People have their own unique characteristics and their own way to behave. There is no set rule or norm in which a person has to behave. Despite this, the society, many a times, finds some behaviours and characteristics of people to be appropriate and some to be inappropriate or unappreciable.

For instance, there are people who are shy, do not have very good people skills, and may lack to a certain amount in having effective communication skills. These people behave in such a way, because this is the way they are. They have had their own upbringing, socialization, and their own kind of experiences, which has led them to behave in such a way. In short, this the way they are.

It is true that they behave in the way that they are. However, there are situations in which a person is required to behave in a certain way. In some situations they may have to be bold and upfront. They may be required to take the initiative and get noticed. Since they lack the skills to behave appropriately in such situations, they may feel inadequate and miserable, and therefore get noticed for the wrong reasons.

Such behaviour is usually unappreciable by the so-called society and getting noticed for that particular behaviour raises concerns for such people. If the society does not appreciate a certain kind of behaviour, they may either shun that person or expect them and want them to change. This requirement of change is most of the time forced or imposed on the individual, especially by his/her near and dear ones.

Change, over here, would require the person to be bold, cheerful, influential, etc. There is no doubt that such behaviour is highly appreciable by the society. Given an opportunity, almost everyone would want to be like this. Nobody would like to feel inadequate in social situations.

But, people who are on the other extreme, cannot help it. As mentioned above, they behave in such a way because that is the way they are. In the same way, a person who is bold, cheerful, etc. behaves in such a way because that is the way he/she is.

Nevertheless, feeling inadequate in ceratin situations and letting it be, is not any kind of solution. This will further complicate things for the person concerned. Therefore, for a healthy adjustment and positive subjective wellbeing, change is required.

Change is a natural process. The results are best if it happens naturally. Forcing a person to change does not in any way prove to be fruitful for that person. The person himself/herself is not satisfied in feeling inadequate in social situations. The feeling of inadequacy, day by day, just gets to the individual. Somewhere, deep down inside, the individual himself/herself wants to change in order to come out of that negativity.

On the other hand, when the individual is pressurized by peers, friends, family, and others it brings about a kind of resistance within that person. Nobody wants to be forced and pressurized or being pushed by others. Thus, the voluntary desire to change becomes a resistance and stubbornness of not to change.

When the individual is forced, time and again, the resistance and stubbornness keeps on increasing. The person is already not being appreciated by the society; this overt resistance strengthens the abhorrence of others. The resistance of the individual and the increased abhorrence by others may become too much for the person. Gradually, the individual becomes overpowered by the negativity that surrounds him/her.

Rather than forcing the person to change, he/she should be given the opportunity to bring about that change himself/herself. The individual has gone through his/her own experiences that make the person that he/she is. The person should be allowed to have more and more experiences that may naturally bring about the change that is required.

Change is a recurring process. It is one of the basic requirements of human nature. When the need comes, there always must be a change. As long as the change is natural, it is beneficial for an individual. The moment the change is imposed on the person, it creates an unhealthy resistance.

Change should always be natural. A change that is forced is absolutely unnatural and unhealthy. It only brings about strong resistance, negativity, and maladjustment. It may further lead to faulty behaviour patterns within the individual. Therefore, change should not be forcible.

Saif Farooqi

A PhD in Psychology (from the University of Delhi). I have been blogging about psychological issues for more than ten years. I am extremely passionate about teaching psychology. I'm a writer, podcaster, and TEDx speaker. I also conduct workshops and awareness programs in schools and colleges. Currently, I'm also working as an Assistant Professor at the Department of Psychology, Faculty of Social Sciences, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, India


Ashutosh said...

Perfectly valid point.

However, based on my personal experience, I can say that at times a push (varying from a slight nudge to a full thrust) might be required. It helps you to pull your socks and rebound.

To give a crude example, for a newcomer standing on a local station in Mumbai is a scary experience, with the swarms of crowd coming from all direction. What you think deep down at that moment doesn't matter. What matters is finding a way to navigate through that madness.

Borrowing the concept from Classical Economics, we live in a world where a massive set of population is chasing very limited resources. So even in order to stay put you need to be aggressive and at your toes, and if that doesn't comes inside one is bound to have an experience (or may be a series of experiences) which will drill the point.


Saif Farooqi said...

@ Ashutosh
I agree with you, but I feel that some where you have missed the point that I am making in my post.

I believe you're saying that if the situation forces an individual to change, then that change is appropriate. When I said that change should not be forcible, I meant being forced by the people around you, not the situation. Being forced by the situation is perfectly natural. It is when people force you then it becomes problematic.

Also, the example that you have given is quite specific and it is something that is momentary. I talked about the change in a more general and broader context, something that is not momentary.

Now about the limited resources thing that you mentioned. I have never said that a person should not change. In fact, I have clearly mentioned that when the need comes, there must always be a change. So, in a way I have said the same thing. :)

Thanks for dropping by.

man in painting said...

nobody has the right to change anybody..suggestions are good..but change is always a choice..though the nature of world itself is to keep on changing itself again and again..

Saif Farooqi said...

@ man in painting
That's what I have said in my post. I have clearly mentioned that change is a recurring process ... it is one of the basic needs of human nature, and that when the need comes, one has to change. I have no where said that a person should not change. I have only said that that change should not be imposed upon a person, it should happen in a natural way.

Perhaps you have not read the whole post properly ...

creyzeee said...

had seen u in the psychology community on orkut. n den the bloggers was curious to read ur blog :) interesting stuff.

Saif Farooqi said...

@ creyzeee
Thanks! Hope you'll be visiting more often ... :)

nothingprofound said...

Nobody can force change upon another person. It is always a choice. The problem is the presumptuousness of those who feel it's their right to impose their views and attitudes on others. If people would mind their business and attend to their own concerns, we'd all be much better off.

Saif Farooqi said...

@ nothingprofound
There is an attempt to change forcibly by people who think that they are the ones who know what is the right way. The person on the other side gets compelled to give in by the continuous pressures and eventually ends up trying be something that he/she is not. This creates too much of inner conflict, which further creates difficulties for the individual. And as you said, "if people would mind their business and attend to their own concerns, we'd all be much better off."

Change should be a choice, but at times it is not. This is where the problem comes into place.

Sitie BUm BUm said...


Saif Farooqi said...

@ [S]itie [B]Um [B]Um
Thanks! :)

Ngahulum said...

Good reaading this post