One question comes up a lot in my practice… can people change? This seems like a simple enough question but alas, that’s not how life works. Do I believe that people can change, of course. I wouldn’t be in the industry if I didn’t. I know that I have changed and bettered myself over the last 3 years. I know that many of my clients have bettered themselves. I know that many of my friends have changed.. good and bad. But here’s the thing. A person has to want to change… and no one can change someone else.
This question hardly ever comes from a client about themself. Most of the time this comes from a client (usually a woman) about someone else (usually a boyfriend). The man in her life cheated, abused her, was an addict of some sort, but she still loves him and is holding out hope that he will change… because that’s what he tells her. The problem is that they don’t change.
Change is a huge thing. Change takes a lot of work, and usually as the addicts will tell you, come from hitting rock bottom, or at least feeling a loss. Most people are quite happy being content. Being the smallest version of themself because it is easy. A person will stay at a job that they hate that barely pays the bills because they know it.. they have it… they don’t need to actually DO anything. If that person gets laid off and suddenly HAS to make a change they are much more likely to do something drastic to change their circumstance.
Maybe they’ll go back to school. Maybe they’ll apply for a supervisor position at their next job. Maybe they’ll just look in an industry that they are more interested in, but until that layoff they are “fine”. The same thing can be said about relationships. If a man can be with a woman that he doesn’t have to respect, that he can cheat on, that he can abuse.. and he knows that she is willing to take him back… then NO he won’t change. If he knows that he can leave her and get another woman out there that he can abuse, cheat on, or just plain treat like crap… then NO he won’t change.
No one is going to change for you. I’m sorry. I know that you are wonderful. That anyone would be lucky to have you, but no one is changing for you. In order for a person to change they have to want to change for themself. A person changes because they are no longer able to get what they want.
Now some women take that as… “well, I told him that I wouldn’t take him back if he didn’t change… so that’s him not getting what he wants… and so now that he says that he changed.. he must have”… NO! He lost nothing. He has changed nothing. Now, perhaps he will lose you… and perhaps it will be enough to make him change and he will meet someone new that he will treat better… great for THEM. That does NOT mean that he will change for you.. with you! And more often than not they don’t change at all. They just meet a new girl they can abuse. Ask any of his other exes… he probably said the same thing to them.
So, simply put… Yes, anyone can change… if they choose to do so. But No.. no one is going to change FOR someone else. People only change FOR themselves, and you need to let them do that on their own.