Changing or Adapting?

Alfred Tanuwidjaja
3 min readDec 6, 2020


The difference between making a change or adapting to relationships.

photo credit — me

You can never change someone.
But you can always adapt to them instead.
And if you find it difficult to adapt, take a bow… the show is over.

I know that it is tough to leave relationships — friendships, marriages, love, etc. But, you have your own limit to this as nothing lasts forever. Vows can be broken, promises can be broken and pinky swears are crap.

However, these situations can be prevented if you know the differences between “changing and adapting.”

Let’s say that you’re in a relationship with the partner of your life and all of a sudden after a year, one of you becomes unbearable to live with — now I see your true colours! You can never ever, ever, ever and ever change the person unless you’re a genie or some unicorn with magical powers. No! You are a human being.
It is entirely up to that person to make that change, not you.

Instead, ask yourself if you can adapt to him or her.

If you can, compromise and learn to adapt with one another. In turn, this will result in a more positive and unconscious change, without force. Meaning, the practice of adapting might even motivate, mould or change the person without him/her knowing it. Unawareness rules! However, if you are unable to adapt… I think it’s time you leave. Life is too short.

Here are some examples.
Both of you are super pals and one of you have a habit that pisses the other person off after a while but you want to keep the friendship. You can never change a person just because of a certain trait they have that pisses you off. The truth is… that irritating trait which you find irritating might not be irritating to anyone else but you. And to change it just to please you becomes rather selfish. Instead, take prolong breaks in between meetups to freshen up yourself. Give yourself some space first, then get back together or limit meetups to just calls or texts before you can really adapt to his/her traits. You might want to talk to him/her about it too!

You’re a super introvert and you need some quiet time on your own once in a while and your partner walks like an elephant. Nevertheless, the relationship is golden and you love her to the moon and back. You can either plug in a pair of noise-cancelling earphones or leave the house whenever you need a quiet time. Also, be sure to talk to one another first before doing so. You can’t force her to walk like a mouse after years of walking like an elephant now, can you?

Your client is always paying cut-throat rates but the job is really fun and the learning experiences are evergrowing. If you know that it is impossible to ask for a raise now as it is still too early, adapt to it instead. Do more jobs on the side and earn more money to compromise. With this in play, you can not only enjoy the time spent working for him/her, you have the upper hand of choosing whether to continue the job.

Sometimes, we. need to take a step back and look at all the different angles in front of us. We need to adapt to situations while keeping them intact for the best outcomes. Do not go all “brave-heart-ish” and force a change. In most cases, no one owes no one anything. In fact, like what I’ve mentioned earlier, you might be the only one who is ticked off by that person’s issue.

Take a step back and try to adapt first.

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