So, do people really ever change?

The Problem

Things between me and my partner are good, but could stand some improvement. I’ve heard from friends that people can’t and don’t change – so is it just a question of finding a partner who thinks and acts the way I do on just about everything?

The Solution

Well, first of all – good luck with that!   Secondly, and seriously, if you did find someone who did pretty much mirror your tastes, reactions, and beliefs right down the line – you would probably find yourself in a boring, flat, lifeless relationship. The key to this question of differences, I believe, has to do with values – not behaviors. Look for someone who matches your key core values in life, such as work ethic, responsibility, sense of humor, honesty, ability to be caring and nurturing and put you (or others) ahead of themselves when appropriate.   Those things tend to be more “hard-wired” in to a person, and I believe they change very little over life. But behaviors are absolutely able to be adjusted, improved, moderated.

Think of the shy introvert who learns how to give excellent presentations and function well in big group business settings. They have a core trait around which they can moderate their behavior. Or, think of someone with a biological inclination towards addictive behaviors such as drinking. AA has proved that hundreds of thousands of people like this can make the decision to behave differently. So, if your partner shares your most key values – but their behaviors are less than ideal – it means they probably need skills training like the PAIRS classes… or good conversations with wise coaches… or excellent learning from books or some other sources. New behaviors can be learned. For most of us, we can all stand to continue to learn and grow throughout our lives. PAIRS is skills training for everyone.

I’m very grateful for PAIRS. We were on our way to divorce, and thanks to PAIRS we have experienced a connection I didn’t think possible.” – Sheryl E., MD 

PAIRS workshops are offered throughout the year.

See for details.

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