…take it as a compliment. Even though at times it may not seem like a compliment.
Usually people say we’ve changed when they are confronted with a version of you that they are not normally used to. This can be destabilizing to the image and expectations they have of you. People don’t like having to change their existing beliefs. It’s easier to go through life with one set of rules that apply to the world, that never bend or need to be adjusted. We build stereotypes and biases to aid us in understanding the world around us and give us a sense of control. Which, if you think about it we all don’t actually have in the first place. It’s impossible to have control on the world around you and to some extent very hard to control your life. Doesn’t mean we don’t try.
No, usually when people say “You’ve changed” they say it with disapproval because you have challenged their perception of you. In a toxic relationship, you changing means you are no longer serving them. It is human to grow. It is human to evolve. Not supporting you in this growth is unnatural to your existence and destructive to you becoming the best version of yourself. It is not only ok, it is such a big part of who you are to change. As one of my favourite quotes goes:
“To live is to change, and to be perfect is to have changed often.” – John Henry Newman
I mostly argue is that people don’t actually change to their core (I wrote a piece about this in my blog post “We Never Change Do We“. Elements and opinions of who you are do change but the true core of what defines you, that does not change. Some people who are dreamers or creators, they always will be. People who are analytical will always be more analytical. If you like spending time on your own, you always will. Characteristics don’t change. The extent that they are lived out and acted upon does, but not their existence in the first place. You cannot make someone with an analytical mind happy by forcing them to be creative. And that is ok. We are not all meant to be the same. The world wouldn’t work if we were all meant to be doctors – then there would be no engineers and vice versa. Diversity is what has made the world the messy, beautiful place that it is. Meaning, to me, to change means becoming more and more comfortable with who you are. In life we spend most of the time finding our true selves. It is a life long journey with many surprises along the way. Finding out who you are is a duty you owe yourself and the world. Only when you are your true self, can you be at your best and give your best. And, only when you are your true self can you be your happiest self and live at your biggest potential.
So yes, change. Let people see it and those that are right for you in your life, they will love it because it will mean they get you at the most authentic you possible.