Can A Toxic Person Really Change or Is It Fake?

freelance dating and intimacy writer

Though it’s not fun to say this, I was a toxic person. I didn’t really care about other people in my early to mid-twenties. I did everything only for myself. I was a young woman full of insecurities that built a wall around me. I never genuinely invested in relationships, whether they were friendships or partners, yet, people would jump through hoops to help me when I needed it. In other words, I was a taker who surrounded myself with giving people. This behavior developed after repeating behavior that was truly toxic and harmful to myself.

I would spend a lot of time wondering why I couldn’t meet someone who wanted to be with me. Then I met my current partner. Throughout the beginning of our relationship, I noticed the differences in behavior between me and him. He was always giving to others without asking for anything in return. He was positive, always looking for a way to make a gloomy day bright. And he would always share what he had with others. Then there was me, the complete opposite. You couldn’t get me to share a meal if my life depended on it. I would do things for others, but calculate my return, and if something small went wrong, my whole day would be ruined.

Then, one day, I was writing an article on toxic individuals, and throughout my research, I realized I was writing about myself. I was shocked, partially in denial, and scared. I knew I had to make a change.

Can A Toxic Person Change?

In short, yes. Anyone is capable of changing themselves, whether they’re a toxic person or not. I changed myself and am still working on myself. But it wasn’t something that happened overnight. Firstly, I was aware of my behavior and decided for myself that I need to change.

If someone isn’t aware of their behavior or in denial of it, the process of change may never happen. Why would you change what you don’t see? And for someone to truly change, it has to come from within. That’s the big secret. Someone cannot change for you.  They need to want to change for themselves. Anything else will only result in short-term results. If someone wants to change for themselves, then the result will be life-long because they’re doing it for themself.

For myself, I went to weekly therapy sessions and practiced mindfulness. There were moments where I had to face my deepest fears and insecurities, moments where I wanted to quit and go back to the way things were because it was easier. I wasn’t happy as the old me, but I knew how to live my old life.

Now, maybe you broke up with your toxic partner a couple of weeks ago, and they’ve come back to you saying they’ve changed. And now you’re here reading this, thinking, but did he/she really change? You need to remember that change doesn’t happen within a couple of days, weeks, or months. Changing life-long behaviors takes a long time. Yes, your ex can change, but it takes time if they’re really dedicating themselves to it.

How to Tell if Your Partner Has Changed

If your partner is claiming they’ve changed, what are the steps they’ve taken to make that change? Are they going to therapy? Are they actively working on their insecurities and fears? Or did they just watch one two-minute motivational clip on Youtube and believe they know it all? 

I cannot tell you if your partner has changed or not. They’re the only one who truly knows if they’re doing what’s necessary to change their toxic behavior. If a toxic person has told you they’ve changed, but haven’t made any concrete steps forward and you haven’t seen any improvement, they probably didn’t change. So in that case, it’s best you move on and relieve yourself from their toxic energy.


On Key

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