It occurred to me the other day, that depending on the context, the phrase, “You haven’t changed a bit,” isn’t always a compliment.
Sure, we like to hear that we haven’t changed, especially when it comes to our appearance, from those we knew “way back when.” But if those words are being applied to more than just our looks, I think we have a problem.
I recently ran across someone I knew from high school, (and even before), and those were the first words that came to mind–“She hasn’t changed a bit.” Yes, I was partly referring to her physical appearance, but it was more than that. Her attitude and demeanor, the way she carried herself, it was all just as it was 15 years ago. There’s something unsettling about someone changing so little since they were 16 years old, and I think it’s because it shows a lack of growth and maturity.
I hope that I’ve changed–and changed for the better. I hope that I’ve “grown-up” enough that people who knew me way back when would notice a difference in who I am. My basic beliefs haven’t changed, of course, but the way I approach the world has, and people should be able to observe that.
So, while people may long to hear those magic words, I really don’t think, “You haven’t changed a bit!” is a compliment, after all.