People rarely change. Not really.
Our movies and novels and self-help books all seem to be based on the idea that personal change is common. Without serious character development in fiction, movies and novels would be boring. If a self-help book said, “Don’t bother, because you’re probably not going to change anyway,” nobody would buy it.
We’re culturally conditioned to believe that substantial change in a person is common, but reality is far different. And it’s even more rare when a person changes someone else — because humans aren’t puppets who can be controlled on the inside.
If I try to change someone else — even if we both agree the change is for the better — I’m very unlikely to succeed. It’s a foolish thing to try. Even if you do succeed, the person who’s forced the change will always hold a superior position — and that will never allow for a healthy and equal relationship.
Even though I know all this, I’ve tried it anyway. Not consciously, but I’ve done it, thinking I had the best of intentions. As recently as about five years ago, I tried to change a woman I dated — and it was a miserable failure for both of us.