Can You Ever Really Change?

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-02-2003
Can You Ever Really Change?
Sun, 07-13-2003 - 5:44pm
I am having a really bad day today. I had a rough weekend with my friends. I have a lot of self esteem issues that have always effected all of my relationships. I have lost many friends and I know many people don't like me. I am not a bad person but I don't trust people and when someone treats me bad (no matter how small a thing they do) I let them know how it made me feel .Most people don't want to deal with that and I understand that most of the time the didn't do it on purpose. So, I decided to see a counselor to help me deal better with my issues. I think I have been doing better. The problem? No one else seems to think I've changed at all. My friends always assume how I will react to things. I had a friend bring up an incident that happened over 10 years to excuse why another girl was rude to me. I don't think that was fair. But how can I respond? She's right. This thing did happened. I thought I had changed since then but I guess in my friend's eyes, I haven't.

My question to you all is "Can you ever really change if people's perception of you never really change?"

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Mon, 07-14-2003 - 11:01am
My answer is: "Yes you can"

Honey, I went through this EXACT SAME THING with my BF. I had issues for years and years w/boyfriends. I was super-insecure - and would constantly freak out about female friends, girls on TV, you name it.

Anyway - I managed to change my behaviour.

But - my BF was still always expecting my old behaviour. It's a reflex. It's their natural defenses.

Even if you change - it will take the people around you a while to catch up. I used to get so frustrated w/him - it seemed that he didn't notice that I had changed.

Now - a good year later (yes, YEAR!) he finally sees that I have really changed - for real.

So - my advice to you is to be patient. Don't stop trying. You are doing this for you anyway, right?? Not them, per se. Real friends will eventually come around to realize that you have changed for the better ;) And will embrace you for it.

Hope that helps a little.. Hugs,Julie


iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-1999
Mon, 07-14-2003 - 3:42pm
That is a good question. I believe that yes, you can change but it takes time. A little over a year ago I went to see a therapist and I wanted immediate change (can I blame this on our fast-paced society and our computers, etc.?) It's difficult to change 30+ years of self-brainwashing. I still need to work on my issues but it is getting better.

Now, as for my friends seeing a difference it me, I'm not sure how to answer that. I smy best friend every week but I have other friends I see maybe once a month. To them I probably might seem the same but my other friend said she has seen a difference in me. I think it depends on the amount of time you spend with your friends. It's going to take time. You can't change yourself overnight and you can change your friends' opinions of you overnight either.

Stick with your therapist, in the end you will see the benefits. I hope your friends see the changes in you too.



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