Who Even Knows?

Can you change a person?

There is a saying that you cannot change a person. And I agree. But I think it’s more complicated than that. Because it can be argued that someone can change a person’s mind, change a person’s appearance, or the experiences a person has, therefore changing them as a person.

But I believe that those things are solely influences. A person could meet a celebrity, but said person chooses whether or not they want to be like that person or not. A person is faced with new experiences and meets new people, but it’s ultimately up to them on whether they take any life lessons or change their own behavior because of it.

People are meant to change and grow and adapt to their ever changing surroundings. Think back to the time you were in kindergarten or first grade. Imagine if you still had the same experiences and personality now as you did then. You’d be totally different, with different clothing taste and different friends. And many people grow into better versions of themselves as they change, so chances are, first grade you and current you have a lot of differences.

Although, one major downside of change is that people sometimes grow apart. As people grow into more authentic versions of themselves (or grow the opposite way), some ties that they had with friends or even family changes. It can be scary to feel as though a person you thought you knew well is changing. The common and understandable reaction can be to try and pin this person down, try to hold onto them, not allowing them to change and grow in fear of growing apart. Although this reaction is logical, it doesn’t work. Give people space to change. Yes, change can cause break ups or the growing apart of good friends. And yes, change can cause a person to turn into a more authentic version of themselves, causing them to make new friends that accept them as that new person.

Similarly to change in a close friend or family member being nerve-wracking, feeling yourself change can shake you even more. There is the notion that you should always know who you are, so when you start changing, no matter how big (realizing a major part of your identity) or small (realizing you like asparagus even though you thought you hated it). It can be confusing, and even mind-blowing. I have found that even though I don’t seem to stop being surprised by my ever changing self, changing my mentality about myself has softened the shock. Give yourself room to grow. Do not expect your identity to stay the same forever. Do not box yourself into any mold. Change is inevitable, and not always a bad thing.

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