I Hate It When People Change

I hate it when people change. I hate it when someone is exactly like you and then slowly morphs into a stranger. It can be because of big life changes like becoming a born again Christian or a cumulation of little things. Like you became vegan and got really into organic farming and stopped drinking so now you live in Humboldt and post pictures of dolphins on your Facebook. All the little things added up to being a big thing and here we are not recognizing each other.

I don’t think I’ve ever really fundamentally changed as a person. My personality has, more or less, stayed the same. There have been no drastic changes. People will never hear about something I did and think, “Wow, that’s so out-of-character for you!” because I’m a creature of habit. I like what I like. In fact the most noticeable difference I’ve encountered in my twenties is the change in my tastebuds. Food I hated as a child I’m just now coming around to. That, to me, is shocking. Suddenly loving tomatoes and avocados when I abhorred both when I was younger is a huge deal for me.

This inflexibility I have in my character is, of course, a good and a bad thing. And maybe I misspoke when I say that I “hate'” when people change. I’m just more fascinated by it than anything else. I’m fascinated when the city person eventually moves to the country, when the non-smoker develops a pack a day habit. How do people do this? How do people add and drop characteristics of themselves seemingly on a whim? Mine are stuck to me like glue. Of course we never know what the future might bring. At the age of forty, I might change  my lifestyle and become a different person but, judging by my history, it just doesn’t seem likely.

How does someone change? How does someone decide to make a drastic change? What skills are needed? I’m genuinely curious. Over the years, I’ve drifted from close friends because of subtle changes, things I was quick to blame on them, but maybe that was naive of me. Maybe I was changing too. Maybe I wasn’t right in thinking that I was staying the same while everyone was adapting to new personalities. It makes you wonder if you’re ever able to see real change in yourself or if you need others to be your mirror.

No matter the reason, it makes me sad to see people I love change into something unrecognizable. You try to fight the differences and pretend that time isn’t killing the relationship but at the end of the day you must surrender to change. You can’t ignore what’s no longer there. TC mark

image – adam*b

Ryan O'Connell

I'm a brat.


More From Thought Catalog

  • http://www.oneyearintexas.com Perfect Circles

    It’s easy to change when you hate yourself.  Or, at least, easier than if you really love the time of person you are.

  • Quirk

    people grow.

  • Anna

    same boat

  • Guest

    No one is “exactly like you”. Its just elements of their character coming out which maybe were more hidden before.

  • http://twitter.com/g_kayy Glenn Kisela

    I’ll be honest & tell you that this article is very unlike the Ryan I normally read. Unless I haven’t read enough of your stuff.
    But beautiful article.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1690980049 Uchenna Anyiam

    Shit happens 

  • Tina

    More like this!

  • http://twitter.com/palespectre flipside of a memory

    Actually what I’ve come to realise now is that some  people
    probably don’t change, you just get to know them more. Or maybe they’ve
    always wanted to be this specific type of person but didn’t have
    the means to do so before. Anyway..it IS sad, and it makes people drift farther apart no matter how much you want to hold on.

  • mookie

    I’m kind of tired of reading so many articles from ryan…

  • http://twitter.com/mynameiskristin Kristin Nieman

    Whaaat?! Ryan is my favorite writer on here!

  • One-Time Guest

    I’d say it’s harder to change than write dumb article. That’s the conclusion  I’ve got from reading this “piece”.

  • Alex

    A year ago I went from never drinking to drinking quite a bit now (but still healthily, mind you). It shocked a lot of people, but it had to do with me becoming more comfortable with and accepting of myself. 

  • zzz

    When people change I always wonder if it’s who they really are all along or who they wanted to be. They just haven’t reach that point in their lives when I knew them. It’s more amazing how people can change right in front of your eyes and not notice it until one day. Change is not bad.

  • http://twitter.com/tannnyaya Tanya Salyers

    “Everybody’s changing and I don’t feel the same…” This made me think of the Keane song. 

  • Guest

    This is a weird article coming from you, Ryan. You write so much about change–particularly the overly condensed amount of change that happens between youth to adulthood. Take for example the very article preceding this post, in which you talk about how you used to love hickeys and now you hate them. The post after this is “how to stop caring so much.” “I want to believe in Santa Claus again.” “I miss my mom and dad.” “Halloween for kids vs. Halloween for adults.” “Questions I have for people who have life figured out.”

    You can pretty much answer your questions about the issue by stating the common thread of all your writing: It’s all about growing up.

    One should note that the changes of which you specifically cite examples–non-smoking to smoking, city to country, secular to Christian–are not sudden. Drastic, yes, but their happening “seemingly on a whim” probably has more to do with you and your ignorance of the complexity of how it happened than with change itself.

    • Guest

      with the* change itself

  • Anonymous

    You only hate it when the change happens in your absence (which is usually the case in adulthood). You somehow get caught up with your own activities and your own subtle interest changes that effect your personality while neglecting (not meant to have negative connotations) your friends’ own changes. But if you’re not absent in their lives while the changes happen, then both of you grow and change together, hence striking off the element of hatred and surprise

  • DUhr

    This is why it’s important to connect with people not based on external characteristics like hobbies and interests, because these things all change. I don’t care what anyone says..people’s personalities don’t really change, unless they underwent some type of life-changing event. At the core, everyone stays the same.  It’s just their appearance and their setting that makes them seem different.

  • holka

    isn’t it depressing if at forty, you were still the exact same twelve year old kid?

  • Jen

    Because people are constantly looking for “that” feeling! That’s why people change. They change in the hope of feeling something different, something néw, something shocking. I’ve never quite understood it either. I feel as though I’m at one with myself, and nothing drastic will ever come between that. But then again, they say change is inevitable.

  • Jen

    Because people are constantly looking for “that” feeling! That’s why people change. They change in the hope of feeling something different, something néw, something shocking. I’ve never quite understood it either. I feel as though I’m at one with myself, and nothing drastic will ever come between that. But then again, they do say change is inevitable.

  • Anonymous
  • Soyoung Lim

    I actually just made a big life change yesterday. I wouldn’t be sad, so long as that person is happy with themselves.

  • Tammy

    But on the other hand, sometimes change is what turns people into the people we love today.

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