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Do you think people can change?

(36 Posts)
ToPeeOrNotToPee Tue 13-Sep-11 19:35:21

Would like to hear your views on this. One of my friends believes people cannot change, they will temporarily but then slowly go back to themselves.

My DP has said there are certain things he would like to change about himself e.g to be less selfish. I would also like to change how defensive I can apparently be.

What do you think?

CarmenSternwood Tue 13-Sep-11 19:37:05

Strong people can change and improve themselves. Weak people cannot.

ToPeeOrNotToPee Tue 13-Sep-11 19:39:04

I like that, Carmen

mumblechum1 Tue 13-Sep-11 19:40:12

Yes, they certainly can change if they put their mind to it. My dh has worked massively hard on his behaviour and our marriage has survived as a result.

I, of course, did not because I is perfect innit.

HairyGrotter Tue 13-Sep-11 19:40:54

I believe people can change, but it's a lot of work and effort. Trying to change behaviours and thought processes is time consuming but rewarding.

hiddenhome Tue 13-Sep-11 19:41:45

I have changed, but my dh cannot. He accepts that he needs to, but is just lazy and has a weak character. I'm quite a determined, self aware person and I've faced many challenges in life, whereas he's had it easy and is selfish and spoilt.

It's like quitting smoking, you have to want to do it for yourself and only you can put the hard work in, there's no easy way through it.

thisishowifeel Tue 13-Sep-11 19:47:33

Human beings are amazing, and their capacity to change has meant success.


There has to be a massive incentive, like, survival for example.

Most people simply can't be arsed.

I changed...because it was that or die. Bit like the smoking example.

ImperialBlether Tue 13-Sep-11 19:47:56

I think laziness is the hardest thing to change.

CailinDana Tue 13-Sep-11 19:49:09

I believe you definitely can change if you honestly acknowledge the problem and know exactly what you need to do to be different. You have to genuinely want to change, not just for another person but for yourself.

thisishowifeel Tue 13-Sep-11 19:53:29

I do also think that people change over time, and in changed circumstances, and with different people.

We do attract people like ourselves, who reinforce our beliefs and our mindset.

I know someone who went from being more right wing than "that bloody woman", as a police person in the met, to being a left wing Guardian reading bleeding heart as a probation officer a couple of decades later.

seaweedhead Tue 13-Sep-11 20:03:50

People can change but they have to be able to acknowledge there's a problem and be determined to do it for their own sake. You can't force another person to change.

I also think we all naturally change as we get older. My mum used to have a terrible temper but now she's very mellow.

ItsMeAndMyPuppyNow Tue 13-Sep-11 20:19:53

What CailinDana said.

BluddyMoFo Tue 13-Sep-11 20:20:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

beatenbyayellowteacup Tue 13-Sep-11 20:58:23

I know people can change. I did - hugely. But I agree there has to be a willingness and an incentive.

I don't agree with the comment about weak people tbh. That carries too much value judgment. Also, real change is far more complex than just being "weak" or "strong".

takingbackmonday Tue 13-Sep-11 21:13:52

Yes. I lost my beautiful xDP because I treated him badly. I have changed immensely in a very short space of time through losing him.

perfectstorm Tue 13-Sep-11 21:16:27

Q: How many therapists does it take to change a lightbulb?

A: One, but the lightbulb has to really really want to change.

perfectstorm Tue 13-Sep-11 21:17:06

(I'm not being flippant, incidentally. It's a joke, but IMO it's also the truth.)

ToPeeOrNotToPee Wed 14-Sep-11 09:17:10

grin @ perfectstorm

I really want to change, I've been reading a CBT book to help me change my thought processes. I'm not so sure my DP can though as he seems to say it with such determination at the time but then gets comfortable and back to his usual self a few weeks later

Fuzzywuzzywozabear Wed 14-Sep-11 09:28:04

topee the only person you can control is yourself. Do it for you and you may find your DH gradually changes through a positive influence from yourself. Yes I do believe people can change, I know I have through sheer hard work, counselling and self awareness

babyhammock Wed 14-Sep-11 09:30:29

I think if you really want to change and your thought processes are making you unhappy, then yes absolutely.

I think abusive people who are just wired wrong and quite simply have no empathy, can't change.

garlicbutty Wed 14-Sep-11 10:12:28

If being selfish works for a person, they won't change will they? I think it's a mistake to assume everybody has the same degree of empathy or need for connection.

I also think 'selfish', 'lazy' and 'weak' are good & useful qualities; it's a matter of degree and context. And what babyhammock said about some people just being wired wrong.

susiedaisy Wed 14-Sep-11 11:07:17

baby and garlic completely agree with your last two posts smile

ItsMeAndMyPuppyNow Wed 14-Sep-11 11:08:54

People can change.
Some people just won't.

cecilyparsley Wed 14-Sep-11 12:12:55

of course people change, personality is not fixed, the brain is in a constant state of flux as it responds to internal and external events.

garlicbutty Wed 14-Sep-11 13:31:37

personality is not fixed

Some are.

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