They say that people can’t change, but I disagree—people change all the time.
People grow and develop. People learn new things and change their minds and take on new and better habits. Sometimes people apologise for their wrong-doings and try to make amends. People change their entire lives and use their mistakes to help other people going through similar situations.
Change isn’t just possible—it’s common. It’s an occurrence that can happen for us many times in our lives.
But what isn’t always possible is changing someone else.
Sometimes, the people we care about don’t want to change. Maybe you see something wrong in their behaviour, but they don’t. Maybe you want them to become a more “outdoorsy” person, but they’re perfectly satisfied staying indoors. In fact, they may even prefer it. Maybe you disapprove of a specific habit of theirs, but they see absolutely nothing wrong with it, and don’t understand why you’re trying to take it away from them.
Sometimes, when we try to make people change when they don’t want to, all we do is create a strain.
We make them want to do the undesirable thing even more. Sometimes, when we try to make people change when they don’t want to, all we are really doing is getting mad at them for being who they are.
And, from time to time, we seem to take this opinion, especially if we’re in a romantic relationship with someone, that we should come first, before everything else in their lives. But, this just isn’t the case. I’m not saying our loved ones shouldn’t value us highly, but it is important that they value themselves, their personalities, and their likes and dislikes.
And, it’s important for us to value all of that too. Maybe not like it—no one is going to like absolutely every little aspect about someone else—but so long as what they are doing does not hurt or disrespect anyone else, then all that making a big deal out of it does is hurt and disrespect who they are.
No one should have to shave off important parts of themselves in order to be with someone they love.
What if what they are doing is hurting or disrespecting someone, and you want to stop them from doing it because you truly do love the better sides of them? Well, you still might be disappointed. People can change, but you can’t do the changing for them.
If you don’t think that you can handle that, then it’s okay to decide that you don’t want them in your life anymore. It’s okay to value your own well-being.
Change comes from within.
So, at the end of the day, you can choose between two options: you can love them for who they are, flaws and all. Or, you can decide that they do you more harm than good—and leave.
There is no shame in either choice. But, you need to make the one you can live with.
Author: Ciara Hall
Image: Anger Managment/YouTube
Editor: Lieselle Davidson
Copy Editor: Leah Sugerman
Social Editor: Sara Karpanen