You can wash a pig and spray it with perfume. You can put a pink ribbon around it or dress it in a pretty pig dress. It’ll look good. It’ll smell good. It will seem transformed! But let them outside and they will happily run straight to the nearest mud puddle they can find. Why? It’s their nature.
Sooner or later, everyone’s true self emerges.
And people with character issues will always disappoint you. Never put them in a position of responsibility unless you can keep a close eye on them. Don’t put them in a position where their weakness can drag them and you down.
People can change but they really have to want to, and it won’t happen quickly. It’s great to give people a second chance but you better keep your eye on them. You may think they are grateful and appreciative, but what they are thinking is that they got away with it. They are thinking you are someone they can control and manipulate with excuses.
Don’t try to analyze or reason with them as you would a person you can trust.
The reason is, they don’t think like you do. You can’t really understand how they think and they aren’t even trying to understand how you think. They have their own agenda. They don’t understand give and take. They aren’t interested in fairness. They aren’t capable of considering what’s best for you. They’ll always cut any corners they can to give themselves and advantage. Trying to reason with them is futile. They don’t need you, they need professional help. But guess what? They don’t want help.
If you doubt that, think about this.
One of the characteristics of people with character issues is that they live in denial. They don’t take responsibility. They don’t feel like they need to change. They are looking for ways to get ahead without working, without earning it. They see things you have and decide they need to have them. Why not? You have plenty.
If you catch them in a lie they will, on the spot, come up with another plausible sounding lie to cover up the first. I’ve always been amazed at the ability of people like this to effortlessly spin another bigger lie or rationalization whenever they are challenged. It’s at moments like this you realize you are dealing with someone who is not like you…AT ALL. Not only can they make up one lie after another, they seem to have theability to believe it as truth as soon as they say it.
That’s why if you insist on keeping them around you must keep your eye on them.
Don’t let their weakness hurt you. Sure it’s great to give people a chance, but why put them in a position where they likely to fail? It’s not fair to them, it’s not fair to you.
Pay attention to character. You can’t let yourself be lulled to sleep by appearances. They may make an effort to look, talk and act better. They may make a great effort to act like they have changed. But stay alert. Any change will take a long, long time and they will probably have many relapses along the way. They may look pretty on the outside, but it’s what’s inside, their character that controls their actions.