After a lengthy conversation with a friend about someone she knows, probably knows too well, I have been thinking on the subject of how we become who we are and if we can change our stripes.
The description by my friend of her acquaintance, and the subsequent stories she told, gave me the impression that the person has always been a “taker.” The acquaintance will not change now, at 65 plus years. My friend wants very much to change the other person and make her into a better human being. I think she sees this as redemptive work. I don’t see it happening unless this string of behavior is new. Then the acquaintance might be guided to rethink the behaviors and change. In my experience, when a person has lived all of their life behaving a certain way, much of it learned from their own parents, the behavior will not change.
Another piece of this puzzle, to me, is why my friend has gotten so entangled with this acquaintance, since she is seeing the behaviors she hates being repeated over and over. I usually drop someone whose behavior I find annoying, or at the very least, avoid them. Perhaps one feels martyred to keep in contact and hope they can change the person. I think I’ve heard someone say, maybe Dr. Phil?, that you do what gives you a payoff. Guess I need to figure out the payoff my friend is getting from her continued contact with this person.