What makes people change

AlignAlign Remain CalmForum Moderators, Constellation Join Date: 2002-11-02 Member: 5216Posts: 8,207 mod
Everyone should know!
I found this interesting text by chance while looking for papers on interview techniques:
It explains an awful lot about why people don't/seem motivated, and how to effect a change in your own life and get it to stick.
It also reminds me of my brother who said that it isn't hard to get things done, just decide to do them - which seemed monumentally unhelpful at the time, because how do you get to the point where you decide to decide, so to speak.

A lot of it can be seen as "Well, that's just common sense", but as so often, having it written down makes it that much clearer to the mind. Clarity of expression is clarity of understanding, basically.

Interesting specific parts include going to three different treatment programs and telling the counselors that specific participants were likely to recover, and all of them doing so even though they were actually chosen at random.
"Accurate empathy" from the counselor was one of the most important factors in whether a patient improved, whereas confrontation would just make people resist more.

That last is one I particularly wanted to bring up, and much more relevant to us random people on the Internet than it might seem. Consider how people's attitudes are when discussing things with people they disagree with - often they're defensive and confrontational, like "maybe if you'd read my post more carefully" will just ensure hostilities continue without progress. So... yeah. If you wanna convince them, don't put their backs up.

I dunno, the text made it seem so clear...


  • AlignAlign Remain Calm Forum Moderators, Constellation Join Date: 2002-11-02 Member: 5216Posts: 8,207 mod
    Or for a much shorter version that explains much of the same:
  • lolfighterlolfighter Snark, Dire Members Join Date: 2003-04-20 Member: 15693Posts: 9,006 Advanced user
    In 2004, US President George W. Bush referred to "the soft bigotry of low expectations" as one of the challenges faced by disadvantaged and minority students.

    That one kind of strikes a chord.
    Military cemeteries around the world are packed with brainwashed, dead soldiers who were convinced God was on their side.
    - George Carlin
  • ellnicellnic Members, Reinforced - Shadow Join Date: 2010-07-19 Member: 72559Posts: 915 Advanced user
    What changes people is life changing events. And they do happen
  • RegnRegn Members Join Date: 2012-11-01 Member: 165335Posts: 64
    edited November 2012
    What makes people change depends on how deep you are willing to go to define who or what a person really is. Changes in personality is tightly linked to our psychological defense mechanisms. In fact, our Persona is an abundance of psychological defense mechanisms. Whenever we develop, alter, or replace our defense mechanisms, our personality changes drastically along with it. The reason for this is because our Ego is always stretching out into existence trying to find something to hang on to; a reason to survive; a purpose, like an image, a job, a significant other, or an offspring. When we find something, we attach to it, and it becomes a part of our Ego. Our wives, husbands, fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, best friends, Jesus Christ, God, being of status, of admiration, these are all reasons. Loss, which forces us to detach and lose our sense of purpose, is the most powerful catalyst to personality changes because it most drastically fractures our ego and forces us to alter- or in worse case scenario replace- our defense mechanisms.

    Anyway, I could go on and on about this. As far as the Rosenthal effect goes, people with no motivation are simply lowering their expectations to avoid disappointment. But more importantly, should we increase their expectations or keep their expectations low? The answer is, that it is dangerous to increase the expectations in those whose Egos have been fractured repeatedly over the course of their childhood, teens and adolescence, because there are only so many fractures an Ego can take before it bursts. If you are to increase your own expectations or the expectations of someone else, make sure you stick to it, and see it through to the end, to avoid the bitter outcome that loss brings. If you want to destroy your own psyche or somebody else's psyche, make lots of promises that you can't keep.
  • TykjenTykjen Members, Reinforced - Shadow Join Date: 2003-01-21 Member: 12552Posts: 945 Fully active user
    I was for years consciously avoiding becoming a dad because the fear of ending up like my own was too great. Luckily I realized the same fear had already turned me into a whole different person that I did not know who I was, until that child came into Life. The fear was removed instantly, and I've felt reborn ever since.
  • ImbalanxdImbalanxd Members Join Date: 2011-06-15 Member: 104581Posts: 1,803
    People don't change. Their actions may, but their reasons don't.
  • AurOn2AurOn2 COOKIES! FREEDOM, AND BISCUITS! AustraliaMembers, Forum Moderators, NS2 Playtester, Forum staff Join Date: 2012-01-13 Member: 140224Posts: 2,130 mod
    People can change, but it's a long, slow process.
    Send me a private message if you need me to kill someone "help" with anything.

    The very existence of flamethrowers proves that sometime, somewhere, someone said to themselves, “You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I’m just not close enough to get the job done.” - George Carlin.

