The Danger In Trying To Change People Is That They'll Never Change

When people show you who they are, believe them.

This quote was a revelation in my life. The first time I heard it, Maya Angelou played a starring role in Oprah’s list of the most influential people in her life, one of her gems of wisdom passed on being the quote.

It was one of those moments when you get hit with some solid logic and it literally knocks the wind out of you. The concept was simple, the theory completely perfect. When people showed you who they were, you were meant to believe them.

This irrefutable truth knocked me to my proverbial knees and embedded itself in my brain for all time.

There are people who spend their whole lives fighting this theory, engaging in relationships built entirely upon the potential to change the other person.

Whether we reveal it on the surface or try to brush it under the table, it’s rare that someone coming into something new won’t, in some way, show his or her cards early on. There will almost always be signs to point us toward a person’s “truth," the reality of who he or she is at the core, for better or worse.

If you seek, you most definitely will find another person's truth. The hard part isn’t seeing the forest through the trees; the hard part lies in accepting what you see.

We meet new people every day. We introduce ourselves, exchange pleasantries and go about our lives. Some of these people will have bigger impacts on our lives than others. We will invite some of these people into our homes and hearts, investing in them as we would anything else we hold dear.

As people, we are flawed in many ways. One of those such ways is our general inability to accept the hard truth. Some of us are better at this than others.

Sometimes, when meeting a new person, we want so badly for the person to fit a certain mold that we embrace him or her with “renovations” already in mind. So many relationships end in heartbreak and disappointment because two people finally discover they just don’t fit. The harsh truth is that, in most cases, the signs were there from the get-go.

I have dated some amazing men in my life and despite the fact that those relationships did not work out, I still remember them fondly for the lessons and love that was shared in the best of times.

When I analyze what went wrong, it always comes down to compatibility issues that were evident from day one. Unfortunately, this is all because I chose passion over practicality. It is possible to have both, but the heart seems to always hold court over the head, doesn’t it?

Love, whether amidst friendships or relationships, is the greatest experience in life and I fully recommend feeling it to the fullest, highs and lows. What I will say is this: People, whether consciously or subconsciously, cannot help but to reveal themselves.

Who you are inherently will always rise to the surface. Not everyone you encounter will gel perfectly with you or fit into some aspect of your life, and that’s okay. But, when you elect to invite someone into your head and your heart, make sure you do it with your eyes open.

Ensure that you’re aware of what you’re getting yourself into and that you’ve stopped to read between the lines. If you’re a risk-taker and a gamble is what you want, go for it. But, never try to re-mold something that is already set in stone because you're the only thing you're risking to break.

Photo Courtesy: We Heart It