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  #1  
Old 05-20-2009, 10:21 AM
BlueEyedEllie BlueEyedEllie is offline
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Question Dr. Phil's comment, "the best indicator of future behavior is past behavior."

dr. phil has always said "the best indicator of future behavior is past behavior." i always agreed with him,but i've been really thinking about this. i am so NOT the person i was when i was 20 and got married the first time. i was selfish and immature. i'm 38 now and i have changed so much. i'm willing to read any self-help book i can on relationships,improving myself,i pray ALOT,anything to continue to improve myself. back then i honestly could have cared less and wouldn't have touched a self-help book with a ten foot pole. so now i'm a lil less confident that his saying is correct. i do think someone who has a past of bad behavior can't just say "i'm changed" and expect everyone in their life to believe them right away. i believe their actions have to back their claims of change. but to judge someone on their past i don't think is necessarily fair. i am not the person i was years ago,so maybe others aren't either. what you all think??
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Old 05-20-2009, 11:31 AM
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I think in some cases that could be true. But not always. And i agree, I am not the same person that i was at the age of 20, or even 25!
I would hate to be judged for the rest of my life based on how I acted when i was in my early 20's.
I am 32 now. And 25 to 32 is not even that much of a gap, but I am still not the same person. For example, I would go out to clubs and pull an all nighter and party when i was 20-25. Now, you will find me at home on a weekend night, reading a book listening to soft music. thats just ONE example out of many.
I think if a person continued year after year after year and has only had temporary moments of change then perhaps what dr phil said is true.
But also, I find what he said to be a little contradicting, bc i have heard him say plenty of times, anyone is capable of change.
You can change today and become a better parent....and so on.
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Old 05-20-2009, 11:51 AM
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I think that there is a lot of truth to this theory. While I am not exactly the same as I was at 20 or 25, I am essentially the same person with more life experiences and more lessons learned. I don't know that people ever change who they are at the core but as you get older you learn from lessons and mistakes you have made earlier in your life. Trial and error, yanno? Clearly at the age of 20 someone has not seen or done what I have and in turn, I have not seen or done what my friends that are 45 have. Life is a constant exercise in self-education.
I'll use my man as an example. He was a hustler, which is what landed him in the bucket of trouble he currently sits in. He still very much has that hustler mentality but recognizes that he needs to use that in a different way than slinging rocks. He hasn't changed who he is at the core but he has learned from his mistakes and tries to find ways to make that mentality work FOR him, not against him.
Funny I should agree with any principle of Dr. Phil - I tend to view him as the McDonalds equivalent of "self-help" practitioners.
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Old 05-20-2009, 12:01 PM
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I agree that the past can measure ones experiences and lessons learned. And there are some ppl who just won't learn, and there are some who only needs one lesson and they say nope never again.

Some could say or ask me, since I partied so much in my early 20's, how will they know I am not gonna still go out and party?
My answer to that would be...well bc i partied...i got it out of my system.
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Old 05-20-2009, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by MichiJC View Post
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I think if a person continued year after year after year and has only had temporary moments of change then perhaps what dr phil said is true.
But also, I find what he said to be a little contradicting, bc i have heard him say plenty of times, anyone is capable of change.
You can change today and become a better parent....and so on.
He is the biggest hypocrit on TV right now,,,of course he would probably say get the message and don't knock the messanger but if his own words were true then his wife should have left him a while ago,,,his past aint too squeeky clean.
Not to mention,,then why do we need therapists if there is no hope in the person being something different from the past?
Therapy is supposed to help people change from their past bad behaviors-DUH!
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Old 05-20-2009, 12:30 PM
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Not to mention,,then why do we need therapists if there is no hope in the person being something different from the past?
Therapy is supposed to help people change from their past bad behaviors-DUH!

I agree! And thats a really good point, bc he, himself wouldn't even have a job then.
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Old 05-20-2009, 12:44 PM
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Default "the best indicator of future behavior is past behavior"

I agree with Wobabi, he's not really allowing for the possibility for people to change. Rather ironic lol.

