Can We Stop Using “You’ve Changed” As An Insult?

“You’ve changed.”

It seems this phrase is a favorite of estranged friends, Ex’s, anyone else who has exited your life.

The funny thing is, it’s always used negatively. As if changing is the worst thing you could do.

2 years ago, if you told me I’d changed, I would freak out. I’d instantly start defending myself saying, “No no! I’m the same. I haven’t changed at all. You’re the one who changed.”

Now, a few days ago, I had a friend tell me that I’ve changed.

My response? “I sure hope so.”

“You’re not the same Laney I knew in high school.”


I sincerely hope I’ve changed and grown up since high school. It would be pretty disappointing if I was the same version of myself as I was when I was 16.

Think back to your situation 3 years ago. Even 1 year ago. Remember your attitude. Your friend group. Think about your job you were in. The car you were driving. Odds are, at least 1 of these things has changed. You are not the same person you were.

When people tell you that you’ve changed…

It’s most likely due to them being upset that you’ve grown, and they haven’t. Stagnant people are unhappy people. Unhappy people push their unhappiness onto others.

Or, you’ve just grown in different directions.

Tree branches don’t grow straight up. They grow sideways, get tangled, cross paths with others. You’re rarely going to be running on a parallel path with people who you care about most.

And people get so caught up in this.

To those who tell people they’ve changed:

Seriously, you can’t control other people. You can’t build your perfect friend, partner, parent, boss. You have absolutely no power when it comes to what people do and how they treat you.

Related content: Growth, Acceptance, Joy

The only thing you have power over is yourself. You can control your reaction to everything that happens to you.

If you’re focusing your energy into someone who’s different than they used to be, take a look at yourself. Honestly.

Someone’s changing? Why is that bothering you? Someone has a new hobby? A new friend? Why is that affecting you?

*** It’s one thing if they’re being rude to you, or something of the sort. By all means, stand up for yourself. But also, learn when to let it go.

Seriously just let people LIVE. Living is all about change and growth and progress, don’t punish someone for doing just that. Don’t turn that beautiful development into an insult. Let them do them.

To those of us who have changed:


Understand that the person (or people) who(‘ve) said this to you, probably meant it out of concern and love. Hear them when they speak to you. Understand what they’ve said. Tell them you appreciate their words.

But don’t get caught up in them.

Words are tricky.

They can hold so much or so little meaning, and it all depends on how much meaning we let them have.

I know it’s hard to ignore words that come from certain people. But analyze yourself. What about you has changed? What about your new self is making this person upset/concerned? Does it really have anything to do with them?

When my friend raised her concerns about me, I listened. I understood. I let her know she was heard. But I also told her that right now, I am the most grounded, genuine, and carefree I have ever been. I tread so lightly through my days. Not because I’m atop eggshells, but atop clouds. There is no need to stomp when you don’t have a weight on your shoulders.

I have let go of so much negative energy, and toxicity these past few months. And sometimes, letting that go means being alone for a little while. Sometimes your favorite people are people who are not good for you. You can love and care, but sometimes from a distance is best.

Once I started to defend myself, I realized I really didn’t need to. This person had been on the outskirts of my life for a while now, only seeing what she chose to see. I know who I am right now, and I know what my life is like. I know the decisions I make, the things I spend time doing, and who I do them with. And I am happy.

That is what matters.

If you can think about all of those things, and fully understand your current state, and still be happy with yourself, nothing else matters. Let it all go.

Keep growing. Keep changing.


Laney Signature

Related Posts

A Little Bit of Praise Goes a Long Way

A Little Bit of Praise Goes a Long Way

There are differences in every job you hold, and especially in every manager you work under. I’ve worked with the super hands-on managers, the couldn’t-care-less managers, and the I-can-do-this-better-than-you managers. But one thing I’ve noticed at my new job this summer, is that a little […]

5 Ways to Improve your Mindfulness Practice

Hey there January! Is anyone else kind of relieved the Holidays are over?? December felt endlessly busy. Don’t get me wrong, I love the hustle and bustle especially around the holidays. But I felt I lost traction a little bit and I can’t wait to […]

3 thoughts on “Can We Stop Using “You’ve Changed” As An Insult?”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.