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To think that people can't really change?

46 replies

nigelslaterfan · 07/07/2015 21:39

I mean have any of you really changed in your life?

I wonder if we are set by a certain age but I would love to think revolution was possible. I mean you get great weight loss and fitness following illness. But you don't make a strong person out of a weak one do you?

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Purplepoodle · 07/07/2015 21:43

Life changes us, experience changes us.


YeOldTrout · 07/07/2015 21:48

what is the age when you think people are set by? I'll agree if you say 80 :)


littlejohnnydory · 07/07/2015 21:49

YABU, people can change dramatically.

Do you really think there are 'strong' and 'weak' people? Isn't that a bit simplistic? I think everyone is capable of great strength and also of heroic acts, goodness and selflessness. I also think everyone is capable of being cowardly, selfish, underhand and nasty.


nigelslaterfan · 07/07/2015 21:49

I guess I mean transformed. Of course changes happen, but transformation? Like going from shy to confident, academic to non academic, hardworking to lazy? I mean in our deep traits, do people ever really transform?

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nigelslaterfan · 07/07/2015 21:52

I suppose I mean in characteristic behaviours.

Like from a mess to not a mess. From disorganised to organised.

Everyone I know who deeply has their s together, imo, is almost born that way.

All the f
- ups seem to stay on their bad tracks......

Immature types often stay immature. Responsible types stay responsible.

My friend is a big sister and she says her s is always always late and disorganised and she is the opposite.

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Trills · 07/07/2015 21:52

People don't change in their "deep traits".

But sometimes something that you think is a "deep trait" turns out not to be.


nigelslaterfan · 07/07/2015 21:53

I like the sound of that.... would you say more?

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GotToFTFO · 07/07/2015 21:54

I think personality traits are impossible to change consciously but naturally people grow and life experiences have a lot to do with it.

My thought process is still the same as years ago I think but I am older and better equipped to use it in day to day life now.


nigelslaterfan · 07/07/2015 21:56

I don't think my f ever changed. He was really deeply selfish and didn't care about anyone but himself. He concealed it with a kind of hollow charm but his actions showed he was really not very nice. I think he was set in that selfishness very young.

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StarsInTheNightSky · 07/07/2015 21:58

I think people can change, I'm quite different now to when I had PTSD and compared to before I had it. As pp said, experiences change people.


Trills · 07/07/2015 21:59

You might think

I have always done xxx

but maybe you have always been in an environment that makes it easier for you to do xxx than not to.

So it might be very very difficult (and feel impossible) for you to change that behaviour in your current environment.

But if you changed your environment, you might then find it easier to make the change to your behaviour.

Example 1:
behaviour is feeling negative about yourself
environment is spending a lot of time with "friends" who you've known since you were at school who have always seen you as "the fat one" or "the less-clever one" who they keep around to make themselves feel better and like to put down

Example 2:
behaviour is not bothered to go to the gym
environment is live far from work and school, have to travel specifically to gym rather than going there on the way home

I didn't say it was easy to make the change to the environment, just that the change to the behaviour would move from "impossible" to "possible", if the change in the environment could be made.

This only counts if it's YOU, of course.

If the person who you think will never change is another person, they probably won't, because they probably don't want to.


nigelslaterfan · 07/07/2015 22:01

i see what you mean. We build our own prisons to an extent and can undo them too, in theory?

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Gabilan · 07/07/2015 22:06

"Of course changes happen, but transformation? Like going from shy to confident"

I've done that. I was bullied a lot at school and changed in many ways when in a different environment. Fundamentals stayed the same - honesty, determination, bloody mindedness - but quite a lot else changed. In some ways I grew a lot more confident. I've also changed since being diagnosed with depression. IMO many of the fundamentals are the same, but I've softened in some ways and become more sympathetic sometimes. I can also be very intolerant but you know, whatever

People can change but not in the way you might expect or want. Some of them get worse for a start.


YeOldTrout · 07/07/2015 22:09

i can think of a few people who were extremely shy and became confident public speakers. They found the challenge immensely rewarding.


Alwayswiththechords · 07/07/2015 22:09

People can change if they want to. Even personalities or inner character can be transformed but only if that person wants to change.


Hygge · 07/07/2015 22:10

I think people can change a lot of things about themselves but at their core they stay the same.

Experiences and life events can change some things about a person, willpower and determination can also change people if they want to change and are prepared to work towards it.

But I think sometimes those same things, events and experiences, can just ingrain certain traits even more.

Some people change and some people become even more themselves. For better or worse.


duplodon · 07/07/2015 22:12

Absolutely you can change. I've seen tremendous changes in people. My grandmother left an abusive marriage at 62 and trekked across India! If you had met her at 53 you would have thought that an impossibility for a then dour, shy down trodden housewife.


dun1urkin · 07/07/2015 22:12

I've changed a few things about myself:
I used to be profligate and debt ridden. I'm now tightish with savings in the bank, and break out into a cold sweat at the thought of it going below £x.
I used to be very untidy, I'm tidy now.
I used to be fat and never exercised, I'm now considered 'a bit sporty' and am normal sized.
I used to be very ambitious career wise, I now am 'settled' and am not bothered about a career as such.
Other things about me are still the same as always though Grin


drudgetrudy · 07/07/2015 22:15

I think it depends if you want to change and how hard you are prepared to work at it. Probably people's basic temperament doesn't change but we can change our behaviours if we really want to.
I agree that environment is also an influence and confidence can grow in a more supportive environment. Also determination and success increases confidence.
If someone is selfish and likes it that way they won't be motivated to change.
Its quite depressing to take the view that people can't change even if they want to.


MsVestibule · 07/07/2015 22:20

I'm 44 and I'm the same as I ever was - a fantastic procrastinator, constantly struggled to maintain a healthy weight, untidy, disorganised, loving, loyal, stroppy. I can't imagine I'll ever change my bad points without a will of iron. Which I don't have.


Nonreplicable · 07/07/2015 22:24

I find that my personality changes depending on what is happening in my life at that particular time.

I was a confident child, s bit of a queen bee and a bully at school. Then I had a domineering boyfriend and became shy and withdrawn. When I met my supportive DH I returned to being confident and outgoing.

Being academic - I suppose the potential was alway there but I did very well in primary school then appallingly in secondary, then exceptionally well at uni.

My outlook on life has also changed with experience - from right wing as a teenager to a bit of a lefty as I learned to appreciate what I have.

Yes, people can definitely change.


Charley50 · 07/07/2015 22:26

Grin msvestibule


BabyFeets · 07/07/2015 22:27

Yes because I have


PoundingTheStreets · 07/07/2015 22:31

I believe people can change. However, I think that after a certain age (early 20s) there has to be a significant reason for it - some life experience that transforms someone's life or resonates so much with them that they become determined to change.


nigelslaterfan · 07/07/2015 22:31

thank you all for these posts, I really appreciate hearing your pov.

dun1urkin sorry, but very slightly worship you Flowers and want to know how you did it.

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