Home » Reflections » Food for thought: Do people change?

Food for thought: Do people change?

For the last month, I’ve been taking a nutrition class; starting tomorrow, I’m taking a stress management class. So I’ll be switching from thinking about food all the time to thinking about stress factors, self-esteem, personality, and stress management techniques. (Aw, who am I kidding, I’ll still be thinking about food all the time.)

Anyway, I was reading through some resources for class when I stumbled upon this NPR article about personality. The author argues that, despite the common belief that “people don’t change,” our personalities can change drastically throughout our lives.

There is research and anecdotal evidence supporting the idea that humans are capable of becoming a completely different person–given time, effort, and change in perspective.

This news is a little unnerving, considering it means a friendly person could potentially change into a sociopath. It also means that our relationships could suffer if one or both parties become a different person and no one’s willing to adapt or compromise. But on the flip side, some relationships could be repaired if the individuals are willing to change.

I was skeptical when reading this article; personally, I don’t think people can change their personality. An introvert will always be an introvert–it’s how their brain is programmed, right? I do think it’s possible for people to change their beliefs, attitudes, morals, outlook, and countless other aspects of their being, creating the effect of a whole new person.

What do you think, can people change?


One thought on “Food for thought: Do people change?

  1. I think people do change, how can they not?
    As we get older we learn more and our life experiences give us new perspectives. It’s not always positive, but I think for the most part this learning does lead to positive change.
    People learn what battles to fight. What to let go of and when. You read about people in their 80’s who are the happiest they have ever been.
    Couples change and sometimes it does lead to splitsville.
    Around the time I turned 45 I felt a change in me. I began to care less about what people thought of me and stopped trying so hard.
    I also realized that I was approaching a time in my life when I could make big changes. Now that I am 51, one child is out of college and another will be in two years.
    My attitude towards work and stress are different now. My situation in life has changed as my family has grown up.
    What I need from work will change vastly in two years, and so will my attitude towards a high stress job.
    Cheers – Andy

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