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zander101's avatar

Can people truly change, what factors can cause them to see life differently?

Asked by zander101 (630points) September 22nd, 2013

I feel society doesn’t give one another a chance to grow and be ourselves that’s why I’m very thankful for the individuals who have created fluther, this collective where quite frankly, people can ask questions and be able to explore their curious nature. Going back on my question, I was watching an interview not to long ago on an individual I feel in my heart that can do great things if he can put the focus and assertiveness in. He was expressing that society only wants people to do certain things to further strengthen certain qualities of their character, instead of allowing them to express themselves in different ways. He gave the example of where it is expected of him to mess up, have the media glorify in it for sometime and have the media to continuously await until he messes up again, if he decides to invest in a foundation or help at-risk children and follows through with the intention, there would be little to no news coverage on it as the media will deem that it’s not in his character. Why does society have to be so one-sided, if certain things were modified we can change the direction of where life is heading, instead of glorifying the negatives of the human condition.

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14 Answers

marinelife's avatar

People can change, but the details of your question do not seem to match the question itself. It seems as if you are asking if society can change. The answer to that is also yes. If people change societies change.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

The question is a bit confusing but as far as people changing, I believe most do not. I think most people who claim to have changed, play a part for awhile and convince others that they’ve made a complete turnaround when in reality it’s a cover up. True personality will show itself again someday. This is just my personal experience. Not facts.

zander101's avatar

I apologize for the confusion, question should be directed more from a society based perspective. I agree with both opinions collectively and also would like to add in that change cannot happen without error and/or wrongdoing. We’re all human, we all make mistakes, some grave than others, some that are created by lack of judgement, I could go on and on, as a result it creates this divide that I honestly feel shouldn’t have to be there. It makes me think that society is in the driver’s seat and the media is just along for the ride and that decisions made on whether or not someone has changed or not is based on more of a collective thought as opposed to an individual thought. I feel that conclusions should be made more on “why did this happen” instead of “what happened”.

bolwerk's avatar

A little tangential to your question, but: a lot of your traits fit certain personality metrics, which become pretty set as a teenager or in young adulthood. Patterns of these traits fall along geographic lines, which may impact politics, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they were sometimes generational.

antimatter's avatar

Yes people can change depends what happened to them. Two years ago a good church going friend of mine, who was a loving husband lost his kid, now he is an abusive drunk who spends all his money at bars.

zenvelo's avatar

This question doesn’t seem to be concerned about people changing as much as it is about societal expectations of people. And to be blunt, society’s expectations really don’t amount to a pile of shit when it comes to someone or their personality or their core being. As long as one doesn’t commit crimes, no one gives a rat’s ass what society expects of you, and it means nothing to your well being.

True growth and change and integrity come from internal growth, not from an arbitrary standard set by the media that might change any moment.

And yse, people can change. I’ve seen it happen countless times.

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

Maturity, combined with life experiences, can change a person in profound ways.

talljasperman's avatar

You sometimes need a tipping point for people to change.

zander101's avatar

Thanks everyone for your responses, my perspective on this matter has allot to do with patterns that are already ingrained within society, as much as people will say that society’s expectations of people have no direct link to if people change or not I feel it does and it has alot to do with quantum physics and the power of thought. Now some personalites are strong enough to deal with society’s ups and downs but I personally worry about those who are impressionable such as the youth or those who are not self-aware, I understand that life evolves in stages and that like @SadieMartinPaul had mentioned in his response I feel that specific factors can be changed to make life manageable for everybody, instead of having certain personalities question the life we occupy and criticize things or opinions that we dont understand.

graynett's avatar

The greatness of rock bottom is the chance it gives for change to take place until it is reached no direction is apparent. MOST people don’t want others to crash so far, so they try to alleviate the fall, without knowing that the thing most likely to cause change is Rock bottom. So do not apply disabling help for your own comfort in others life struggles.BE THERE WHEN THEY REALLY NEED YOU.

raven860's avatar

New knowledge or a traumatic experience or love.

raven860's avatar


I believe its not a “sometimes” but a “most of the time if not every time”

mattbrowne's avatar

They can for better (positive life changing event) or worse (traumatic experience).

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

In spite of the details and how it may or may not follow the title, I am a big enough boy to decipher the gist of the question but will attempt to answer both.

People change, I would even go as far as to say nearly all people change. What most thought as a teenager they think differently of when they get middle-aged and senor age. If those changes are not equal to a Krakatoa size blast it goes under the radar to most people. Those with no prior history of the individual would never know there was a change.

That leads in the details of your question, society has blinders, they see only the change in people they want to see based on the popularity of likability of the individual. Someone mentioned on another thread how seemingly everything Donald Trump says gets in the media. If he would do a drastic direction change in his idea or ideology, if it were to the masses approval, it would be news, if to the masses’ disproval it would be there. If it were a lateral shift change no one would care much. Certain celebrities always seem to attract attention when they were perceived to be messing up, Brittney Spears, Martian Sheen, to mention a few. That is man, his thinking and his reasoning; it has never been truly fair or equal and never will.

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