The Truth: Do People Really Change?
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For those of you who don’t know the story of the scorpion and the frog – allow me to enlighten you. A scorpion needed to cross a river, so he approached a frog to ask for help. The frog denied him, saying “Why should I trust you? You could easily sting me.”
The scorpion assured the frog he would be safe because if he were to sting the frog during their trip, they would both drown. The frog, figuring this made sense, agreed to transport the scorpion. Half way across the river, the scorpion stung the frog, and they began to sink.
When the frog asked why, the scorpion replied, “Because it’s in my nature…” This raises the question – can people really change, even if they want to? I believe there are certain aspects of a person’s nature that are instilled in them, but I also believe that you can create yourself, as well as the reality around you.
If you are trying to change someone who doesn’t want to be changed, you are fighting an uphill battle. One of the hardest things in life is to want better for someone you care about, when they don’t want it for themselves.
I’ve always been a “victim” of the Mother Teresa syndrome where you always want to help others, but there is a tipping point where you get diminishing returns, meaning you’re putting so much effort into trying to help someone else, you are actually hurting yourself.
How many texts, phone calls, Facebook chats and in-depth therapeutic conversations can you have with one person, before you realize that they will probably never change? At least, not right now.
This is a fine line to walk, and terribly conflicting to the individual trying to do the helping. There is no easy answer, some people just don’t (won’t) listen, and you’ll have to accept that they need to learn on their own. Martyrdom isn’t in style.
I fully believe we should all live our lives trying to help and support others – but only when it doesn’t hinder your own progress. Social Darwinism is very real and some people just are not motivated enough to pursue their goals, get out of that crappy relationship, or put in the work it takes to advance in life.
There comes a time where each of us has to decide when to cut the chain anchoring us to negative people in our lives. This means change, and change is hard. Change is hard because we think we are losing something (usually people) from our lives – but in reality, you’re just discovering who is meant to stay, and who is meant to go.
Don’t be the frog that falls for the scorpion. You can’t change a person, but, you can be a person’s reason to change.
Live to inspire.
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