Can People Change?

Can people change?

This is one of the first things that often crosses people’s minds when they get heartbroken. Just give them one more chance; they’re going to get better this time, right?

Even though you want to believe what they’re telling you, you keep on asking yourself, “Do people just lie, or can they really get better?” 

The short answer, people, can improve. However, this isn’t a guarantee that they’ll want to or that they even can or will. Change requires some effort as well as you being open to new perspectives. 

People Can Change

According to recent review report writers, you can have a personality change over time. For instance, as one gets older, they start looking and appearing more emotionally stable and responsible. These changes normally take quite a number of years to fully manifest and are typically part of your normal developmental cycle. 

Researchers in the “A Systematic Review of Personality Trait Change Through Intervention” study whether therapy can quickly alter someone’s personality. They concentrated on the personality traits known as the “Big Five”: agreeableness, conscientiousness, openness, emotional stability, and extraversion. 

They found that:

  • Treatment can alter one’s personality- The changes were medium to small, implying that only the person themselves and the people in their life would notice them. For instance, a person who’s easily irritated can start dealing with stressors better. 
  • Some personality traits happen to be more responsive- while supportive and cognitive behavioral therapy had slightly more significant effects, other treatments also proved successful, with meds having the tiniest impact. 


The researchers included one key caveat: It’s conceivable that a person’s personality is because of the illness being treated. For example, a depression episode can dramatically lower one’s mental health. Therefore, change is, in fact, possible but not a certainty. 

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