Trying to change others

When you try to change someone, you’ll eventually realize that you can’t truly change anyone, because “it’s easier to alter the landscape than to change a person’s nature.”

I’ve been down that road too many times, thinking I could be the catalyst for someone else’s transformation. Time and again, I’ve discovered the harsh reality: people don’t change unless they want to. You can dress up the outside all you want, but if the core remains the same, it’s all just a façade.

Some people might appear to have changed on the surface, putting on a convincing act for the world to see. They might tell you what you want to hear, make promises, and even show signs of progress. But deep down, nothing is different. They’re the same person they’ve always been, merely playing a role to keep you satisfied or off their back.

True change, the kind that is profound and lasting, often comes at a steep price. It’s usually a significant personal mistake or a life-altering event that forces someone to look in the mirror and face the truth. I’ve seen it happen. You might advise someone to quit drinking, and on the surface, they might go along with it, telling you they’ve stopped. But in reality, they’re still caught in the same destructive cycle. It often takes something drastic, like a severe accident caused by their drinking, for them to wake up and realize they need to change. Only then, after they’ve paid a hefty price, do they truly quit.

I’ve learned, painfully and repeatedly, that my efforts to change others are often in vain. People have to come to their own realizations, usually through their own mistakes and suffering. It’s a bitter pill to swallow, especially when you care deeply about someone and want the best for them. But the truth is, change can’t be forced. It has to come from within, spurred by personal experiences and the harsh lessons life sometimes delivers.

So now, I focus on myself, knowing that the best way to inspire change in others is to lead by example and be there for them when they finally decide to make a change for themselves. It’s a lonely path sometimes, filled with disappointments and heartaches, but it’s the only one grounded in reality.

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