Would it surprise you if you heard that President Trump woke up this morning and said to Melania, “I’m going to call Dr. Fauci and apologize. He’s right I think we need a national mask mandate.” Or, maybe Nancy Pelosi calling him up later and telling him “I’ve asked all the Democratic senators to support the confirmation of Amy Barrett to the Supreme Court. I think she will make a great addition.”

Well, we all know the chances of those scenarios happening are rather unlikely, so maybe some people can make a fundamental change but for sure not all of them.

I know there have been many recorded circumstances of people profoundly changing after experiencing a profound epiphany, or a life-threatening personal experience, but other than people undergoing those sort of experiences or possibly brain surgery, I don’t suspect many more people will ever completely change.

My wife likes to tell people who are beginning a relationship, “You should always marry someone whose faults you can live with, because you are not going to be able to get them to change after you are married.”

Okay, let’s say my wife and I are being overly negative. However, there really are eight things about people that are unrealistic for you to expect to change, or that you are highly unlikely to change. Those are; how they feel about something, their personal prejudices, their issues with family, their bad habits, their priorities, the terrible TV shows and music they like, their past, and lastly their bodies.

Let’s start by covering those things that are absolutely impossible to change. The first obviously is “The Past.” The past is the past, and unless someone invents a time machine, it can never be changed.

The second is “How They Feel” about something. Probably the most common mistake we all make is trying to tell someone else how they should feel about something. It could be something we said, we did to them, or something that happened to them that has nothing to do with us, but to which we think they have a reaction that isn’t the most logical or constructive. But no matter how hard you try, you cannot tell someone else how to feel. Usually, it will only make them dig in deeper as they become defensive of their position.

And then we have the big one, “Their Prejudices” especially those negative ones. Yes, you might convince a person to hide or suppress their innate feelings of loathing but change or remove them, I just don’t believe that can be done.

Then we come to those issues that you theoretically might have a slight chance of changing but are highly unlikely to accomplish. The first is “Their Issues with Family.” Their family or maybe your family? Have you ever tried changing this with your spouse, and have you had any success?

The second issue although it might seem silly is changing “The Entertainment or Music they enjoy” like maybe Sports broadcasts or Soap Operas. Good luck with that, and I know from experience because no matter how many plays I go to with my wife, I will never learn to enjoy Shakespeare!

Then we finally come to those faults you think you can change, and you will probably try to change, but which most likely will only end up frustrating you and driving you crazy. The first is “Their Bad Habits.” The fact that something like smoking or nail biting is such a part of how a person gets through their day makes it a much more challenging thing to alter. It’s not that these things can’t change–but if they are going to, that has to come from within the person with the habit, not an outside person who doesn’t like it. And when it comes to the really dark habits and addictions, like booze and drugs, this is doubly true. No one is going to truly stop using something that hurts them until they want to.  

And then we have “Their Priorities.” Usually, when we have a problem with someone else’s priorities, it’s because we really want their priorities to match ours, or to give us more weight and importance in their life. But since it feels kind of shitty and self-involved to say that, or even consciously acknowledge it, often how it ends up expressed is as (supposedly) objective judgment; we tell them that their priorities are “wrong,” as opposed to saying what we really want. Either way, it’s not a thing that you can change as an outsider.

Lastly, we come to one issue that you actually do have a chance of changing Their Bodies. With a little friendly persuasion, you might convince them to restyle their hair, shave their legs or shave off that stupid offending mustache, and of course plastic surgery, but it is amazing what a change of diet and exercise can do. Of course, that one, you may have to go through that one many times.

So, can people change? It sure would be nice if some of them did.