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Do you think that people really change?
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Do you think that people really change?


My question is:  Do people really change?  Is there such a thing as "character" vs "stages in life"?  

To be fair, I'll answer my thoughts first.  I used to be stupid & made some big mistakes (like dating a married man just b/c I had nothing else on and he treated me really well). After a few months,  I realized  that (well, it was creeping up on me) that I was doing something wrong - using him and dating someone else' husband.  I ended that relationship pretty easily and never dated another married guy again.  In fact, I don't even go near guys who aren't married but have girlfriends b/c  I think it's sleazy.

I regret what I did, but feel like I've moved on and learned from it.

Some people still hold that against me even though they have done similar things (like dating married people "oh, he just wanted to talk - at a 4 star restaurant"  Or they have herpes and don't tell new partners, etc..  Nobody is perfect in my book, but  I don't understand why they keep holding this one bad judgement call on my part as if I'm still that person and will always be that person.

This is just an example.  

'Another is the person who is used to getting their own way b/c they are beautiful, then when their beauty fade, they get mad that they don't get special treatment anymore.  Or how about the person who used to be thin, but has put on 20 lbs and still wears the same clothes as when they were 20 lbs less.

Do you think that people do change and move on or that we all have "character traits" that live within us forever.

This is kind of philosophical but it would be interesting to hear others opinions.





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17 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi mayflowers. What a great post.  

I believe people do change, on a daily basis and even moment to moment.  

I think that is why we may be fine with something one minute and not so fine with it the next.  It can become quite confusing and frustrating when we feel we "know" someone or when we think we may know how they will react to something or another and yet, at times, may be blown away by their reaction; or, even our own reaction for that matter.

It is a World filled with experiences in which we are to decide what we are going to do with those.  Both the positive and negative ones.  

I think once we have obtained an experience, we make a choice as to where to guide it, what to do with it.  We have the ability to use it to become part of a problem or use it to become part of the solution to a problem.  Which one are we more willing to live with is key.  

How we react to our experiences good or bad will determine whether we are maturing or immaturing into whatever it is we desire to become. The consiquences of our choices are quite awesome in that they can make dramatic changes for the better or for the worse.  

Blessings and Pleasant thoughts to you and thank you for sharing.

  

  
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285927_tn?1380802356
Well, I can only say, that being one of the more mature(meaning older) posters here, that I would have to say yes. I think we all learn from our mistakes and things in life that we experience (like having children) do play a role in our views on life. For example, I would love to run around in short shorts and halter tops and would thrive on that kind of attention until I had a girl. I did not want her to view that behavior as acceptable, therefore I started carrying myself more like a mom and not a teenager. Same with my language, the way I would drink and carry on with friends as well.  It did not offend me for a guy to call a girl a B, or to tell dirty jokes in my presence but it totally offended me if guys talked like that around my children? I also noticed my likes and dislikes as well as my beliefs in different topics changing thru out the years.  So, yes I do think we are always evolving thru out life. I have also noticed as you get older, you tend to become comfortable with it and other things seem more important than looks. It kinda all takes care of itself with time.  Now I just want to be happy, and that seems to happen as you get older too. :)
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483733_tn?1326802046
Yes you can change but it does take time and experience (just as in your case you learned from an experience).  When I was growing up my father told me that he'd disown me if I ever married a catholic or a foreigner (especially not an Italian).  As well he was very prejudiced against all kinds of people.  Over time he mellowed and changed.  I am in my second marriage and my husband is an Italian catholic and my parents love him dearly.  Several of my cousins have married blacks and my parents adore them.  

Where things don't change is when there are mental health issues that have not been dealt with or when a person iss a psychopath or narcissistic (sp) or something similar.  They are incapable of changing or learning and only see life with themselves in the center and cannot comprehend how their actions can affect others.  

The people who won't forget your past misake are petty and looking for ways to make themselves feel better.  Ignore them and let your future actions dicate the person you are.
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Avatar_f_tn
Wow!  You all gave really good insight into this!  It's nice to hear other's thoughts.

I think that people change if they are open to learning from the past.  Some people just mellow as they get older.  The older I get, the more I've mellowed.   I've come to realize that life isn't as black and white as I thought.  There are some people that I thought I would never be friends with and now am and then others that I thought I knew really well, but didn't really know at all.  And I'm ok with it all b/c I figure this is life.  Plus, how can we really judge someone else if we haven't walked in their shoes?  I know it's a cliche, but it's really true.  

Thanks for commenting on my post.  I enjoyed reading your responses!
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915277_tn?1252576713
"Where things don't change is when there are mental health issues that have not been dealt with or when a person iss a psychopath or narcissistic (sp) or something similar.  They are incapable of changing or learning and only see life with themselves in the center and cannot comprehend how their actions can affect others.  

The people who won't forget your past misake are petty and looking for ways to make themselves feel better.  Ignore them and let your future actions dicate the person you are." ~ TrudieC

TrudieC,
OMG, You read my mind, or, I read yours!!  I was going to say something so similar!!  It is sooooo true!  I have learned this thru a devastating experience, with a friend of 41 years, who is no longer a friend...some people are very rigid and perhaps, have a mental Illness lurking...I have forgiven, because, I do suspect, that, is the case.  Forgiven, but, not forgotten!  Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.

