Why trying to change people doesn't work

Trying to change a person is an exercise in futility.

We all come with a set of inherent traits and habits that can be very difficult to shake off -- and that's if we care to in the first place!

As much as you might want someone to become, say, more of a sports fan or less of a slob, if they're not genuinely interested in changing, they won't take the necessary steps to do so -- even if their words say otherwise.

And once someone has made it clear that they don't want to change, people should back off and respect their wishes.

Let's not forget something: Generally, the more we sense someone is trying to change our ways, the more resistant we'll be to their efforts. In fact, we're likely to double down on whatever it is that those people take exception with.

Examples in which this phenomenon plays out include:

  • The rebellious teenager who wishes to rebel against her parents
  • The recent high school graduate who wants to attend any college other than the ones people are pushing him to apply to
  • Those who proceed to date people who others say isn't a good match 
Sometimes, we later realize that the people who urged us to change were right all along, and we were too stubborn to listen. Hindsight really is 20/20.

Many of us can concede that we've met a few highly perceptive people along the way who've seen things in or about us that we failed to notice ourselves.

Still, in life, we learn through our experiences. Sometimes we just have to figure stuff out on our own. 

Needless to say, the final decision on whether to change rests solely with you. Just as you shouldn't pressure someone to change if they don't want to, you shouldn't allow anyone to cajole you into doing the same.

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