This tendency to try to shape others into some mould or other, often preconceived in our minds, is not uncommon. We might fall in love with a bad boy or girl and then quickly set about trying to change them. If we are successful we might get bored with result. We may have a role in an organisation which will, in time, need filling. We can set about shaping someone for that role. We may make someone our protégé and cast them in our own image. There is often a mis-match between the desired or preconceived shape and the raw clay so to speak. Rather than acknowledging this we seek to shape. We may seek to tame and civilize the feral and the wild, to take off the rough edges.
So often we apply the shoe-horn even when there is no fit. But we can persevere beyond this and seek to jam that damn foot into the shoe. We will make that foot comply. When it is simplicity itself that there is no fit we can fail to recognise this simplicity, especially if we have invested a lot of shoe-horn time.
All relationship has some shaping, there has to be some co-evolution. But some can try to shape above and beyond natural relationship. They seek to be the shaper and not the shaped. I can think of a number of times when someone has tried to define me, and it did not work out well. The preconception and the desired shape, simply did not fit.
Having cued this up:
Are people clay to be moulded and shaped?
Have I ever had or been a protégé?
Is it wise to try to shape others according to our image of how they should be?