Evy ~ it is from my experience that people cannot be changed by another except in reaction to the other making a change within themselves. I have experienced this firsthand in my relationship with my husband. And with an ex fiance who was abusive.
With my ex fiance I tried everything to change him even to the point of totally changing myself to the point of total sacrifice and yet he still abused me. So in this case despite how much I changed I couldn't change his behavior. However, with my husband when we got to a point in our marriage where I needed more romance and intimacy that once was there but all of a sudden seemed lost, I found that by making changes within myself he indirectly made positive changes within himself as well. This all came in response to my making a positive effort to change negative things that occurred within myself in response to not getting my needs met. It was when I made a conscious effort to not complain and to compliment him when he made even the slightest of efforts that I started seeing the changes in him that I most needed.
So can we change a person...NO
But can we change ourselves and as a result see some changes in others in response to it....YES!!!
That's the difference. But don't expect to see changes in an abusive, or drug/alcohol dependent person.....that's a whole different ballgame.