Do people *really* change?

While perusing my social media feeds, I came across this super important and serious article where random sources were talking about what certain celebrities were like 'back in the day' - like, Justin Bieber got picked on for being short, Angelina Jolie was weird, Anne Hathaway was/still is super duper nice, etc. 

And, Taylor Swift was a "huge bitch." Of course, coming across this article was in perfect timing with the whole Kim/Kanye/Taylor song lyric battle. And, regardless of the truth or validity of this statement, it got me thinking if people really do change...and if so, how much, exactly?

I recently read how studies have shown that our personalities stay the same from childhood to adulthood, and the only three aspects that change as we get older are anxiety level, friendliness and desire for new experiences. So, is it possible the School Bitch can become America's Sweetheart? Maybe.

Let's use TSwift as a hypothetical. It's very possible that her adolescent life - like for many of us - was boring, torturous, confusing and a place where she simply felt insecure. Often, insecure/shy/quiet girls are perceived as bitches. So, is it possible that once Taylor was in a new environment and experiencing new things, her confidence and friendliness level went up, thus making her anxiety level go down? Seems so.

Or, to play devil's advocate - was she truly a bitch and remains so to this day? Who knows.

I do know that I've known people I've discovered to be less-than-stellar human beings, but I still gave them chance after chance after chance to prove me wrong...for myriad reasons. What did Maya Angelou say?

"When someone shows you who they really are, believe them; the first time."

Easier said than done, right? I mean, I think we all want to believe the good in people, and that people make mistakes. And, maybe most importantly - what they do to others, they'd never do to us. So, we go about warming our hands by their slow-growing fire - thinking we're safe.

So, while it shouldn't be, it's always a painful surprise when we finally get burnt.

I say let's remember Maya Angelou's advice, and fill our lives with "cool" people, who would loan us a sweater to keep us warm...not steal from our closet while we're distracted by their awkwardly dancing flames.