Why resistance to change is such a big deal

You don’t meet someone and immediately tell them they need to be friends with you. The same way you don’t do that, you don’t tell someone who you just connected with on social that they need your services. There is no logic behind such an approach, yet a number of professionals and businesses do that.

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You don’t meet someone and immediately tell them they need to be friends with you.  The same way you don’t do that, you don’t tell someone who you just connected with on social that they need your services.  There is no logic behind such an approach, yet a number of professionals and businesses do that.

As an online marketer I ask myself where they got the idea that this type of approach is effective.  I also, wonder, if they even care or maybe are they just starting as a business or consultant?

It’s interesting how the online world has made it so easy for people to connect and build relationships no matter where they are, yet businesses treat it like traditional marketing.  By traditional marketing, I mean one-way messaging, where users can’t engage with your magazine advertisement or radio ad.  So the next question that arises is if they are having that hard of a time adapting to change.

Transitioning away from a technical talk on marketing and moving towards a human characteristic area, I’ve asked people before questions about change.  More specifically, once I actually formulated my question with the implication of people having a hard time adapting to change or basically, resisting change.

Interestingly enough, the people who engaged with the social media post (it was in my LinkedIn group) said that people welcome change and look for change.  I don’t think that’s untrue, but I’ve seen time and time again, resistance to change a lot more often than the embracing of change.  This behavior comes through in indirect ways, one of which, the example of someone who hasn’t even gotten to know me yet, telling me I need their service or product.  Someone who is looking online about how to go about with their online marketing activities, and who has either A) stumbled across marketers’ sites who are giving this advice or B) who are taking on online marketing by using traditional marketing as their basis.

If people were so apt to change, this type of approach would not be so recurring.  I get at least 10 DMs on Twitter a day that are from businesses and professionals I’ve never interacted with, who sell to me without even using a personalized approach.  But, getting back to humans and change.  Why is change so difficult to embrace?

Well, when we look at different studies on human behavior we find a repeat talk around perspective, around a certain peripheral view.  Humans can see clearly what they’ve experienced and what they hold to be true in life.  It isn’t easy to step out of one’s own person, to be objective and nullify subjective reactions/opinions or at least be aware of them.  Without this characteristic it is no wonder that people aren’t really listening and aren’t really open to new or different ways.

If you can only see what you see as true, then how can you really see what’s in front of you?  You can’t.  So if online marketing specifies that building relationships is key, it won’t be something that a person will really hear.  They will hear marketing and connect that to what they’ve known of marketing up till that point.  Furthermore, anything that is new or different will seem scary, maybe even threatening.  Just look at some of the reactions to Pokémon GO.  A lot of people are criticizing it because they have a set viewpoint on augmented reality or these types of games and don’t see the bigger picture, which is the transformation of how people are interacting, communicating, and absorbing information.

We can resist change all we want, but change happens and transforms.  Thought leaders ride the waves of change, which is why they tend to be leaders.  Those who resist, will eventually learn new patterns of behavior and adapt; for that is what human beings do to survive at one point or another, they adapt.  But it would be much more of a beautiful experience if people were able to step outside their shell and see what that change is for what it is, so for example, that online marketing is not one-way push marketing or that Pokémon GO is not a silly game that only teenagers play.

Change happens and the key is to 1) recognize who you are and what you believe in, 2) step outside of your own judgement and look at something from a neutral standpoint so that you can grasp its true essence, and 3) realize that this is what is going to be, it doesn’t mean you have to like it or do it or believe in it; but it is where society is heading.

It always comes down to awareness and choices.  You, we, are all masters of ourselves and have the capacity to step outside who we are for a minute, so that we may embrace what’s in front of us to be able and fully empathize with it, understand it from its core, and then move on.  We don’t have to make it a part of us, but we should at the very least, look at it with the absence of judgement on our end.  A skewed view, gives a skewed result; and when change is happening, yet you taint it with your own perspective, you really aren’t seeing what’s going on.


What do you think about resistance and change?  And how do you handle change?  How do you feel about it?

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