There is a saying that goes ’With age comes wisdom,’ and apparently they’re right, because I’m almost sixty and I’ve learned some pretty interesting things about people that I should have twigged on to a long time ago, but didn’t. The more people I meet, though, the more I learn.
Image courtesy of Flickr
You may well read these revelations and scoff. Perhaps you’ve already known for years – perhaps everyone else has figured these things out long before me, but here goes…
1. People can change I’ve learned over time that we can’t change people no matter how hard we try. We can plead, cry, threaten or blackmail, but what I have come to understand is that people will change when they are ready and not a moment before. We can be a good role model and set an example, but the person has to reach a point of choosing for themselves the time and reason to change and when they do it can be a miraculous transformation. If the will is great enough, people can do a complete turn-around.
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
2. The need for validation is our biggest motivator I have found this to be true of almost everyone I’ve met. One of the things that drives us most in whatever we do is the need for approval. Our desire to be recognised and rewarded (yes, rewarded – even though we may deny it) gives us our purpose. For some it is public recognition or even fame, but for others it is a compliment or a simple ‘thank you.’ We may think that we don’t need it but we are easily hurt or disappointed when we don’t receive it.
Image courtesy of Wikipedia
3. Everyone can develop an addiction Everyone has some kind of compulsion in their lives that is difficult to control. It may not be the obvious ones like food, alcohol, drugs, sex, shopping, or gambling. It can be hoarding, a television habit, social media, the need to gossip, an obsession with exercise. a dependence on coffee, or a craving for approval or affection. It can be any number of things, many of which are easy to hide.
4. It’s not always easy to spot an introvert I wrote an article recently about my own struggle with introversion. I knew as a child that there was something a little different about me and the first time I heard the word ‘introvert’ from one of my teachers, I asked my mother what it meant. Her response was, ‘It just means you’re shy.’ Only recently I learned what introversion really means and suddenly a lot of things in my life made sense. I’ve since met quite a few other introverts, some that I would never have picked as such. Introversion exists on a sliding scale and – like some addictions – it can be easy to disguise.
5. We are all gullible to some degree We may believe that we know our own minds and that our opinions on things are firm. More and more I’m learning that we can all be fooled to some degree. Just look at how the media can influence our views. We have all been guilty of fooling others, even in small ways. My mother tricked my father into thinking that margarine was butter. She would cut it into cubes and put it in a butter dish and he couldn’t tell the difference. My young nephew wouldn’t eat carrots, so my sister diced them up and told him they were apricots. My husband would only eat a certain expensive brand of mayonnaise so I would buy home brand and put it into the expensive brand’s bottle.
People are fascinating. We like to think that we are unique among our peers, and in many ways we are, but no matter how we try to be different from others, in so many ways, we are all alike.