I can change, but don’t expect me to.

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.

I strongly believe self-reliance and being comfortable in one’s own skin is the main way of achieving happiness and it ensures better relations with other people. When you are able to find comfort and sustenance within yourself you are better able to deal with others, as you have no great dependence on them and therefore cannot be too disappointed.

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.

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20 Comments

  1. girl
    Posted October 18, 2010 at 11:09 AM | Permalink

    lovely!

    • Karee
      Posted October 26, 2010 at 11:23 AM | Permalink

      Thank you. A newer post has arrived.

  2. Aldrid
    Posted October 18, 2010 at 12:06 PM | Permalink

    “I strongly believe self-reliance and being comfortable in one’s own skin is the main way of achieving happiness and it ensures better relations with other people”………….This was well written and i can relate to everything.

  3. Gashwayne
    Posted October 18, 2010 at 12:28 PM | Permalink

    I believe ppl can change. it takes something special tho, i believed that maybe jus maybe ppl can see the difference others do, so thing like disaggreement, instead of running from them, we one decides to endure then the other will change and both will agree.

    i have seen it work first hand, since i tried it. however, ppl are different and it may be true that some u hav to put behind you.
    this is very interesting.

    • Karee
      Posted October 26, 2010 at 11:24 AM | Permalink

      True, Gashwayne, I agree with you and Emma on this.

  4. Adrian
    Posted October 18, 2010 at 12:49 PM | Permalink

    nicely written….its food for thoght.i give this a 9.5 out of 10 excellent words put together and something to try and learn from though each person has their own ‘ways’ and its hidden at times to fool someone else that they have changed when they really havent….this behaviour will return sometime down the road

  5. Duane Bolt
    Posted October 18, 2010 at 1:08 PM | Permalink

    I agree with you for the most part however if one highlights negative characteristic traits in an individual that said individual identifies with and wants to change then change will come with continued mutual effort and that person will thank you since the change may have never come by the individual’s own effort.

  6. Posted October 18, 2010 at 1:23 PM | Permalink

    This is very nice, I agree that is was very well written. I can see that a lot of time and effort was put into this.

  7. Posted October 18, 2010 at 1:44 PM | Permalink

    Good job chica! I believe a note for recollection is that everyone is responsible for their actions and the actions which everyone carry out each day are their own.

    Looking for more to come!

  8. dwain
    Posted October 18, 2010 at 1:57 PM | Permalink

    hmmmm….got some pretty interesting stuff goin on here..:-}

  9. Posted October 18, 2010 at 3:25 PM | Permalink

    love it! more people need to learn this principle in life!

  10. saida
    Posted October 18, 2010 at 3:30 PM | Permalink

    theres always gonna be a conflict when it comes to change….ppl change if they see the need to not because u want them to….we must learn to accept the differences in ppl and their true qualities….if we dont then we are the one who need to change our perceptions lol….

  11. stan
    Posted October 18, 2010 at 4:00 PM | Permalink

    It was an interesting article. The use of John legend to concretise your message was an innovative ontervention. However, it, the article just needs a little tightening up. Overall a good job

  12. Wade
    Posted October 18, 2010 at 4:44 PM | Permalink

    Well, after this a read I must say I can very well relate to being disappointed by people and their ways, I do wanted people in my life who had negative traits to change them for positive ones, unfortunately it didn’t work…I recently left one person with urgency, and I really cared for that person…anyway, I don’t want to take up your page lol…this was a very interesting read, I’m working on that “never disappointed again” part….

  13. henry
    Posted October 18, 2010 at 5:35 PM | Permalink

    as always…u r wise…..only way I ever would think u would be…..

  14. Posted October 18, 2010 at 7:41 PM | Permalink

    I enjoyed this. I also wrote about change in my blog a couple of times – but more about Jamaica’s inability to change…meaning its leaders, its attitudes…and how it all goes round and round. As for people per se, I agree with you – they don’t generally “change” much – but attitudes can be changed. I am sure – I know – that Europeans weren’t always so polite and “civilized” – they were once quite barbaric, warring barons etc. But it takes time. To try to “change” an individual to suit your needs, however, is a frustrating and ultimately futile task. Nice first blog, and nice WordPress theme too – simple and neat!

    • Karee
      Posted October 26, 2010 at 11:26 AM | Permalink

      Thank you and I do agree with you on attitudes. I think the western world, in general, is coming around nicely as far as ‘civilization’ is concerned. The Jamaican leadership styles are pretty much constant and need to be cut down and built from scratch.

  15. Sixx
    Posted October 19, 2010 at 7:54 AM | Permalink

    No single person is going to change their ways to suit others, even in marriage.
    I don’t expect anybody to change their ways for me nor should they expect me to do like wise. Self reliance is the best thing one can do for themselves.

  16. Posted October 19, 2010 at 9:30 AM | Permalink

    Beautiful, Really Love This!

  17. Karee
    Posted October 26, 2010 at 11:27 AM | Permalink

    Thanks, everyone, for your comments and readership.

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