do people change?
Hey everyone and welcome back to 'le blog' ....that's my fancy way of saying the blog, ya know.
Anyway, I'm what some people would call a bit of a researcher. I think of something completely random throughout the day and find myself , with my OCD by my side, literally trying to learn everything I can about the subject. I guess it's good though, knowledge is power and all that.
For those who know me, or have followed my social media for a while, then you'd know that I pretty much dramatically changed my life a little over a year ago. I won't get into why, or how, but it did bring up a lot of thoughts for me like "can people change?' Can people TRULY change? I asked myself this question a lot, and the psychological research began of course . My "Can people truly change?" question turned into "What about cheaters? " "What about people with a horrible outlook on life?" And as my usual research goes, I ended up down the rabbit hole of people changing, signs of changed behavior, how to change, "is once a cheater always a cheater", real? , and how do these things affect us in our interpersonal relationships?
I found a lot of different resources and articles online to be quite helpful, but I also found that sometimes these questions are pretty damn subjective. Some will agree 100% that people can change, because they did it themselves. Others will say people never change. And some will say it depends on the situation, or the reasoning for them changing. I believe all of it to be true.
This blog is going to be a little different from others because it's going to be based more off opinion (mine, as well as others) instead of actual facts or some sort of scientific proof, but let's get into it.
A few weeks ago, I decided to throw some Polls and questions up on my instagram stories. I asked my followers a few questions about how they felt on this topic and the answers I got were either very unanimous or just all over the place, which led me to thinking that the topic of people changing is actually VERY subjective.
My first question was on a poll and I simply asked "Can people change?" I didn't give any more details, and I wasn't specific at all. I kept is as simple as possible to receive just Yes or No answers. 89% of people voted YES, and 11% said NO. With that being noted, my next question, again very simply was, "Once a cheater, always a cheater? Again, I didn't go into detail and the only possible replies were either Yes or No.
THE SAME PEOPLE that voted Yes, people can change, voted YES to once a cheater always a cheater.
This poll turned out to be 52% YES, and 48% NO.
I thought this was pretty interesting. You say Yes people can change with such confidence and a trigger finger, but cheating is something that can not be changed. .. Interesting.
It leads me to believe that it is truly subjective. One person who has personally changed their life for the better can vote yes, but if they've been hurt by a cheater before, they say once a cheater always a cheater. They don't believe these "type of people" can change. Is it because of past pain they're holding on to? Is it because they are cheaters themselves and have never stopped? There are so many factors to determine this and I truly think it's all based on the individual themselves, and their own experiences throughout their own journeys.
Interestingly enough, I then posted a story where I asked "what is most important in friendships and relationships?" and I included a box where everyone could type out their answer .
And the results were all the same !
Most people said trust, respect, communication , and honesty.
So we can all agree that honesty and trust are extremely important, and most of us agree that people can change but we don't agree that someone would never cheat again ? How come cheaters can't change? How come people who lie can't eventually start to be honest? Are we basing these decisions or our answers on our own pain and past experiences? Are we projecting these past issues onto new people we may have meet? Just some things to think about I guess.
During this poll day I also asked, How important is someones past? And the options were VERY or IT'S Not, and shockingly enough, 32% of people said its very important, and 68% said it isn't.
So we are quick to judge someone for their past, whether the person is currently in your life or not, yet we expect total honesty from one another in order for our relationships and friendships to work?
My thoughts on this are, If you knowingly are going to judge someone for their past because it's important to you, why would they feel the need or more importantly, feel safe enough to be 100% honest with you?
More so, if they don't feel OK enough to talk to you about their past, because you think its important, are they a liar when you find out because they didn't tell you?
Does the past really matter when it truly doesn't exist anymore?
One of my last poll questions was "Why do people cheat? have you ever cheated? and can people stop ?