Mayflowers ~ The only people who can change, are the ones, who strive to be a better person, and can be, completely honest with themselves, about their faults and people who have a conscience!  Isn't it always, the people, who think, they're never wrong, that cause most of the friction?  Good Topic!!!
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968185_tn?1248259181
I just want to tell you, as someone who has a mental illness, that we can and do change. Yes, I went to the hospital and they taught me some tools to use in life, but other than that I am untreated. Just read my posts. I do not imply my symptoms or episodes are gone, I still have them, but I have learned to control how I react to them. For example, I had an episode at work last night that before would have definitely made me give up the job. I really wanted to, but I dealt with it the best I could. Also, I used to be a cheater, I'm not exactly sure why, But I do not cheat anymore. I am faithful always. As far as people changing, everyone changes on purpose or on accident. Life experiences change people, other people change people, relationships change people. I would challenge someone to try to stay the exact same person for a year! But I can understand why people have a hard time trusting you- I have a friend, my bff actually, who has a history of dating men in a relationship. I think it makes her feel good to have a man want her when he's supposed to be with someone. She will tell everyone how he loves her and wants to leave his gf to be with her, when it really isn't even true. She has her own problems I understand this, I think she convinces herself all these men are in love with her. She has even taken boyfriends from friends of hers, or messed with friends' boyfriends. She has a lot of stuff to deal with and it is even more than this, it is much worse. I eventually couldn't deal with the girl anymore and stopped talking to her, but she kept calling and calling and emailing and wouldn't leave me alone. I told her I love her but can't be close like we were because I want a different lifestyle and less drama and can't deal with everything. I heard about her hurting herself and taking pills and a lot of other stuff, so I called her grandma and told her I think my friend needs help and gave her the info of where I went. I also emailed my friend and told her what I did. I told her I want her to be happy and I think she needs help. She went and is now medicated and in therapy and I think doing a lot of self therapy also, actively trying to be better. She has a job for the first time in her life and a steady boyfriend and she broke up with her 3 boyfriends she was dating before. I have not seen or heard from her or anyone else about her doing her old things again, though she still does have a lot of problems she is getting better. And so you know- I still would not trust her around my boyfriend. He doesn't like her at all and doesn't want me to bring her anywhere near him because of her issues but even if he was willing to give her another chance now I still would need more time to make sure she will keep being this new person. Well my whole point is people change, sometimes unintentionally and sometimes it takes work but I think EVERYONE can change if they really want to. I strive every day to become a harder worker, better gf/ daughter/ sister/ friend. I know nobody is perfect and I never will be, but I will always try to do right by myself and others.
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483733_tn?1326802046
Bravo for you.  You are doing so many of the right things to get better.

The mental illnesses I mentioned are unique in how the people afflicted behave.  I see that you have bipolar and that is a very different situation.  I hope things continue to improve for you.
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Avatar_m_tn
I started something really long but as it was to self revealing decided not to.

Basically I think people do not change but rather redirect. and refine what they are genetically disosed to be anyway.

Largelly the problem with most people iswhen their body and mind are geneticaaly wired for one thing but used for another.

The biologicalequivalent of hooking an adaper to a toaster oven to use it as a car heater.  It may work for a while but chances are in the long run the set up is not going to be pretty.

And som traits have no  use or are either outdated or ae genetic sports that should be encouraged to NOT swim in the gene pool.

Just a thought.
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Avatar_m_tn
Sorry for the mis-spellings no sleep last night.  projects.. LOL
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363281_tn?1353103243
I think folks can change, but, I feel they have to really want to. For me, it is a daily processing of continuing to grow, and I depend on the Lord for His help, without it, I just mess things up big time. It is a baby step process, but, it can be done.

I also feel that circumstances can change us, either for the better of, sadly, for the worse. It is up to us, for the most part, how we deal with them.

As to changing others, well, it just can't be done, unless, of course, they want to change, otherwise, you are just whipping a dead horse.
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611067_tn?1279065256
I believe people can change bad habits and become a better self than they are now.  But, for most people, unfortunately, it takes major events in their lives to change quickly.  I do believe that we all change over the years as we age and learn more about life, people and ourselves.  I like to think we can become more compassionate, kind and less selfish.  So, I guess I do believe people change.
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915277_tn?1252576713
I'm so glad that you are being helped and things are working out for you.  I went thru therapy for many years for anxiety and depression and it has made me a new & better version of my former self...please know, that I would never put anyone down for having a mental illness.  Unfortunately, my friend, did not think she needed help, nor, would she ever tell anyone her deepest feelings.  I think her problem was triggered by menopause...it was there all along, but, I believe menopause made her unable to hide it any longer.  Menopause can really mess with your mind and your hormones are all over the place or non-existent...

I agree, with those of you, who said, about change, "A person has to want to."  That is the real basis for change...
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145992_tn?1341348674
I think for the most part people do change but there are some people, no matter what happens in their life, they are so used to being a certain way that they do revert back.  Prime example, my mother.  She dated the same type of man her entire life.  The ones that used her for money and she knew they were using her but she was just desperate for someone that she would give and give and give.  She went to therapy for years and still at the age of 60 she was still giving to the same douche bag up until recently.  So some learn from their mistakes and from life experience and others learn but don't do anything different to change.  I think it's a personal choice.
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Avatar_m_tn
YES, but rarely.
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585414_tn?1288944902
I would say if its within the person and sometimes it is and sometimes it isn't but its good to give the person the benefit of the doubt.
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Avatar_f_tn
Our minds are hardwired to heal so we can change most things in our lives if we choose to and want to and if we are aware fo our behaviour, unfortuantely not everyone walks around thinking they have doen anything wrong to anyone so magbe they wont change but everyone at soem point in their life i believe will have soemthing happen to them that will change them forever.
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599170_tn?1300977493
yes people can change I believe it usually takes a major life altering event to do so though.
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