“Why change does not occur”

What is in the way of the change?

Is the alternative to the current status quo worse?

Do I know how to change?

Lets look at a case:
Case 1: A mother is struggling with her son who is a young adult who does not work but expects her to support him. Lets call him Alan. The problem is that the mom is stressed and can no longer afford to support Alan. Alan is educated and has had some work in the past, but he does not keep a job for long. He frequently asks his mom to assist him financially. The mom complies as Alan always promises to pay her back. Alan provides a reasonable argument as to why he needs the cash. He says things like: he needs $x for a computer so he can get a CV typed, money for a repair to his car so he can get to interviews and so on. The mom wants Alan to get a job and be self-sufficient and thus does assist Alan. The problem is that years have now passed and Alan is seemingly still in the same position of getting a job. Alan is seemingly very busy sorting stuff out and getting in a position to get a job. The mom is nearing retirement and is even more stressed. Why has no effective change occurred in this cycle? Put simply, Alan does not critically need a change. His needs are being met. Thus, Alan’s mom will not get the change she requires and the cycle will probably continue. One way of looking at whether change will occur is to look at the past. Has he had lasting change in the past, i.e., did he become financially self-sufficient? In this case he has not. Thus, if this was a betting game, my money would be on the option of no change. The alternative of working is probably more difficult for Alan than the current option of getting money from mom. Whether Alan is genuinely trying to get a job is irrelevant. He may not have the tools/capacity/motivation or he may just be lazy. The reason is not important to the outcome.

Thus, for this case the alternative is worse than the current situation. Thus no change will occur.

The mom will probably only see a change if Alan’s survival is frustrated or she initiates a personal change in her own behavior. Waiting for Alan to change so that the mom gets her change has not worked.

Written by
P. Baron (October 2010)