Last night, I watched a movie called Ruby Sparks. I recommend that you go see it because it has a wonderful message about people and relationships. One of the main messages is:
Don’t try to change anyone.
(Especially your most loved ones).
The movie really illustrates how trying to change people is undeniably toxic. It robs another person of their joy and releases demons from within you, causing you to behave hideously. I am not saying that it is wrong to try to help someone you love get off of, say, heroin or something, because that is obviously a maladaptive addiction. I am, however, saying you shouldn’t try to change the way someone is for your own personal benefit. Ruby Sparks brilliantly depicts the many reasons as to why this is such a bad idea. Are there exceptions? Why, of course. I just love the way that this movie’s message makes you think, and I love what I can learn.
Movie Spoiler: Calvin, a writer, creates a character named Ruby. Ruby is right from Calvin’s dreams and is the most beautiful girl that he has ever dreamed of. He writes her down into a story. One day, Ruby comes to life and believes she is Calvin’s girlfriend who also happens to live with him. It is a dream come true for Calvin; the character that he created has come to life! In addition, anything he writes about Ruby ends up coming true. He has complete control over her, and whenever things aren’t going great, he changes her by writing about her. This transforms into a massive downward spiral. He forces her to be whatever he wants, and soon, he has no Ruby left. He has stolen all parts of her that made her Ruby.
If you feel the need to make tons of changes to the person you are with,
- Try evaluating yourself first. It’s a lot less selfish if you make changes to you for yourself, than trying to change another person for yourself;
- Continue to love them while accepting their imperfections. If you had complete control over them, they couldn’t be who they are;
- Have more time apart. Sometimes you find things to criticize about another person because you are stifled, but you don’t actually realize it;
- Maybe you are not meant to be together
The film also points out how narcissistic of a quality this can be. It’s simple: if you are trying to manage someone else’s flaws and rid them of everything that you find annoying or unappealing, then you might be trying to make another version of yourself. Your perfect self. Because everyone else should try to fit the mold that you like. I can guarantee you, if someone ends up changing themselves for you, it won’t fill you up in the way that you thought it would. It will probably cause suffering for both people involved.
One of the greatest things you can do for someone is to love them despite all of their imperfections.
Wouldn’t you agree that this is also one of the greatest things that someone else can do for you?