Although, he does say "best indicator" so I guess it is fair to say that the only way we can "judge" (lack of better word) people is through their past actions. For some people, being entrenched in their daily patterns is a reality. We dont all allow change into our lives.
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Old 05-20-2009, 02:23 PM
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I completly agree. I am NOt the person that I was before to be quite honest I was a little slut lol But now I am ready to settle down and start a family! I used to make all kinds of bad choices But i have matured ALOT!!!! && I know that my man has changed alot to. My family always puts him down and says he hasnt changed and that he is going to end up back in prison. it makes me so mad but i have gotten used to thre rude comments! Plus they dont even know my babe! So yes i feel that you can change! and that u you learn from your past mistakes.!
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Old 05-20-2009, 02:25 PM
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dr. phil has always said "the best indicator of future behavior is past behavior." i always agreed with him,but i've been really thinking about this. i am so NOT the person i was when i was 20 and got married the first time. i was selfish and immature. i'm 38 now and i have changed so much. i'm willing to read any self-help book i can on relationships,improving myself,i pray ALOT,anything to continue to improve myself. back then i honestly could have cared less and wouldn't have touched a self-help book with a ten foot pole. so now i'm a lil less confident that his saying is correct. i do think someone who has a past of bad behavior can't just say "i'm changed" and expect everyone in their life to believe them right away. i believe their actions have to back their claims of change. but to judge someone on their past i don't think is necessarily fair. i am not the person i was years ago,so maybe others aren't either. what you all think??
No general statement like this holds true 100% of the time. However, I agree wholeheartedly with Dr. Phil that past behavior is a good indicator of how somebody will behave in the future. Is it true all the time? Nope. Most of the time? Yep.

Also, I don't think this refers to 1 time mistakes people make. It's more like if there is a pattern of past behavior then it probably won't change. Everybody makes mistakes. The question is do they learn from them or do they repeat them?

Last edited by SugarGirl; 05-20-2009 at 02:28 PM..
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Old 05-20-2009, 02:27 PM
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Therapy is not always intended to fix people or to help them change. In many, many cases, it is merely to help people live with themselves and adjust to situational life issues.

For example, I went to therapy after my divorce. I didn't need fixing. I needed somebody that was objective to talk to and help me work through my feelings.
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Old 05-20-2009, 04:02 PM
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I think it depends on “what” kinds of things we’re talking about as far as change goes. Some aspects of a person or lifestyle are easier to change than others. Of course if you love someone you want to hope for the best. You want to believe that they can turn their life around. And of course it’s possible with some people. I once read the book (which I highly recommend) called How to Spot a Dangerous Man Before You Get Involved and the author, Sandra L. Brown, M. A., says there’s a difference between pathological and chronic disorders: “Pathology is forever. He isn’t going to change. Everything in him is wired against change” She goes on to say chronic disorders (things that happened after his childhood was over) are problems for which limited treatment choices are available. Still they’re treatments—not cures. She says, “I can’t stress this enough: Your experience with a pathological man will not be the exception to the rule.” Like she says “some pathological diagnoses go hand in hand with severe and long term addictions.” She also talks about minimizing and glamorizing things like his past or personality traits or the absence of strong character: "We dismiss these things as old history, as though they have no relevance to his current and future potential and behavior.”
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Old 05-20-2009, 04:45 PM
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actually he's changed his little saying lately, from "the best indicator of future behavior is past behavior" to "the best indicator of future behavior is relevant past behavior."

that I can get behind!
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Old 05-20-2009, 04:57 PM
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i refuse to believe that some not all people change,dr.phil is a wack and i was reading his wife was bouncing on that ass,(back to topic)i was a very irresponsible aggressive teenager and blossom (love that word)lmao into a very intelligent women,people have to either want change for themselves or for their love ones,now don't get me wrong some people are'nt changing and that's it,i'm still changing everyday but it would'nt work if i did'nt have the willingness and drive to want more to be better and to reach for all i am and all i want to be with GOD IN THE DRIVER'S SEAT AND ME RIGHT BESIDE YES MA'AM
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Old 05-20-2009, 06:22 PM
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Therapy is not always intended to fix people or to help them change. In many, many cases, it is merely to help people live with themselves and adjusts.
,,,I dunno,,How do you adjust without changing?
,,to me adjusting speaks of change,,it means something in you becomes different
Working through feelings in what way that does not encompass changing how you feel or moving past how you use to feel (change)?
Just asking,,,
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Old 05-20-2009, 06:26 PM
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Talking to somebody about difficult times doesn't necessarily mean change in the context of the OP.
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Old 05-20-2009, 06:38 PM
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I think that anyone can change if they truly wanted to. My guy has a few concerns about himself and how he taked things. He and I certainly agree that we are not the same people we were back in our 20's. I've learned so much from what was going on then.
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Old 05-20-2009, 08:17 PM
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"You can't teach an old dogs new tricks". That isn't always true. If the person has made changes in their lives, realized that their personal journey needs to change pathes and have sought out the way to do this then who are we to judge?

