Do People Change?

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If you knew someone 20 years ago, would you still know them today? Would they be the same? Many people would say yes, and many others would disagree. I believe that both answers would be right.

People do change. They change their habits, their perspectives and their beliefs. Their appearance changes and their shell is sometimes hardened by circumstances. Their fears change and they become more cautious. Over the years, we grow and learn. We become educated and seasoned by life.

We also remain the same. The deep rooted attributes that make us who we are, rarely change. They are the values that we live by. Appreciation for others, unselfishness, kindness, love, respect and honesty, are just a few of those. Starting from birth we were taught morals and values, which we still carry with us today. The soul of a person, the qualities that make us uniquely ‘us’, remain the same.

Imagine a slice of bread that has sat out on the counter for too long. The surface becomes hardened by the air that surrounds it, but the inside remains soft and moist. The top layer of the bread changes, and becomes much like a protective shield for the inner layer. Many of us are like that bread.

If a person knew me 20 years ago, they would still know me today. I am different, but still the same. How about you? Would someone from years ago, still know you today?

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30 Responses to Do People Change?

  1. Doobster418 says:

    I somewhat agree, but not completely. I think that those “deep rooted attributes that make us who we are” can, indeed, change over time. After all, aren’t our perspectives and beliefs typically deep rooted? You admit that those can, and often do, change over time. Life’s experiences can cause us to become cynical and jaded. Or we mellow out and become more tolerant, more accepting, more giving, more loving. The morals and values we are taught from birth evolve as we learn more and are exposed to other perspectives. Our values, and what we believed to be true as a young adult, and our values and what we believe to be true as a senior citizen, are likely to be quite different.

    Someone who knew me twenty years ago might still know me superficially, but deep down inside, I’m not the same person I was twenty years ago. I’ve changed. A lot.

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    • mewhoami says:

      I agree that we evolve in our thinking. That’s to be expected as we grow, mature and experience life. Our knowledge expands, our beliefs change and we are sometimes hardened and jaded by life, but I still feel that deep down people remain mostly the same. Granted that would different for someone who grew up with backward ideas and under unfit living conditions.

      There are those who were raised to be haters and grew to be lovers. Just as there were those who were raised to love and grew to hate. People do change to a degree. But, not always does their character change. The core of my character is the same today as it was 20 years ago.

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  2. tric says:

    I think I am a much happier and more contented person now than then. It is a good place to be.

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  3. I think I’m better than I was. Basics about me may remain, and they may be better honed. Or less so. But I’m still just me.

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  4. Matt says:

    *nods*

    Yes. Changed. Yet, the same.

    I’m smarter. Wiser. More patient. More reasonable. More enlightened.

    But I’m less brave. More stressed. Less confident. More insecure.

    I’m better. And worse. Yin. And yang.

    All of us change.

    The best of us evolve. Into better versions of ourselves. I don’t if I’m quite there yet. But I’m always trying. 🙂

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    • suzjones says:

      Continue trying my friend. You’re doing so well 🙂

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    • mewhoami says:

      Welcome to my blog Matt! Wow, I feel privileged. 🙂

      I love this – ” Into better versions of ourselves.” The core of who we are may stay the same, we just become better and wiser.

      You are certainly a good example of this. Not only do you know who you were, you know who you’re becoming and who you’ve always been.

      There are some things that need changing in all of us, but there are other things that if we changed them, then we wouldn’t be us anymore.

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  5. suzjones says:

    Yes I think they would – although I am much different on the exterior.

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    • mewhoami says:

      Aren’t we all? My built is the same as it’s always been, but when I see pictures of myself, I wonder where the 18 year old me ran off to.

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      • suzjones says:

        I ran into an uncle at a funeral a couple of weeks ago and he didn’t recognise me (yes, I am a lot larger and my hair is shorter). When I told him who I was he recovered beautifully by saying “Wow. I didn’t recognise you. You’re so much more beautiful than the last time I saw you”. lol

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  6. Jenni says:

    Mostly I would agree but sadly life sometimes sends us lessons that shatter the person we were and would have grown into. I doubt very much whether those friends of my youth would know me or understand me the way they did when we were younger and I doubt I would see them in the same way also. Parts of us don’t change and sometimes we have to change to survive.

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    • mewhoami says:

      I agree with that. Situations and circumstances change us, sometimes for the better and other times for the worst. There are friends that I wouldn’t get along with now simply because their ideas and perspectives are so unlike my own. We would disagree too much to hold a friendship. But, my core values that I’ve had since a child are still the same. We just become better versions of ourselves, or at least that’s what we hope for.

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  7. Glynis Jolly says:

    Yes, it can go either way. When I find that the person has changed so much, I really don’t recognize them (personality-wise), I’m taken aback and often disappointed. I know that I don’t know how their life has been and I should take that into account, but my initial thought is disappointment.

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    • mewhoami says:

      It’s funny that you say that. My best friend since kindergarten who I ran into years ago, had changed a lot! But, it was only her choices and way of life that changed. Her personality was still the same. I was disappointed to see her life, but I’d probably be just like her had I not been married and had a child at the time.

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  8. April says:

    No. I’m nothing like I was 20 years ago, and I am so glad. That person was a shell hiding a mess. That person was not me, but an entity created to hide the real me. And yes, I know people who believe I’m still the same, and have not accepted that I am truly who I have always been, but kept it from the world. In other words…I’m either a fake today, or was a fake 20 years ago. More like a maroon. 🙂

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    • mewhoami says:

      My sister and I had this same conversation last night. How some people fake who they are throughout their lives and fool others and sometimes even themselves. In those cases, it is great to see that people have changed. Really though, they haven’t changed. They’ve just finally become who they truly are.

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      • April says:

        My husband’s step-sister is one of the kind of people who pretend like they have tons of money–a jet setter. When, in fact, she is up to her eyeballs in debt. Three days after the death of my father-in-law, she called my husband and asked when he was going to have the house ready to sell. The proceeds are to be split between 5 of them. It was pretty insensitive in my opinion. He may have been her step-father, and maybe she didn’t have a closeness to him–but he was my husband’s father. She was just rude.

        The person I used to be, was mean, rotten, self-centered, and reckless. I was hiding a vulnerable, fear plagued, insecure person.I’m glad I have changed, I’m even starting to like myself a bit more. 🙂

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  9. awootton says:

    In some ways better, in some ways not as good, but still, at the core, the same person

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    • mewhoami says:

      At the core – yes, exactly. The core, the inner being of a person may be clouded by circumstance and hidden from the world from time to time, but for many of us it remains the same.

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  10. At the core I am the same, but I have grown into me. I have grown into a new me from my core. And I hope to continue growing as a person – so would someone from 20 yrs ago recognize me? Probably not.

    But, this makes me wonder. 20 years ago I wasn’t even 20 and I think that is a huge change in me – but 20 years from now I’ll almost be 60 and I think that those that know me at 40 would totally know me at 60. But those that new me at 20 wouldn’t know me at 40. 🙂

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    • mewhoami says:

      Our core is still the same, but over the years we’ve grown, matured, and learned. Those changes cause us to relate to people differently than before.

      That makes perfect sense to me. Most of a person’s changes are made in the first decades of their life. After that, they are who they are, and big changes become less likely to happen. They can though. I’ve seen major changes in people over 50 also.

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