People will be who they are…

People will be who they are.

Sounds like a bit of a crazy statement doesn’t it, but if you ignore this truth it is often you who becomes crazy…

I have a friend who was in great emotional pain over her relationship with her mother. Each time they meet she came away upset, or disappointed. Her mother was always so critical. This had been going on for over fifty years. My friend kept hoping that just once her mother would be supportive, or approving.

Image from chocolate-fish.net

I have a friend who was in great emotional pain over their relationship with their partner. They went through a pattern of honeymoon and then abuse, honeymoon and then abuse, honeymoon and then abuse. My friend kept hoping their partner would change.

image from dhcs.act.gov.au

People can change.  And they can also, at times, act out of character, but…  mostly people will be who they are.

Each person is driven by their own beliefs, values, education, experiences. They will have their own pattern of behaviours and responses. Once you begin to understand this, life becomes easier. Relationships become easier. Why? Because when you accept what is, you can make choices based around truth rather than desire.

People will be who they are.  They will not be the way we hope they will be. They will not be the way we fear they will be. They will not be the way we want them to be, or expect them to be, or need them to be.

People will be who they are. This, of course, goes for us too, and this is the important bit.  We cannot change others but we can change ourselves.  We can change our responses, our expectations, our level of tolerance. We can also choose to walk away.

Knowing that someone behaves or thinks in a certain way, but wanting that to be different, sets us up for disappointment every time. Or perhaps worse.

If you are honest with yourself about the true nature of your relationship with another, you begin to create new freedoms around those old expectations.

My friend with the critical mother? She has accepted that her mother will never change.  She still spends time with her, and since she no longer waits for the approval or support, her relationship with her mother has actually improved.

My friend in the abusive relationship? Had some counselling, ended the relationship, and is now with a loving partner who treats them with kindness and respect.

image from phil-islands.com

Needing someone to be different, expecting them to change, also prevents us from loving and accepting the other person as they are, which is all anyone ever wants.

(How many times have you wished someone would love and accept you as you are?)

People will be who they are.  If this works for you, embrace it.  If it doesn’t change your expectations, or move on.

 

♥ Life is too short, and too precious, not to give yourself every chance at happiness. ♥

image from shutterstock.com

30 thoughts on “People will be who they are…

  1. Thank you. When I stopped expecting changes, things became easier, that’s true, but at the same time it kills the dream you have been building around that person. Sometimes the dream keeps you alive.

      • I just want to thank you so much for this beautiful comment! It was what I needed today. I recently have had the experience of losing exactly that kind of dream, the kind that keeps you alive, and I’m in the process of finding something that can become real. It’s really hard, but knowing there are loving people out there in the world makes it so much better. <3 <3 <3

  2. true true – i found byron katie’s work “loving what is” really helpful in shifting my thoughts and expectations of other people and myself – tnx! sx

  3. Nicole, it feels as if you wrote this just for me! Your friend and her mother, that sounds exactly like me, and I have recently re-discovered my sister is just my “mother 2.0″. Constant criticisms and never any acceptance. Counselling has helped, it has allowed me to realise that I am entitled to stand up and say “hey, that’s not right”, but ultimately I know they will never change, and I just need to accept that. It’s so hard when the rest of my family don’t see it the same way I do, and just think I’m being difficult. Thankfully my wonderful husband and my friends help me along the way. I love reading your blogs, they hit such a spot with me :)
    xox

    • I’m glad you found it helpful, Joanna. Families are so good at pressing all our buttons. How blessed you are to have a loving husband and good friends. Makes all the family stuff so much easier to bear. Much love to you xx

  4. So true — and it helps if you can recognize the patterns that always show themselves in relationships – and then adjust to those patterns — we’re made up of patterns, aren’t we? As you write, we can change our own patterns – from checks to stripes. But as we do, we realize our change also changes our relationships with others, who may want us always to be familiar checks, not new stripes. But once we’ve made a conscious decision to change patterns, we are living fully in the moment. And that’s a good thing.

  5. This is great. I used to have issues with my dad. One day instead of expecting him to act differently, I decided to change the way I reacted to him. My changed reaction caused him to react differently to my reaction. He hasn’t changed one bit, but because I changed my usual reaction, it changed the dynamics of our relationship for the better. So, everything you said is spot on. Thanks.

  6. I work with the public and am constantly sadened by many peoples lack of respect, rudeness and self involvement. I hope we all remember to be kinder to others…

  7. There is such profound wisdom in this post. Yet it’s a simple truth – people are who they are. And by not accepting that, we are causing suffering to ourselves (and them). Thank you so much for sharing :-)

  8. Another great post! I find that people always reflect back to me something that needs cleaning out and strengthening in my sense of self. Every time. Paying attention to how an interaction or relationship makes me feel provides an opportunity to deeply listen to what needs attending to in my inner being. Expecting others to change gets me nowhere–it’s out of my control.

  9. I completely agree. Unfortunately, I have spent too much time waiting, waiting, waiting for people to change, to do the right thing, or to just do their job. The reality is that people don’t change unless they are strongly and seriously committed to making their lives different. Better to

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