One of my dearest friends quite favours the phrase “change is the only constant in life”, and I have come to embrace that reality. I no longer live in an illusion of stability or the idea thereof which I once had. Instead I approach each day expecting micro (and mega) revolutions from within myself and outside.
I am sure that many of us, if given the opportunity to adjust an element of our lives, would seek to change something about someone we know. It is a fact, though, that while most things around us will change – what we seek to change the most – people – will most likely not. Our intrinsic qualities and attitudes are hard to alter.
I am often let down by people I interact with as I tend to expect them to be their best selves but most people, from my viewpoint, will never be what I expect them to. After several years of living in this illusion, I have finally realised that, barring physically, people hardly ever drastically change; and when they do it is never in order to suit me or my specific needs.
Do not mistake this for aloofness as you should still be able to appreciate the efforts of others and their indispensable role in your life while not expecting that they are going to live solely to serve your purpose. You cannot train a person as you would a pet; we all want different things in life and we will set about this in unique ways. Undoubtedly, the same person you want to change would love to change something about you too. Do not idealize people as the best self you have defined for them isn’t necessarily best by everyone else’s measure – variety is indeed the spice of life.
“I won’t get high if you want it
Get that straight 9 to 5 if you want it
Keep my &^@ home at night if you want it
Whatever you need me to do…”
– John Legend – I Can Change (video below)
A promise of change à la John Legend, however passionately presented and well-intentioned, may never come to pass; in fact it is likely that that individual will end up making this promise of change over and over again. The simple solution to this is to accept people as they are and try not to view anyone with contempt or idealize individuals. Embrace people with all their kinks and if you still find someone unbearable, it is better to sever ties immediately as you will expose yourself to unhealthy emotions which only eat away at you. It is true, though, that it will be necessary to endure many people who do not sit well with you for various reasons like work and to please others [it happens]. In this case, consider it penance or plot an escape with urgency.