusing drugs can be cured if you take a very simple approach. Start by making a list of all the behaviors you have that you consider negative or annoying or hurtful and rate them on a scale of one to ten. Pick one of the highest, one of the lowest and a few in between and let’s begin putting an end to them.
How to Change a Bad Behavior to a Good Behavior
While you are writing the list, don’t be surprised if you originally thought you had one or two bad habits but you find your list growing rapidly. Everybody has his own list as big as yours, whether or not he sees a need to take action on changing himself and becoming a better person in the process is another story.
Across the top of a sheet of paper, write Bad behavior/Replacement/What I hope to gain by it. Make columns below each title. Fill in the five things you picked under the left column. Be sure to think carefully about what exactly it is that bothers you about what you do. Focusing on it instead of ignoring it is essential to this exercise working.
To the right of the bad behavior, in the next column, write down what you plan on replacing the bad behavior with. For instance, if your bad behavior is that you tell your husband he is a bad driver every time you are in the car with him and you have thought carefully about his reaction to you when you say it and how it makes you feel, the next step is to replace it with something good. Don’t just write that you aren’t going to say it, add an action to replace it. When you want to criticize him, tell a funny story instead, or bring a book to read, or comment on the song on the radio. Do something that will elicit a smile or an appreciative reaction from him or a calming feeling for you.
What do you have to gain by doing this? You must take the time to answer this question. If the answer is only so we won’t fight, or so I won’t get frown lines, go back to the drawing board. There must be a better pay off than that. What is the feeling all the way to your soul that you have when you yell at him? What is the feeling you really want there? That is what you need to draw out of yourself.
Most importantly, if, after you have made all of the changes you have outlined and have worked at it for some time and you don’t feel a relationship has changed or you have gained any benefit, sit down and really think about the changes you have made. Do you want to go back to how you were handling things before? The answer, most likely, will be no. That is a clear indication that you have bettered yourself. You are not responsible for the other people in your life changing for you. Don’t expect it. It probably isn’t going to happen. Just continue to work on yourself. You are doing a great job!