“Lisa, You’ve Changed…”

lisa, you've changed“Lisa, you’ve changed.” he said. I wanted to answer;

“Yes, you’ve changed me.” Instead, I simply stared and waited for him to finish his point, which he did not.

I won’t say who said it or when. I will say that it’s been said by more than one person. I will also say that it’s true. I have changed. Since when? I’m not sure…but I have changed. Here’s the thing, I’m a human being. I’m not an inanimate object. If I’m not changing then I must be dead.

It’s okay to change isn’t it?

Well, for some people, it is NOT okay. They don’t want you to change and if you dare do, they take it personally. Let’s explore that for a moment. Why would someone not like the changes in you? Why would they view your evolving as a negative? There’s only one reason: They are not benefiting from the changes in you.

A good friend or someone who truly cares about you wouldn’t concern themselves with how the changes in you are not to their benefit. Instead, they would see how those changes are benefiting you in YOUR life.

I was recently thinking about the dynamics of friendships which I have often written about here on the blog. One of the conclusions I have come to is that friendships (and relationships of any kind) are always changing—brilliant, I know, but not an Oprah ‘light bulb’ moment by any stretch. What our friendships were at the beginning is not what they are in the middle and we don’t always see the end coming. They are an organic, intricate and complex thing so they can’t possibly stay the same. People are intricate and complex and guess what? They’re always changing. One of the things that makes a relationship work is to recognize, give allowance for and accept change. If it is a negative change then why not take some measures to try to mitigate it, fix it or at the very least inquire about it? Don’t wait for years to pass and then ask why…

The problem is, after the breakdown of a relationship, to sit and look someone in the eye (after years have passed) and say “you’ve changed” is really convenient.  Does this person have any clue as to how they may have caused some of those changes in me? Besides, haven’t we all changed?

Ya know, most of the people I know in my life have changed in some way. Life changes us. Our experiences, good and bad change us. Again—human being.

In spite of those changes, I still love those people…I still see the same person that I adored from many years ago. Why? Because we are inherently ourselves regardless of how we evolve in this life. For example, I have some really dear friends that I’ve known since childhood. Have they changed? Yes, each one has been through various challenges in life and of course, those challenges make them who they are today. Inherently though, they are the same. I see their spirit and it’s the same as the girl I met in grade school, in spite of any changes visible or internal.

Life changes us and so it should.

“Progress is impossible without change and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything“- George Barnard Shaw Quote

Closing the gap between our differences is also impossible without change. It is a required element.  A positive change in behavior, a change in actions can often close that gap and will always out do simple words or promises. So, before we lament the changes in someone, we should take a look inside our own situation and ask “What can I do differently to make this (situation/relationship) better?” Maybe your answer is ‘nothing’ but at least take a second look.

Although people and our relationships with them are complex, the secret to success is viewing the relationship as simple. Give and take. If you make a promise try your best to keep it…all those things we learned in kindergarten still apply to our relationships as adults.

The only constant in life is change.

Have you changed? If so, have you encountered people in your life who are opposed to the changes in you?

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34 Replies to ““Lisa, You’ve Changed…””

  1. Changing as we age, grow, and go through struggles is what we do. It’s impossible to stay the same after hardships. If we can’t accept change as a friend, we’re not a true friend. We should be able to recognize our friend or loved one, as you said. And we should be able to celebrate whatever change they’ve had. I will say, though, that I’ve seen some people change for the worse. It’s those instances when I actually did think “so-so changed.” And in those cases, it makes me sad.

    As for me, I have definitely changed. And I think it’s for the better. I used to be quiet and let people run all over me. Now I stand up for myself. It’s good for me. However, some have called me a bitch…so I guess to them the change wasn’t good. LOL

    1. Absolutely true, Chrys 🙂 That’s exactly the kind of change people don’t like–when you start standing up for yourself more. It’s a good change to make though, glad you did!

  2. Personally, I think it’s important we “change” or as I like to say “evolve”. It’s possible for people to remain the same over the years, however, how boring! Change, as long as it’s bettering yourself is a definitely plus!

    Thanks for sharing this with us, Lisa! Hope you’re having a great week!


    1. Yes, evolve. I like that word. Change for self improvement is always a good thing and sometimes necessary. Thanks, Bren!

  3. And why is it that the comment “You’ve changed” is rarely if ever said in a happy, excited, celebratory “You’ve Changed!” tone? My ex-husband used to ‘accuse’ me of having changed…well duh, I’ve had a couple of kids, gone back to school, switched jobs, moved houses, changed vehicles, and, oh yeah, grew up! lol

    I think the next time I see a friend or family member who’s changed, I’m going to try on that happy, excited, celebratory tone…give them the gift of being excited for their changes.

    1. Exactly! It’s damn near impossible to NOT change in some way, especially as we ‘grow up’ 🙂 Ha, I like that…congratulate someone when you notice the changes in them.

      It reminds me of when you have a favorite band and their music ‘changes’ quite dramatically and you lament their old classics. Well, they have to evolve too. Think: The Beatles. From their beginning and middle were extremely different sounds and the end was brilliant. I didn’t understand that as a child, these vastly different songs could be made by the same people.

      Thanks for sharing, Michelle!

  4. You are SO right Lisa! We all know that change is an inevitable part of life.

    Trees discard their leaves. Flowers bloom and wither. The wind never blows in the same direction. The tide is not always high. Rivers change their course. Glaciers melt…Mother Nature breathes a quiet message in all its forms – change is good.

    As we grow up into fine individuals, we keep changing…our thoughts, our likes and dislikes, our habits, our perspective…even our personality changes.I have never discerned why some people even make such a comment!

