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You Can’t Change People

You Can’t Change People

Here’s what I learned:

You are never obligated to work on a relationship that keeps harming you; mentally, emotionally, physically. We’re socialized to grow through struggle without boundaries.

If it’s a parent who caused your childhood trauma and they continue disposing their unresolved issues on you; if it’s a partner whose violence spirals in an endless vicious cycle, a boss or colleague who never gives you peace of mind, you are better off starting from scratch than continue living in despair hoping for things to get better. They never do.

Violent people barely stop while their subject is still in close proximity. They feed off your misery.

Violence is learned behaviour. If someone wants it different they will work on themselves. You will see it. If they need help they will communicate, if you are that important to them. And if the host isn’t aware of the impact of their brutality, it is not upon you to keep trying making them see it.

I see how hurt children are forced to love parents that broke them. And women obliged to stay in abusive unions. Or a country helplessly terrorized by the government. In these three, the entity with the power never takes responsibility for causing harm. It is always the victim made to beg for their dignity.

I waited and waited and waited for my dad to see me. It wasn’t happening. He wasn’t gonna wake up one day and acknowledge all the damage he had caused us. I set out to create the life I wanted. Reparenting myself. Healing through the difficult traumas. Facing the world. And believe me, when you take your power back by setting your standards and being intentional about the environment you want to live in, everything changes. You might have nothing in the beginning, but having nothing is better than dying slowly around someone or people who are intentional about injuring you just because that is their worldview.

You can’t change people.

If ever you were waiting for affirmation to get out of a sticky situation, this is it. It’s time to move. You will never grow there.

Onyango Otieno

Onyango Otieno is a cultural designer ardent in maximizing the power of storytelling for healing and connection. Onyango believes in the potent spirit of humanity collectively creating safe spaces for interaction, development, business and movement, for a more cohesive world.

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