A few answers I received were ;
"When someone actually wants to be with someone, they don't even think about it"
"I think people cheat because they are not satisfied"
"if you do it once, you'll do it again "
"cheating has nothing to do with the person who got cheated on, but rather the cheater themselves having internal issues"
"Cheating isn't a mistake. It's something you agree to when you don't value your partner or relationship"
"I guess it can be a mistake sometimes"
"I cheated in past relationships but I don't anymore"
"I cheated once, and never again"
These answers confused me even more because they were coming from the same people voting that people CAN change.
Then I asked "whats the greatest thing you've ever forgiven someone for?"
Can you guess what the replies were ... ?
Of course at this point I got even more curious, I really like to study the human brain , or mind I guess, but what's interesting to me is really the bit of disconnect when it comes to forgiveness . We can forgive for only certain things WE, as individuals, find OK enough to forgive for. But when it comes to hurting us via another person, completely unforgivable no matter the circumstances. I then wanted to find out what people consider actual cheating . So I asked a couple more questions.
Is liking photos of the opposite sex on social media considered cheating?
11% said yes
89% said no
Is hiding or deleting texts cheating?
78% said yes
22% said no
The people who said Liking photos on social media is cheating, also said YES to once a cheater , always a cheater. Does this mean that If you catch your significant other liking photos on instagram, the relationship is over? There is no coming back from this? It's unforgivable and they'll do it again ? Although I do agree with the second question. I do believe hiding texts can be cheating, I believe when you do things and try not to get caught, it's because you know in your soul that it isn't right. And anything you do behind your partners back can definitely be considered lying. But is that also a reason to never forgive someone? What if it happened once? twice? Whats the scale here? How long is this spectrum ? Who determines this?
I guess the answer is, whatever you do behind someones back, or lie about, is considered cheating. Which Can't be forgiven, yet people can change. Yes, I'm as confused as you are.
Based on "my study" ;)
I believe a few things. One, people can change. I've done it. And if you tell me I haven't changed and I'm still the idiot I was 5 years ago or even 2 years ago, I'd laugh in your face. Second, I've never cheated, so I cant really speak from personal experience.
But I do know one thing, people can change, but ONLY and I really mean ONLY when THEY want to.
You cannot force change onto anyone, you cannot threaten anyone to change, you cannot give someone ultimatums , you can't force anyone to make better choices, and you definitely cannot have expectations of them to do so.
People change 1 of 3 ways, in my belief.
The first being because they simply want to.
The second is because of a near death experience.
and the third (again, subjective, my opinion) is some sort of life changing out of body type of experience.
No one, nothing, and nothing else will "MAKE" someone change, and with that being said, believe actions, not words. Believe patterns, not words. Believe your intuition, not words. People can and do change when they put effort toward their goals, when they SHOW with ACTION that they are taking the right steps.
Do I think humanity has to be more forgiving of mistakes? yes , to a certain extent.
I believe forgiveness not only maybe helps the other person begin to heal, but also helps you. Forgiveness doesn't mean forgetting how someone hurt you, and it definitely does not mean excusing their behavior or the harm done, but forgiving someone will also bring YOU peace. You can choose to forgive someone for your own well being, and still let them go. That's OK too.
My point is, people change. But you have to give them a chance to SHOW it.
People make mistakes, and sometimes people cheat, it's really up to us and our own experiences in our pasts or with this person, that determine whether we can forgive or not.
But one thing we can all agree on is that the most important things in ANY human relationships are honesty, trust, and communication.
And if you believe that last sentence to be true, then you also have to give people a safe space to actually be honest and vulnerable and communicate, right?
Let's just try to open our hearts a little more , without being completely stepped on of course, and try to see people for who they truly are and not so much for what they have done in their past.
I say this all the time , and I'll say here once again. Love is the most beautiful frequency of all , it is the largest and loudest expression , so do things from a place of love. Say things from a place of love. Forgive from a place of love.
Ps. this is not an invitation to stay in extremely toxic situations because you want to have a bigger more forgiving heart, please use your discernment and choose your tribe wisely.
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Vany the Bruja