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I don't believe people can change. I also don't believe people can forgive anything 100%. That said, after I write you off I may still wish the best for you, I just don't want to stick around and wait for it.


Yes and no. I think people can change with a lot of work if it is something they think of themselves and believe is something they want to do to improve themselves or their lives. For example, I THINK (although could be wrong) I'm a much happier person than I was when I was younger. That was a conscious decision on my part, though, because I wanted to be happier with my life.

The douche will not change because he doesn't believe he is in the wrong. He is changing because that is what he thinks futureexwife wants but that won't take.


Good topic!

I do not believe that people can fundamentally change, but I agree that they can change their behavior.

Speaking from personal experience, I was able to curb some wicked OCD rituals (with the help of a good therapist and medication). The medication to stabilize chemically while I worked on the actual behavior modification with the therapist.

Many times the precursor to change is a painful life event, death/car accident/disease/divorce, etc.

Having been in recovery for 18 years, I've seen people change their behaviors time and time again so I know it's possible. The tricky part is those that you know could change but do not.

This is why alcoholics in recovery have to continue to go to meetings, b/c fundamentally we are still alcoholics with only a daily reprieve.

Peeved Michelle

Leah, you had the desire to change and the perseverance to work at it even when it was very difficult. THAT is part of your fundamental nature, so you were able to change your behavior.


good point michelle, so the *desire to change* is a part of my fundamental nature? i was crediting the really, really bad things that happened to me towards the end of my active addiction (20 years old), like dying to making me want to stop.


I hate people as much as ever but I've changed how I react or respond to them. Behavior vs makeup.

Someone I'm close to is an alcoholic who does not drink anymore. Behavior vs makeup.

I also don't believe with your sister's statement that "personalities are fixed from conception." I think external factors and life experiences shape a personality continuously. I for one am not the same personality-wise that I was 10 yrs ago, or 10yrs before that. And thank goodness I've changed! :)


Is it really your personality that has changed or just your expression of it?

Traits such as whether we are introverts or extroverts, savers or spenders, etc. are what I believe are fixed. However, what we value and how we behave are definitely effected by external factors and therefore can and most likely will change as we go through life. (That's also why I believe someone who wants to change their behavior can do it. I don't think having determination to do something is an inherent trait. It's a choice and anyone can make it.) Seems like the very definition of 'maturing' ...

The saver/planner can learn not to be miserly, to spend a little on fun and be more spontanious. The spender/free spirit can learn that a little planning and saving can keep them from constant turmoil. Either way, they still have that basic trait but are just a little wiser in expressing it.

Becky Hood

In this case, I think it's a choice to be made. Love is a choice we make, a commitment we choose to keep. The behavior can be changed, but it has to be a conscience choice to not do something, or to do something positive instead.
Now, is he capable of making that choice? Only he can decide that.


I do not believe that a person's basic, overall personality can be changed, but s/he can learn to keep less desirable traits (i. e. a short, violent temper, etc., or a tendency towards sexual excess, for example ), under wraps, which is an important step in itself. That can be, and often is achieved through sublimation, or the channeling of emotional drives into constructive activity. Finding something that's really of interest to them can really help in that respect, and to help someone like that learn a certain amount of self-control over such traits, even though their basic personality remains intact.

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