People don’t change.
That’s what I used to think and believe. But as you can probably surmise from the headline of this blog post, I clearly don’t believe that anymore.
I’ll back up a bit. I think when I’d say “people don’t change,” I was being too absolute. When I said “people don’t change,” I think I meant that their actions don’t change. Their vices don’t change. I thought if you had a friend who’s a constant gossip, they’ll probably always be that way and continue to talk about other people negatively (and likely, you, too) and try to get into your business. I thought if you had a boyfriend cheat, they’d probably do it again and it’s best to hit the road so you can avoid another massive unpleasantry. I thought if you knew someone who would always criticize you, well, they’d probably keep at it.
While some of those examples I still kind of believe are true, I realized something in the past few weeks. Certain aspects of people, like their personality, likely won’t change (in my opinion). But, the way people react to, view and approach situations in their lives will, because of the inevitability of life experience.
Through no result of any one specific event or person, I came to understand that I thought people wouldn’t change because of a need to hold onto the past. It’s so funny that when it comes to goals, I always keep the mindset of “move forward, don’t look back.” But when I think of friendships and people in my life, past and present, time stands still.
A while back, I posted about an apology I made to a former friend. And while the situation bothered me years later, it’s likely that person has totally moved on and is in another phase of life, unbothered (and probably thinking I’m crazy). As you can guess from that assumption, I didn’t get a reply from her. But this doesn’t just go for mending friendships, but also coming to terms with the fact that you might not be as in the loop with people whom you considered so close years before. Out of a need for comfort, knowing that I once had strong bonds with people, I liked to think that life was still that way. I do care for and love people dearly and deeply, so this to me seemed natural. That they still viewed me as that close friend. But it isn’t like that. It’s a sad thought, but life goes on.
Why? Because stuff happens. People move. People realize dreams and pursue them, and that results in … change! Change of attitude, mindset, and priorities. I know this because this has happened for me, too. I have goals and plans for the future, and if somebody is a threat to those or doesn’t serve me in a positive and healthy way, frankly, I want nothing to do with them. Therefore, if I’m like that, I can venture a guess that people I know are, too.
So, as I wrap up, I’d leave you with the statement that people do change. Their responses to situations change. Their viewpoints on people, life, and maybe even food, change. Life does alter people – there’s no question in my mind about that anymore. I’m not the exact person I was two years ago. I’m still introverted (you can’t ever change that), I’m still hypersensitive, and I still dislike Chinese food. But, I no longer feel the need to please people all the time or to let other people tell me what I can and can’t do. Why? Because life happened and changed me.
What do you think? Do people change? Let me know in the comments, and thanks, as always for reading.