#135. Dad, What can I do when other people are being annoying and inconsiderate?

You can only control your behaviour. If you try to change every other person, you are going to be miserable.

Dad, taking the lead isn’t easy.  You always said, if you want someone to move in a positive new direction, you have to take the lead.  Well… that turns out to be really hard!

Okay, here’s something to think about before going any further:  Are you really trying to take the lead, or are you trying to make someone else do things your way?

Here is the thing:  You can’t make anyone do anything they don’t want to do.  This is a principle that applies to absolutely every one of every age.  You cannot make someone do something he doesn’t want to do, whether he is a toddler or a man in his prime. 

Think about it.  No matter what you do or say, the person you want to do something always has a choice.  What you do or say may influence that choice, but it is still a choice.

Therefore, to be a successful leader, you must set a good example and really take the lead.  Pushing is hard work and doesn’t work, anyway.  If you want to move the financial situation in your home in a positive direction, you need to take the initiative. 

If this means tightening your own belt first, so be it.  Cut out some of the more frivolous expenses you can live without, and then after a reasonable time, show in a friendly and loving manner how much difference it has made to your finances.

Don’t be a mean miser.  Figure out what would make a really nice, enjoyable activity for both of you, such as a nice restaurant or vacation, figure out how to fit it in your budget while still saving money, and share your plan.  It might seem counterproductive to spend money on such things, but as long as it is budgeted in as part of your savings plan, the chances of your plan actually working go way up.

Remember that your partner isn’t you.  No two people are completely identical (and that would be boring!), and no two people are raised exactly the same way.  As a financial leader in your home, you need to have ideas that your partner will want to follow, and that includes things you’ll both enjoy.

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