How to change someone’s opinion about you

Julia asks: My mom keeps saying I’m the problem, but I haven’t done anything wrong. So how can I make her see that she just has a problem with everything?

Hi Julia –


Thanks for your question about your mom.


This is a really tough question to answer.  For two reasons.  First, because I don’t really know who to believe – have you really never done anything wrong?!  If so, then you’re the most amazing kid I’ve ever heard of!  (The list of all the wrong things I’ve done would fill this website three times over!).


But second, if your mom really just has this negative feeling toward you no matter what you do, I don’t know if there is much you can do about it.


Sometimes people have simply made up their mind about us.  And nothing we do can change it.  For example, I’m very open about the fact that I was just about the most terrible misbehaving destructive puppy EVER!  But as I got older, I calmed down.  Well, I calmed down some!  I’m still very playful, but I’m not destructive anymore.  I just want to jump on everyone and lick them – is that so bad?!  Well, believe me, some people sure think so.  And those people think I’m a bad dog, and always will think I’m a bad dog.  No matter how many ways I try to help people with my website!


What’s really sad is if this is the case, and it’s your mother who feels that way about you.  Lucky for me, Handsome really notices whenever I do anything good, and he loves me even when I’m at my worst.  It’s a real gift to be loved back as much as I love.  I know that’s true.


But if your mother does have that negative view toward you, there’s probably nothing you can do about it, except to work really hard to convince her that you’re not the bad kid she thinks you are.


But if… and I’m guessing this is true… she’s a little more flexible than that… you have a chance.  The trick is to stop trying to show her that she’s wrong about everything, and instead to show her that you are changing!


Do you see the difference?  As I said, there are people who’ll think I’m a bad dog forever, no matter what.  But there are others who I’m working on, slowly convincing them that I’m better than they think.  Now I’ll never convince them that I was a good dog yesterday (even though I was).  Rather, they’re just going to think I changed into a good dog tomorrow!  That way, they can keep their stubborn beliefs, and still start to trust me.


With those people, that’s the best I can hope for.  And that might be the case with your mom too.


So, try to find out what aspects of you she’d most like to see change.  And then just change those.  And see how that works out.  If she begins to change her view of you, then you’re in great shape.  And if she doesn’t…  then you’re dealing with someone whose ideas about you are too fixed to change.  And you’ll need to live accordingly.


But I’m really hoping she changes!


Good Luck,


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143chafern - May 21, 2012 Reply

sometimes my mum is like that,when shes under stress

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