    Youtube Channel for Sydney Music
  • elodeaelodea Editlodea Members, Reinforced - Shadow Join Date: 2009-06-20 Member: 67877Posts: 1,786 Fully active user
    I'm different from when i was a child, so i think people change =D. Just the older you get, the harder change becomes. Possibly in part because your brain becomes biologically inflexible the older you become.

    As for random internet people, I think most people on some level or another don't want to leave the comfort zone of their own intuitive beliefs or mindset. Perception of threats to this comfort zone (which is highly linked to self identity), would understandably then result in reflexive 'irrational' defensive behaviour. I say 'irrational' because from their perspective it probably seems entirely rational to defend something they already believe to be correct or justified. Kinda like the 'rationality' behind the massive civilian bombing in ww2.
    Gorge bilebomb forever.
  • TemphageTemphage Members Join Date: 2009-10-28 Member: 69158Posts: 1,317
    So really, Align, your question is...


    What can change the nature of a man?

    "If there is anything I have learned in my travels across the Planes, it is that many things may change the nature of a man. Whether regret, or love, or revenge or fear - whatever you *believe* can change the nature of a man, can. I've seen belief move cities, make men stave off death, and turn an evil hag's heart half-circle. This entire Fortress has been constructed from belief. Belief damned a woman, whose heart clung to the hope that another loved her when he did not. Once, it made a man seek immortality and achieve it. And it has made a posturing spirit think it is something more than just a part of me!"
    Chris0132 - "If I didn't want someone to take something of mine and use it to any and every possible end, I wouldn't put it on the internet, as anything on the internet can and will be used without permission, quoted out of context, and photoshopped into porn."
  • AlignAlign Remain Calm Forum Moderators, Constellation Join Date: 2002-11-02 Member: 5216Posts: 8,207 mod
    edited December 2012
    I was more thinking about "how do you most effectively convince other people" but considering we're in Discussions I didn't really mind the direction the thread went with ellnic's post.
  • measlesmeasles Members, Constellation Join Date: 2007-02-26 Member: 60122Posts: 398 Advanced user
    edited January 2013
    The question one asks is "Why change" long before the thought of "how to" ever becomes a focal point. We are human and therfore don't expierience a (true) need to change. We can manipulate our surroundings and sometimes our peers.

    It is the role of a civilised human to attain balance. We all (things) simply want to belong, afterall.

    (fixed youtube embed; it's just the ID at the end)
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • 1dominator11dominator1 Members Join Date: 2010-11-19 Member: 75011Posts: 1,171 Advanced user
    If you want to convince people speak cooperatively. Do not offend, insult, ridicule, or trivialize them, nor present your opinions and arguments as the truth. Use words like, 'it seems to me', and 'I think' and "in my opinion" etc.
  • AlignAlign Remain Calm Forum Moderators, Constellation Join Date: 2002-11-02 Member: 5216Posts: 8,207 mod
    I used to do that, then someone snapped at me for being so spineless.
  • Soylent_greenSoylent_green Members, Reinforced - Shadow Join Date: 2002-12-20 Member: 11220Posts: 2,875 Advanced user
    edited November 2014
    People change hugely in some ways and very little in others.

    Becoming less selfish and more socially aware is a normal part of growing up (that's not to say that adults aren't selfish, but they are not irrationally selfish; the best way to get what you want is often to help others get what they want).

    Change from generation to generation is also huge, but it's not the same people who are changing, but kids who are different from their parents.

    It's also useful to note that most change is bad. It's a lot easier to change something that works for the worse than it is to change it for the better. Nevertheless, we try again and again.

    In theory it would be efficient to learn from other's mistakes instead of making them all over again, but that just doesn't appear to happen. The russians have a saying which seems eerily close to the truth; the only lesson of history is that we don't learn anything from history.

    From financial disasters, like the one we're living in now, which is a triple disaster with accounting control fraud(S&L disaster supersized) + fake insurance (CDS) + extraordinary amounts of leverage in the entire economy private and public (in the US it's quadruple economic disaster, with medical cartels specifically exempt from antitrust regulations, like no other industry), to starting useless wars in far off places and arming the enemy of my enemy, to supporting totalitarianism, fascism, communism and religion (all the other tens of thousands of gods that ever existed were created by us; but the god my parents more or less coerced me to believe in is totally legit).

    Don't look for change in others. If you want to change yourself, by all means go ahead.
  • nightlightsnightlights Members Join Date: 2017-02-20 Member: 228095Posts: 4
    Fear and the environment that we surround ourselves in can explain a lot.
  • glenn0510glenn0510 San JoseMembers Join Date: 2017-09-25 Member: 233229Posts: 12 Fully active user
    As far as I know, people change after a really bad experience. If you hit rock bottom, the only way to go is up.
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