There were two women who wanted their husbands to stop smoking.
The first woman often scolded her husband for smoking. One time, she and her husband were at a restaurant with some friends. A friend offered the husband a cigarette. The wife immediately snatched the cigarette away and scolded them for smoking. Smoking was a source of conflict in their relationship. The wife was frustrated and the husband felt disrespected.
There was another couple where the wife was urging her husband to quit smoking. She told her husband, “Isn't our son so cute? We're so fortunate to have a good family and good health, especially your health since you support the family. But smoking is really bad for your health, and if something were to happen to you, your son and I would be devastated!"
The husband felt appreciated and agreed that his health is important, but he admitted that it's extremely hard for him to quit smoking.
The next day, the wife decided to buy lots of sunflower seeds. She her husband, "How about this: Whenever you have the urge to smoke, start cracking open some sunflower seeds to eat. That might distract you long enough for the urge to subside."
The husband tried it, but after a while, he couldn’t restrain himself and started smoking again.
After seeing her husband's hard efforts, the wife decided to buy some quality chocolate. She told her husband, "Maybe cheap sunflower seeds wasn't the best idea. How about this: Whenever you have the urge to smoke, eat some of this nice chocolate. I spent a lot of money to buy lots for you!"
It worked for a while, but the husband still felt urges to smoke.
One day, a friend came over. He sat down and offered her husband a cigarette. The wife saw this and quickly walked over. She used a warm tone of voice and said to the friend,
“Please excuse me, but I’ve been trying to help my husband quit smoking for a long time now. First, I got him to eat sunflower seeds, and that worked for a while, but eventually stopped working. Then I got him to eat chocolate, and that worked for a while. I already spent a lot of time and money in this effort, so please support me in helping him quit smoking!”
The husband reflected on his wife's hard efforts, and how warm and supportive she was throughout the whole process. He felt moved his wife's love and was inspired to quit smoking.
How often do we get angry at others for their bad habits? Getting angry doesn't help, and in fact, it usually makes the situation worse.
If we want to inspire others to change, we must show genuine care for them and be patient. Our intention must not be controlling, and our attitude must not be “You must listen to me or else.” Instead, we need to focus on genuinely wanting the best for them and providing a feeling of warmth and support.
The second wife spent a long time trying to help her husband, and she was warm and supportive throughout the whole time. Her patience and warmth eventually moved her husband and inspired him to change.