Can people truly change? This is an age-old question with a not so easy answer. We all have opinions on whether or not people can really change. My answer is going to be sort of a mix and I will tell you why.
We have heard people say “I’m a changed person,” “Be with someone because you love them, not because you want to change them,” or you may hear people say to one another “You’ll never change!” What does this all mean? Is it possible to change and if so, in what way? For how long? These questions are very thought-provoking for me and slightly complicated to write about, but one that interests me.
There are different aspects of change, they could be personality, character, habits, temperament, etc. Some of these are more easy to change than others. I do believe that change is possible if someone really wants to, however the question remains how long will that change last and will an individual be highly prone to slipping back to old ways?
For the most part, I believe that personality and one’s temperament are pretty solid. Throughout life we are constantly being exposed to many situations, different people, different ways of needing to adapt, these life circumstances can change who someone is, though temperament and personality I feel stay fairly the same throughout. I believe people have many sides to them and situations, people, and life events bring out different aspects of our personality. For example, I consider myself more of a homebody, but when I have a lot of plans going on, or I am doing a lot socially, I enjoy them and it brings out my outgoing and carefree side. This doesn’t mean that I am changing, just a different side of me is being brought out. Individuals can experience traumatic situations in life and these can cause someone to change their behavior, one may even notice a change in their personality. Life events do change us, sometimes permanently, but I feel like our personality and character is innate and can always be brought forth. Just how we all have things that make us happy, sad, or trigger us, those things are likely not to change, they are a part of who we are.
As far as habits go, I feel like if someone wants to change, that is when there is the best chance of an actual change. When people change for others, or change due to pressure, this I feel is where the change may be temporary. Even when one changes a habit for themselves, there is always that chance of going back to what is familiar and how we have done things most, or all of our lives. I see this in my own self. There are certain parts of me that I try to work on often, things like relationships, communication, managing anxiety, etc. I work very hard as these are areas where I really want to make personal changes, yet it is a constant battle trying to change what I want and doing what is innate and comes to me naturally. I know much of it is mind over matter, however true and constant change proves very difficult, at least for me! I feel like there are sides of us that truly make up who we are and maybe are not meant to be changed.
So, for my answer to this age-old question, I would have to say yes, people can change and people do change, however I feel for the most part that change is either temporary, or that past ways have a tendency to resurface at some point in the individual’s life. This is quite a subject to ponder and there are so many sides to look at that there could be many opinions on this topic. This is not to say that people can’t change permanently, they absolutely do, if someone truly wants to. Feel free to share your opinion on this topic below!