No I do not believe people change. Yes you will most likely be stuck repeating the same mistakes - I know psychologist Alfred Adler believes in patterns. Most of the change is superficial or small if it does happen.
Yes, it's possible to change. However, it takes more than saying, "I was wrong, and now I'm going to change." It takes a lot of soul searching, figuring out many instances in which you acted dysfunctionally, figuring out WHY, what triggers the behavior, and how you're going to react differently in the future when such a "trigger" occurs. And it involves recognizing in that moment that you're behaving differently than you would have in the past, as opposed to repeating old patterns.
I think that since much dysfunctional behavior is rooted in very long-term beliefs we hold of ourselves ("I'm inferior to others," for example, or "Deep down, I don't like myself."), change usually takes a long time. Because you'd have to change that long-held belief that led to the behavior. And changing a belief you've always had can be "near impossible."
I think that's why the previous poster doesn't think true change is possible. I think it's very possible if one really really wants to change, but a lot of the time, people don't really want to change-- they just think they do. Then, when "push comes to shove," they repeat their patterns, because it's what they are comfortable with.
People do change. . . but you may be doing the example.... cooking a cake and half way thru you open it up and expect it to be cooked. Help this person reach his goals, if it means sacrificing some of your own.. we have to give in order to recieve.
If you're dating someone who is insecure and controlling, who cares if they change? Someone like that has probably already done more than enough damage.
Move on and find somebody who isn't emotionally whacked out. It's better than lolling around, holding your breath, hoping against hope that maybe, hopefully, keeping-your-fingers-crossed that you'll wake up some morning and find that they've morphed into a sweet-faced angel.
Probably not going to happen. If somebody sees that they can get and keep a signifigant other by being their usual controlling, brutish, intimidating selves, then why would they bother to change?
The grass is always greener on the other side...until you get closer and see that it's astroturf~
I believe people can change if they want to. Sometimes, people are unaware of their behaviour and once pointed out, they are given the choice to stay with that pattern or change it.
Alcoholics are a prime example. One of my good friends is a dry alcoholic. Approximately 15 years ago, he'd decided to stop drinking and join AA. The transition he'd made from day till the present was remarkable. He was an irresponsible, raging, angry man to a kind, compassionate, understanding, patient, conscientious and wonderful person. But the work he had worked very hard to change himself, including how he reacts to people and situation. He wanted to change.
Speaking for myself, becoming a mother at a young age had made me a responsible person. As much as I had so much on my shoulder at a young age, I still considered myself irresponsible until my son was born. I wanted to change.
Thanks for the replies. It was actually me that needs to do some changing. I grew up with a Mom who did not work outside the home and a lot of the time she felt powerless. I think I don't want to feel that way so I scrap about silly things. I Know my boyfriend has some changing to do too, but if I accept him as he is barring abusive behaviour I think I will be better off. I guess it is a balancing act. I went through this great book last night called Too Good to Leave- To Bad to Stay. It gives you just over 30 questions to evaluate your feelings and relationship. I was encouraged to see most of the responses rrom the forum were positive, because I believe I have changed over the last few years and I want to grow and change and let my guard down. It is so tiring being on gaurd all the time.
That is a good book! I read it a year or more ago helping a friend out...the book, among other things, opened my eyes to problems in my own relationship. Now I'm much happier that I took action and I believe it helped me to change a bit in how I interact with others, knowing the rights and wrongs of relationships. This stuff should be taught in school!