General Question

Myuzikalsoul's avatar

Do you believe that people don't change?

Asked by Myuzikalsoul (590points) June 1st, 2009

I keep hearing that “people don’t change”. But I believe that people can change if they want to. What do you think?

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25 Answers

westy81585's avatar

I KNOW they do change. It takes a while, and most people maintain some of their qualities/attributes/what have you…. but everyone changes over time.

cak's avatar

I think some people never change. They may pretend to change, but they really are the same. They just become very good at acting.

However, there are people that do change. Sometimes, it’s just time and maybe maturity. Some change because they just get tired of making the same mistakes, over and over, again.

oratio's avatar

I believe that people’s basic character stay the same all their lives, but that they change in their values and how they do things by experience, i.e. that their outlook on life changes.

skfinkel's avatar

I think change is possible, but it takes tremendous personal strength and insight to do it. And it takes time. For many people, the mountain may be too high.

applesaucemanny's avatar

I believe people do change if they don’t then they don’t learn from their mistakes and I know everybody learns from their mistakes, and I mean EVERYBODY. Ask someone to touch a hot stove, you know they wouldn’t because they know it’s hot and wouldn’t dare to touch it again.

Johno666's avatar

It all comes down to integrity. Some people are good actors & dont really want to change, but I work with people who have faced immense odds & continually strive to change themselves everyday!

BBSDTfamily's avatar

People can choose not to repeat certain actions, but if you are capable of doing something (something great, something evil, something deceptive, etc.) then you can never change and become incapable of repeating your actions.

darkwolf8476's avatar

I think that people have the ability to change, but it’s not as simple as just doing it. In order to change, someone has to really want it and be ready to do what it takes to truly alter their personality. Not to mention they have to be willing to invest some time in this act since change in people doesn’t ever happen over night. (Not real change anyways…)

Jeruba's avatar

People can change their behavior because that is a matter of choice.

TaoSan's avatar

We’re always changing. Your changing a tiny bit right now reading these responses. Some “traits” change more easy than others, but generally you’re constantly evolving.

Welcome to Fluther…

DarkScribe's avatar

Basic character doesn’t change – attitudes and other aspects do. We are the sum of our experience – we cannot help but change in that sense, but the way we react to that experience is pretty constant. To exaggerate, a bigot will remain a bigot, a skeptic a skeptic etc.

augustlan's avatar

Once people are fully matured, I don’t think their basic attitudes change much at all. Their behavior can, though.

cyn's avatar

Do you mean physically or emotionally? Define change…

kenbu's avatar

Basic instincts. People will judge others based on how they believe themselves will react in the same situation, which is influenced by the experiences they’ve had throughout they’re lives so far.

Someone who believe’s “people don’t change” believe themselves that they cannot change or had the experience of being betrayed by someone whom they believed have changed.

dynamicduo's avatar

People don’t change? That’s funny! People always change, always. Even if it’s a small change, it’s a change. I am a completely different person than I was 5 years ago. Some by choice, some by effect.

CMaz's avatar

People don’t change. Only the date changes. They might find ways to cover their “flaws”.
Get more creative or fight off some demons, but they are who they are. Those first 4 years of life are so important.
Evolve is a good word. We are a product of our past and it follows us where ever we go.
Sometimes we have to go somewhere else to “get a fresh start”.
What people do in order to “change”, is to recognize their faults and keep them under check.
Could that be “change”?

casheroo's avatar

No. People change, they grow and mature. Of course, some people will always have the same mindset and attitude towards things. And some will always be obnoxious or annoying, people like that rarely change.

darkwolf8476's avatar

“People don’t change? That’s funny! People always change, always. Even if it’s a small change, it’s a change. I am a completely different person than I was 5 years ago. Some by choice, some by effect.”

I think you’re absolutely right…but I think that the asker was wondering if people can change by choice, rather than natural change through experiences and time.

Myuzikalsoul's avatar

I tried to clarify my question before and it wouldn’t let me submit. I’m wondering if people can change by choice…or if most people even know they have a choice. Change seems to be hard work, and most people don’t want to do it, even if it’s beneficial to them in the long-run. Some things seem to be ingrained in you, by one way or another. Changing is like going against your own grain. Can you do this? Have you done this?

darkwolf8476's avatar

I believe people can indeed change by choice. We may have certain ingrained traits about our personality, but that doesn’t mean that we have to keep them. In the end, we are all sentient beings, and as such have the ability to be moved and changed by our experiences, and also make the conscious decisions to change for ourselves. I will agree that change is VERY tough, and few people do it based on what I believe is the very common outlook that most people take the path of least resistance. In the end, I feel that’s where most people come up short. The reason genuine change by choice is so rare is due to the fact that people just don’t want to put forth a strong effort.

I can honestly say that I have changed a lot over the past 5 years or so, and it was mostly through choice. (Being only 25 years old, I’m fully willing to admit that some of that was due to natural maturity.) Basically, I took a look in the proverbial mirror and didn’t like what I saw at all, so I decided that I simply needed to stop doing the things that made me into who I didn’t like. It’s taken a long time, and I’m still not quite where I want to be as far as “Me” goes, but I’m willing to put in the time to get to the end. Having a strong support system helps too.

Fair warning though: if you’re the one looking to change, you should understand that in doing so, you could very well do what I did for a while and shatter the puzzle that is you, causing a bit of an identity crisis…just make sure you’re willing to go the distance….

augustlan's avatar

@darkwolf8476 Welcome to Fluther. Very insightful answer.

Myuzikalsoul's avatar

@darkwolf8476 Thank you for your answer. I wish to change, but I’m not sure into what… I also wish that the people I love would change… but I can’t change them..and I don’t know how to influence them to want to change.

augustlan's avatar

@Myuzikalsoul I’ll tell you what, friend. Changing yourself is going to be hard enough without worrying about trying to change other people. Focus on who you want to be 5, 10 years from now, or even on what you’d want written on your tombstone. Then figure out what you’ve got to do to get from Point A (now) to Point B (then). I wish you the best of luck on your quest.

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