For most of my life, I have been in countless relationships with many toxic people. I grew up with narcissistic parents, have narcissistic relatives & in-laws, was once married to a narcissist, & have had more narcissistic friends than I can remember. One thing every single one of them had in common was the desire to change me. Prior to learning about having healthy relationships, I knew it was very annoying but I had no idea how abusive this was. I dealt with their toxic behavior by trying to be whatever those people wanted me to be, & can tell you something.. it was absolutely NOT worth it!!
People who try to get other people to change to please them aren’t pleased with anyone or anything. This means that they never will be pleased for long with the changes anyone else makes for them because they are so focused on things they consider flaws. When someone changes one thing, they will find something else they think needs to change, then something else & there is no end to their list of things they think need to change. Why make yourself miserable, constantly struggling to please someone who never will be pleased with what you do anyway?
There is also the fact that the things that people like this consider flaws rarely are actual flaws. More often than not, they are simply differences, not flaws. These imaginary flaws could be things like your hair color, the style of clothing you like, your taste in music, your favorite hobbies or even personality traits such as being introverted over extroverted or being “too sensitive.” None of these things are flaws or bad in any way. Anyone who thinks they are flaws clearly has issues.
People who want others to change for them often seek out those with people pleasing tendencies. People pleasers are more than happy to do anything other people ask of them, even when it means making big sacrifices such as parts of their personality, & this just shouldn’t be.
If you are in a relationship with someone who wants you to change, this is NOT normal! Small things, fine, such as your new spouse wanting you to use coasters when you set a drink on the coffee table but larger things like changing parts of your personality are not fine! That is a big red flag of someone with controlling tendencies!
Remind yourself often that no one has the right to demand that you change anything about yourself, or dictate your personality traits. Don’t give in to anyone’s unreasonable demands.
If you think it’s ok to give into some demands, it’s not. It won’t take long until you feel anger & even resentment. You’ll be frustrated & miserable, too. I promise you this will happen. I know it will, because I have been there. I resented those who demanded I change so much about myself just to please them. I was miserable because I was being like what they wanted me to be, rather than what I was meant to be like. I was miserable & they weren’t happy either because there was nothing I could do that would make them happy. I felt powerless, too, because their love was so conditional, & based on me doing whatever to make them happy. It is an utterly miserable way to live. Don’t put yourself through this! Instead, be unapologetically, authentically you. If others don’t like that about you, so be it. The right people, however, will absolutely love that about you. Your voice, your thoughts, your feelings all matter. You are worthy & you matter! Never let anyone convince you otherwise! Choose you, & don’t shrink yourself for anyone. It’s never worth it!
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