Some people use this line with conviction as their life motto and don’t seem willing to give it up anytime soon.
Often, when someone says “that’s just the way I am”, a firm “and I can’t change” follows. Refusal to change can hide a lot of things, but never a literal inability to change an attitude or behavior.
This is what the line “that’s just the way I am” can really mean!
1. I am comfortable with this version of myself
Some people stop growing not only physically but mentally as well once they leave behind childhood, and they are far too comfortable with who they have become to be willing to change. Moreover, if their identity benefits them in some way, comfort will cancel the desire to evolve or change.
2. I’m afraid that I won’t be able to change
Behind a seemingly brave and confident line there may be a lot of fear. Some people “boast” with who they are because they are afraid to try being otherwise, even they actually desire a change.
3. I don’t know who I will become if I give up this version of myself
When you grow up in a certain way, in a certain environment, encouraged to be a certain kind of person, it can be very difficult to develop a different way of being and behaving. Giving up the version you are familiar with now can leave you in a state of enormous confusion, and you may be afraid of losing yourself by being otherwise.
4. I feel that I don’t have the resources to be different
Refusing to change, even if it seems to be based on ill-will or ambition, may be based on a concern about your inner resources. Some people may wish to change things, but may feel that, at the moment, they cannot.
5. I’m afraid I won’t be loved if I change
Every person on the planet has at least one other person who loves them just the way they are. Maybe it’s parents, siblings, relatives, devoted friends or partners. When someone starts to change, those around them can react in many different ways.
Some may feel threatened, while others may leave, as the new version simply doesn’t seem to be likeable to them anymore. This change can induce fear, even to the point where an individual gives up any desire to change just to please someone.
6. The present version of myself makes me feel safe
When someone vehemently refuses change, they are likely to feel safe with their current version, and feel that another version may create anxiety, insecurity or fear. That’s why it’s important not to insist on change when you notice signs of this attitude.
7. I would like you to accept me as I am now
Very often, the line “that’s just the way I am and I can’t change” translates into “this is who I am and I want to see if you will accept me if I choose not to change”. Behind these words may lie an intense desire to be accepted and to belong, mixed with fear of rejection and fear of not being enough for loved ones.