    Love the way you have put it across 🙂

    1. Thank you, Balroop and what a beautiful analogy you’ve shared. Nature and her changes are so beautiful why shouldn’t our changes in our own life be as well?

  5. I am nothing like the person I was twenty years ago, but I did hold onto some traits for reasons many of us do. Change is hard, but life has taught me that change more often than not is just what we need to get started down a new and better path.

    1. Yes! It is hard and hard won–the changes we make. So, when someone is disappointed in the changes in us, it’s kind of insulting. I too have some (many) of the same traits from many years ago. Still me, just a little different. Thanks, Jeri!

  6. It’s like you said – the only constant is change. Change is consistent! I used to say we don’t change; we grow. We do both, though, I think. The inner cores can certainly stay the same, but our relationships, likes, dislikes, quirks, mental states – are always in flux!

  7. I think change can be hard in the situation you describe, Lisa, when the other person hasn’t changed. When they are saying, “you’ve changed”, are they indicating that they no longer understand you because they haven’t evolved and grown?

    And a second point that is being implied by this statement is our desire to hold onto what we know. We as people hate change! We can’t stand it when anyone changes even for the better. We start thinking “oh you’re so much better than me now” or “you’re really moving up in the world now.” Some people would rather wallow in staying true to their worse self than strive to improve and change. And of course they hate anyone who does makes these changes in their lives.

    Thought-provoking post!

    1. Yes, that’s true, Vishnu. Your second point really expresses the heart of the problem when people don’t want to change and therefore don’t want to see anyone else make changes. This: “Some people would rather wallow in staying true to their worse self…” Exactly. Not healthy!

      Thanks for your thoughtful comment!

  8. Powerful stuff, Lisa! And I agree with you, I have always loved the quote “The change is to improve.” I guess there’s always cases of it going the other way, but for the most part I like to think with age and experience comes improvement;-)

    1. Age and experience sure does come with improvement. Sometimes the experience is unwanted but it can also cause a positive change. Thanks, Jess 🙂

  9. You have been through so much—of course you have changed. I’m surprised people would expect you to stay the same. Thank gawd we all change over time. If we didn’t, could you imagine how stagnant we would become??

    1. Boring—we would all be so boring Haha. I don’t know why people expect a person to stay the same except that it suits their needs.

  10. We all change, and grow. I would not want to be the twenty year old version of me forever. The important thing is are you fulfilled? Happy? Engaged in life? Those are the key factors in determining if the change was good.

    1. Hi Kim, those are good questions that will help gauge whether our changes are good. The answers may be ‘no’ during the transitional phase though but it doesn’t mean we’re on the wrong path. Nice to see ya!

  11. I think change is essential. How else can we barrel through life, experience all of its highs and lows, and remain exactly the same–unmoved, untouched? That would be impossible. I also think that there are healthy changes that make us stand comfortably in our skin as we age, and I am nowhere near the same person now that I was in my 20s … but I’m grateful for the experiences/life lessons I’ve had along the way. Thank you for this, Lisa. I don’t understand why change has to have a negative connotation either.


    1. Right? It’s really healthy that you can view your negative experiences as lessons. I feel I’m still working on that 😀 Change shouldn’t be viewed as a negative and it usually isn’t by people who have your best interest at heart.

  12. What a spot-on post, Lisa! I totally agree–that life is change. And…people can be uncomfortable with it, including myself! Change brings unknown factors, change brings unpredictability. Which are good things. I guess one of the biggest changes that I’ve seen in myself recently is that I’m more cautious. I used to leap into new situations, heart on my sleeve, blazing a trail, embrace the next adventure. I’m sure it’s because of the burns, scrapes, bleeds, that I’m more cautious, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I think it would become a bad thing if my cautiousness precluded me from experience, from life. I can see how people who’ve been hurt badly would retreat. Retreating is nice and it’s helpful. I guess I see myself still participating in new experiences, just with some safety bumpers attached. And a helmet. LOL. <3

    1. Being cautious sounds like a natural reaction to what you’ve been through. It’s a good thing. I used to wear my heart on my sleeve, too but I’ve become a little more guarded with it. I don’t see that as a bad thing at all. Oh, ya a helmet comes in handy—LOL!

  13. Such a thought-provoking post, Lisa. Life changes, people change. It’s a fact of life. The more experiences we experience, our tastes and perspectives may change. Sometimes it may not lead to what we want and we may go our separate ways.

    “In spite of those changes, I still love those people…I still see the same person that I adored from many years ago. ” I so agree with this and feel the way about some people who have walked out of my life. The heart is a funny thing and sometimes, we really genuinely see the good in others 🙂

    1. Thanks, Mabel!, we try to see the good even in failed friendships and relationships. We always learn something from people in our life and can reflect on those positives in someone from our past.

  14. “You’ve changed” can mean many things.

    To me, it means– “You’ve grown. You’ve become empowered. You’ve risen to higher ground.

    Love this post, Lisa! xx

  15. Some people say “you’ve changed” in a good way. Others feel that you’re not the same anymore and this is an issue.
    Change is part of life – we don’t always change at the same pace Lisa., depending on the roads we choose to take Lisa.

    Good to read you again. Take care.

    1. Exactly. When someone disapproves of the changes it can be pretty obvious, too. Thanks, Marie and nice to see you again. Hope you had a wonderful holiday!

  16. It’s funny you say that – because as much as I’ve changed, my ex seems to be exactly the same. Entrenched in the same thought patterns, digging that hole even deeper than I would have even thought possible. Sometimes one person changes, while the other remains the same. And that’s a problem too.

    1. Ha. That is kind of funny. Do you still see him regularly? Exactly, when one changes and the other remains the same can be problematic.

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