How Can I Change My Partner to be Ambitious?


Kevin Price, Editor at Large for USA Business Radio and Host of the Price of Business Show, has recently become hooked on Quora.  In addition to daily hosting the Price of Business, Kevin has numerous writing obligations on this and other sites for which he serves as an editor and with his syndicated column, so we decided that if he’s going to write at Quora, he is going to share that content on this website.  If you are on Quora, make sure to follow Kevin.  You can check out his page here:

Kevin’s hot topics on Quora are history, free market economics, philosophy, and Myers Briggs typology, and many others.  The following is one of his recent answers to the question in the title.

So, allow me to cut to the chase on this one — you can’t! In fact, virtually every direct effort will likely backfire and lead to more acrimony and tension in the relationship. In addition, that person will likely become less ambitious, just to keep the external efforts to change him or her at bay.

Virtually nobody wants anybody to attempt to “change them”… especially their romantic partner. It makes the relationship seem very conditional and undermines intimacy. It guarantees they are going to face constant scrutiny if they acquiesce to the changes the spouse wants made. Them changing will give their partner an incentive to try to change them more. I do not know anyone who wants to be married to a parent, which is what it feels like when your spouse is continually trying to “improve you.”

Meanwhile, people who spend their energies trying to change someone else do so at the expense of their own self improvement. It is called in, economics, “opportunity cost.” People who focus their energies on fixing others become adult children in their own right. They stunt their own growth by getting others to behave in a certain way. I believe, on a subconscious level, many people choose partners that they think need change so they don’t have to focus on their own areas that need improvement. It is a terrible waste and miserable for both partners.

If you have any hope of changing your partner, do… (read more and while there, follow Kevin on Quora and look at his other content). 

Share This: