The Verywell Mind Podcast Friday Fix: Can You Change Someone Else? By Amy Morin, LCSW, Editor-in-Chief Updated on January 20, 2023 Print Verywell / Julie Bang Table of Contents View All Table of Contents Friday Fix: Episode 187 More About the Podcast Every Friday on The Verywell Mind Podcast, Editor-in-Chief Amy Morin, LCSW, shares the “Friday Fix”—a short episode featuring a quick, actionable tip or exercise to help you manage a specific mental health issue or concern. Follow Now: Apple Podcasts / Spotify / Google Podcasts Friday Fix: Episode 187 A lot of people enter my therapy office not because they’re looking to change themselves but because they want to change someone else. I commonly get questions like, “Can you talk to my partner about their drinking for me?” or “Can you meet with my daughter to tell her that she needs to stop dating men with so many problems? It’s not good for her kids to see that.” I don’t blame any of these people for feeling desperate to change someone else’s behavior. When we see our loved ones do things that we perceive to be unhealthy or self-destructive, we want to spring into action and help them do things differently—even though they may not see the harm we see. But our attempts to make other people change often backfire. Lecturing someone, educating them about why their habits are unhealthy, or pleading with them to change doesn’t work. In fact, those strategies might accidentally reinforce those behaviors. A lecture from a therapist doesn’t work either. So the people who want me to talk to their family members are often disappointed to learn that one appointment with me (or any other therapist) isn’t likely to get them the results they’re looking for. So, while you can’t force someone else to change their behavior, you can influence them. In fact, the closer your relationship is to someone else, the more likely you are to have an influence on the choices they make. In this episode of The Verywell Mind Podcast, I explain how you can influence your loved one and perhaps, even help them create positive change. More About the Podcast The Verywell Mind Podcast is available across all streaming platforms. If you like the show, please leave us a review on Apple Podcasts. Reviews and ratings are a great way to encourage other people to listen and help them prioritize their mental health too. Editor’s Note: Please be mindful that this transcript does not go through our standard editorial process and may contain inaccuracies and grammatical errors. Thank you. For media or public speaking inquiries, contact Amy here. Download the Transcript Links and Resources Follow Amy Morin on Instagram Check out Amy’s books on mental strength If You Liked This Episode You Might Also Like These Episodes: Psychological Tricks for Creating Lasting Change With Professor Katy Milkman Friday Fix: The 6 Stages of Change Embrace Indecisiveness to Promote Change in Your Life With Author Dr. William Miller How to Express Your Feelings By Amy Morin, LCSW, Editor-in-Chief Amy Morin, LCSW, is the Editor-in-Chief of Verywell Mind. She's also a licensed clinical social worker, psychotherapist, and international bestselling author. Her books, including "13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do," have been translated into more than 40 languages. Her TEDx talk, "The Secret of Becoming Mentally Strong," is one of the most viewed talks of all time. See Our Editorial Process Meet Our Review Board Share Feedback Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! What is your feedback? Other Helpful Report an Error Submit Speak to a Therapist Online Advertiser Disclosure × The offers that appear in this table are from partnerships from which Verywell Mind receives compensation.