Please enable JavaScript in your browser to experience all the custom features of our site.

Mr. Harry Skydell, Chairman
Mr. Mark Karasick, Vice Chairman
Rabbi Yakov Horowitz, Director
Rabbi Avrohom M. Gluck, Director of Operations
The first 1000 members will have a chance to win a
16 GB
with Rabbi Horowitz audio

Membership Benefits:

  • Save articles to your favorites folder.
  • Save and print selected articles in a PDF journal.
  • Receive emails containing the latest comments on your favorite articles.
  • Mark articles as "READ".
  • More member features coming soon...

Raffle Rules:

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. To enter, complete the signup form and join as a member. Incomplete entries will be disqualified. All entries shall become the property of CJFL. CJFL is not responsible for lost, misdirected or delayed entries.

The contest is open to the general public. Members need to be at least 18 years old. Identification must be produced on request. Employees of CJFL, its raffle sponsor, advertising and promotional agencies and their respective affiliates and associates and such employees' immediate family members and persons with whom such employees are domiciled are excluded from this raffle. ALL PREVIOUSLY REGISTERED MEMBERS WILL BE AUTOMATICALLY ENTERED INTO THIS RAFFLE. The prize is not redeemable in cash and must be accepted as awarded. Decisions of the raffle judges are final - no substitutions will be available. By claiming the prize, the winner authorizes the use, without additional compensation of his or her name and/or likeness (first initial and last name) and municipality of residence for promotion and/or advertising purposes in any manner and in any medium (including without limitation, radio broadcasts, newspapers and other publications and in television or film releases, slides, videotape, distribution over the internet and picture date storage) which CJFL may deem appropriate. In accepting the prize, the winner, acknowledges that CJFL may not be held liable for any loss, damages or injury associated with accepting or using this prize. CJFL retains the rights, in its absolute and sole discretion, to make substitutions of equivalent kind or approximate value in the event of the unavailability of any prize or component of the prize for any reason whatsoever. This contest is subject to all federal, provincial and municipal laws. CJFL reserves the right to withdraw or terminate this raffle at any time without prior notice. One entry per person.

Creating Change in Others - Part Five
by Rabbi Shmuel Gluck

Not Rated Yet   |   Viewed 6354 times since 1/15/10   |   0 Comments
Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size    [ Change Font Size ] Email This Article to a Friend


Creating Change in Others: Part V

5) The approach of using personal behavior to create change in others, isn’t limited to tangible goals, such as cleaning houses. It’s more difficult, for instance, for a spouse to become frustrated if the other spouse has a calming effect. However, being calm alone may not be enough. Creating a calming effect requires more than just relieving nervousness. It requires people to actively promote calmness to stressful situations. This is done by calm people, in their conversations with others, highlighting their own behavior and the advantages that being calm brings to them.

If calm people don’t actively promote calmness in the life of other’s who need it, one of two things may happen:

a) The people who aren’t calm may learn to “coast along”, shifting some of their responsibilities to calmer people and may not even attempt to become calm. Many people, certainly the more flustered ones, don’t take note of their surroundings and how those around them act. They’re actually unaware that those around them deal with the same situations as they do, but more effectively. If they do notice the behavior of others, they don’t notice how those behaviors are the result of the other’s decisions to live a calmer, more effective, life. They rationalize that, “it just didn’t bother them” or, “they had it easier than we do”.

b) Some people notice their surroundings and the people around them, but choose to avoid thinking about them. If they would, they’d see that the others are much more effective in what they do than they are, and therefore they may feel badly and, possibly, even guilty. The problem becomes one of how to handle this guilt. Some people will turn their guilt feelings into positive motivators. They’ll strive to emulate a calming person’s responses. For others, the guilt has a negative effect, reinforcing their negative behaviors.

Other people don’t even notice the positive behaviors of those around them and therefore, it becomes important to bring to their attention the effective behavior of others. However, if one mentions it to them in a critical manner, they may focus their energies on being angry. What one should do (similar to cause and effect), is to “highlight” what’s taking place without offering any complaints or punishments.

