When we have an agenda for the lives of others, it’s usually because we are being somewhat judgmental. We may not have meant to judge the individual, but we have made a decision on what we feel is best for them. Oftentimes, they don’t agree with us. When that happens, we open the door for conflict.
A very prime example would involve parents with their children. When our children are pre-teens, they are more controllable. They are more willing to adhere to our agendas. The problem sets in when they begin to individualize as adolescents. They want to start going their own way. They are tired of being told what to do. They may want to be given more choices, but we as parents are so interested in what we believe is best for our children that we begin to press our own agendas. We begin to push what we believe is best for them. We may actually want to do everything for them. We do that because we don’t want them to fail.
By pressing our agendas on our teenage children, we begin a process that causes our relationship to slowly deteriorate. Some children will try to go along with the agendas to please their parents. Many, however, will flat out rebel. They may not mean to rebel. They didn’t wake up one morning and say, “Well, today is the day I rebel against my parents.” What they did do, however, was wake up to the fact that they no longer want to be told how to do everything by a dictator.
When children rebel parents start the process of pointing out to their children the things they are doing wrong. When the child doesn’t change and correct the problem, the parent points it out again. The longer this continues, the more the relationship deteriorates. The parent seems to be well-meaning. They can have every intention of doing what is best for their child, but the child does not see it that way. All the child sees and hears is they can never do anything right.
Are you setting an unwanted agenda in the lives of those that you love? Try to adjust to using their agenda for a while. You might be pleasantly surprised to how they respond. Better yet try scraping your agenda altogether. Creating one together just might make sense.