I think if a person has come to a point in their lives that they realize that the path they have traveled lead to heartache and pain, and destroyed their own life, then they might be willing to change their destiny and path to live out the rest of their years on a different journey.

I am not the person I was in my 20, my 30, and I am revolving into someone different now that I am in my 40's. I have and will continue to grow as a person. Have I changed YES, am I willing to believe that a man behind bars can change YES. But first has to come a desire to change, to want to be a different person.
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Old 05-20-2009, 08:32 PM
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I do not agree the the past dictates the future, but people tend to use the past as a crutch,,, either thier saying this is who i am i cant change. Or they say, that is who he was he cant change. we speak things into existance...... we have to say things that make no sense to the world,,, for instance, "My husband is the best husband in the world:. well those that know me know that is so oposite of the truth, but if i praise him and say positive things to him it helps.. when i tell my husband the good things he does and says it keeps him motivated to continue to do right,.......does that make sense..... change comes with hard work,, the more rotten a person was the harder they must work,,, but it can be done,.... Shoot i dont know what the future holds, but i refuse to speak my fears out loud, remember the enemy can hear your words, but what is in your heart (your hopes and your dreams he cant touch)
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Old 05-20-2009, 09:07 PM
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GREAT responses everybody,thanks!!
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Old 05-20-2009, 09:19 PM
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one thing i can't believe i forgot to add.... jmo,sociopaths do NOT change. i've read their symptoms may ease up as they enter their forties. i'm no expert,but having been married to one,i truly believe they rarely change.
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Old 05-20-2009, 09:45 PM
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Im not going to say that people change but they can change their actions and their way of thinking. I truely think that it is possible that ppl can learn from their mistakes or bad choices that they made in the past
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Old 05-20-2009, 11:35 PM
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I am nowhere near the person I was at 20. I was shy, easily intimidated, would let people walk over the top of me. I was reckless and am surpised I didn't do a stint in jail. That was 26 years ago and I bet I haven't been that girl in over 20 of them.

I love Dr Phil and I truely think he means relatively "recent" behavior............like oh the last 5 years. He does say that people can grow and change, so that is what leads me to belive that he means recent behavior.........I could be wrong.

One of Dr Phil's statements that I live by is: "You teach people how to treat you" That is my motto in life!
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Old 05-21-2009, 08:13 AM
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I'm naïve enough to believe that almost anyone can change, given the drive to and provided the circumstances are right.

Hypothetical prison story: just imagine for one second the day before release day. Your family doesn't want you. You have no money or so little. You don't quite know where to start. So you call... your old bros. You know they won't turn their back on you. And yes, they'll take you in, sure they will. The thing is, they still live the same way they did when you got busted. So... you try to stay on the straight and narrow real hard. You can't get hold of a job. After a while, what do you do? I'm not trying to make excuses but I believe that even the best intentioned can fail.

Other than that, I think we all can change and most of us do!
Our bodies growing older don't necessarily allow us to do things we used to (I've stopped partying before going to work a long, long time ago).
We live through situations and learn from them, one way or another. We meet people who influence us one way or another. Some discover faith, in a God or in themselves or both...

I'm just rambling on here bottom line is though a person's past is often the key to that person's future, change can happen. I just do not believe that people are born bad.

This, of course, does not apply to mental health issues which are another thing altogether but once recognized, should be alllowed to be controlled.
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Old 05-21-2009, 10:09 AM
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I'm naïve enough to believe that almost anyone can change, given the drive to and provided the circumstances are right.

Hypothetical prison story: just imagine for one second the day before release day. Your family doesn't want you. You have no money or so little. You don't quite know where to start. So you call... your old bros. You know they won't turn their back on you. And yes, they'll take you in, sure they will. The thing is, they still live the same way they did when you got busted. So... you try to stay on the straight and narrow real hard. You can't get hold of a job. After a while, what do you do? I'm not trying to make excuses but I believe that even the best intentioned can fail.

Other than that, I think we all can change and most of us do!
Our bodies growing older don't necessarily allow us to do things we used to (I've stopped partying before going to work a long, long time ago).
We live through situations and learn from them, one way or another. We meet people who influence us one way or another. Some discover faith, in a God or in themselves or both...

I'm just rambling on here bottom line is though a person's past is often the key to that person's future, change can happen. I just do not believe that people are born bad.

This, of course, does not apply to mental health issues which are another thing altogether but once recognized, should be alllowed to be controlled.
EXCELLENT,very wise post!!!
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Old 05-21-2009, 10:24 AM
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How often do people talk about changing and how often does it really happen?
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