Let’s assume that a husband becomes unnerved very quickly in crisis, while the wife remains calm. If the husband is unaware of how the wife effectively reacts to crisis, his wife should say to him, “I know that you’re stressing out and I understand it, but I’ve found that dealing calmly with this situation always makes things better.”

If the husband is aware that the wife is calm but takes advantage of the wife’s calmness, then her response should be, “Please consider that I’ll do my best to handle the situation, but I can’t help you if you become stressed out. Things may become better, but you’ll still be stressed.”

People can usually help others with anything or anyone besides themselves.

6) Creating change in others can also happen through the lessons of life. Many parents want their children to wake up on time for school and they’ll try a wide range of approaches. They’ll reward, punish, and beg. What may work better is to let the children wake up late, come to school late, and realize that, in the real world, if you don’t wake up on time, you’ll miss school and suffer the consequences. Such an approach assumes that the children enjoy school (to whatever degree possible).

However, there are other situations in which parents will intervene (since they aren’t confident that their children will do the right thing), even though allowing life to take its course would more effectively create change in the children. For example, if teenagers don’t get haircuts before job interviews because they’ve met the potential bosses and “knows that the bosses likes them”. Or, a teenager arranges a ski trip for a group, “lays out” the money for the entire group, and “ends up” having paid for some of the group who aren’t in a rush to pay back the money.

7) The last point I want to discuss is the concept of creating “momentum” for the change. When people are in “growing” modes, they’re more receptive to further growth even in unrelated areas. When they’re in “down modes”, it’s more difficult to get them to do anything.

Therefore, before creating change, the ones attempting to create the changes, should focus their energies on creating the proper momentum. Good will and minimizing resistance should already be obvious to the reader. However, there are two more important guidelines:

a) It’s much easier to increase existing patterns than to create new ones. For example, if children don’t help with household chores and the parents would like them to help, they should do the following. Instead of asking the children to help in an area that may take time, effort, or require them to do something that they really don’t want to do, get them to help for five minutes with something that they don’t mind doing. Whether those five minutes will, or will not, help is not important. Getting them to help for those five minutes will begin to set a pattern; the children will help. Once the pattern is set, it’s just a matter of increasing the existing pattern, not of creating a new one.

This type of approach may require a great amount of time before the help (the change) becomes significant. However, the change will have become internalized and not superficial, making it well worth any possible delay.

b) Since creating positive momentum is so important, it’s better to start with “easier” areas of change, even if they aren’t the most important areas.

Although this series of articles focused primarily on parents and spouses attempting to create change, this approach is just as effective with co-workers and even bosses. The readers must keep in mind that creating change in others requires patience, creativity, and knowledge of that person’s personal database. (described in a previous article). Any previous article will be sent to you upon your request.

For more information about Areivim or for copies of this or other articles please contact us by phone at 845-371-2760 or by e-mail at

To sign up for Rabbi Horowitz’s weekly emails, please click here.

Reader's Comments:      Rating & Comments Policy      Rate & Write a Comment!
 Average Rating:       Not Rated Yet
Subscribe to this Article
(by subscribing you will receive email notification
when new comments are posted)
There are no comments yet. Click above to write the first comment.
Dear Readers:

Please visit our Parenting Resource listing to learn about agencies and services that you can make use of. If you know of an agency that can be of assistance to others, kindly drop an email to our site administrator at and pass along the information to him.

I ask that you please consider supporting the work we are doing to improve the lives of our children. Click on these links to learn more about our teen and parent mentoring program that serves hundreds of teens and their families, or our KESHER program, now in 20 schools in 4 states. Your financial support can allow us to expand these services and help more children.

If you believe in the governing principles of this website – to help effect positive change through the candid discussions of the real issues we collectively face, please consider becoming a daily, weekly or monthly sponsor of this website and help defray the costs of it’s maintenance.

Working with Families and Educators on Behalf of our Children

This site is managed by The Center for Jewish Family Life, Inc., 56 Briarcliff Drive, Monsey, NY 10952
Project Y.E.S. was founded by Agudath Israel of America
The Center for Jewish Family Life/Project YES - 56 Briarcliff Drive, Monsey, NY 10952 (845) 352-7100 ext. 114 Fax: (845) 352-9593