Why do people change their behavior?

Why do people change their behavior?

behaviour changes

As humans, we have all heard people, close or known to us often comment, “You have changed.” When they say this, most of the time it is to express their annoyance at you for behaving differently than your past behavior. Sometimes, by listening to this comment, people become sad and judge themselves more. They even try to change their behavior to seek the approval of that person. But have you ever thought in depth about why they say so? Many people must have thought of it, and here in this article, we will discuss it in detail.

As humans, people can change their lives by changing their behavior. But sometimes changing behavior is hard and becomes a painful process because, to do so, people have to compromise their moral values, habits, and belief systems. For example, a person who is open to expressing their feelings has to be quiet even when things are going well. How challenging the situation can become for that person. But in this situation, the person also has the right to choose to respond. Let’s talk about behavior change in detail first.

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What is behavior change?

Behavior is about acting or behaving in certain ways. It can be overt or covert, conscious or unconscious, voluntary or involuntary, and rational or irrational. Behavior change can be temporary or permanent. It is considered changed behavior when a person behaves differently than they used to in the past. Behavior change can be positive or negative as well. The objective of behavior change is determined by the person and sometimes by his or her surroundings.

Voluntarily and involuntary behavior change:

Sometimes people change without being aware of that change, which can be because of past experiences, bad or insightful memories, or by observing something (environmental factors) that influences their beliefs or attitude. Such A change in behavior is known as involuntary behavior. When people are aware of their behavior change or are fully working on changing any behavior patterns, it is known as voluntary behavior. Such behavior changes happen to either gain something or avoid something.

In short, it is a directed behavior to meet any objective. Such a person who feels they have anger issues works to make them feel more relaxed and easy-going in life. Most of the time, voluntary changes are for the betterment of the individual or society.

Only when a person has a bad experience of life, wants to take revenge, is influenced by bad company, makes a side effort of any substance, or, for adventure, wants to do harm, inducing an effortful change in behavior. It is seen that it’s easier to change healthy behavior into unhealthy than unhealthy behavior into healthy.

Characteristics of behavior change:

1) Changeable:

The first and foremost characteristic of behavior change is that behavior can be changed. It can be changed because of many factors, influences, or reasons. For example, as people grow up, they learn to change their behavior as per situations in general; they learn how to behave with other people; they learn how to dress up for events; or they learn how to make decisions so that they have fewer chances of failure. By practicing change in behavior, humans become better day by day.

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2) Individual differences:

Any two people are different on the basis of their genetic components and environmental experience, and they express their emotions differently. Similarly, behavior change varies from person to person. People who find it hard to change their behavior face many challenges in life. For example, some people find it difficult to change as per society. They keep referring to their background as superior and follow its rules, even if it’s not helpful for them. This can happen because of their rigid belief system and self-image.

3) Stability:

Behavior is determined by certain behavioral traits, and it’s hard to change those traits. Because of this it’s possible to predict a person’s behavior by psychologist. Consistency in behavior is natural, as since the beginning, human behavior has been purposeful, and with practice, it has become an important part of human development.

4) Integration:

Behavior is a total of personality traits; it’s exposure, learning, and factors affecting behavior. When all these factors are integrated, it leads to a unique identity for the individual. It’s possible that two people with similar traits behave in different ways just because of their exposure. Every person opts for different behavior because of their own reasons, and it’s valid for them to do so.

5) Goal-oriented:

Every possible human behavior is goal-oriented. People behave in certain ways because of their own goal orientation. A person who loves to please others or wants to be appreciated takes certain actions to meet his objective. A person who is self-reliant does not want to take the help of another person when they can do it on their own. Even a child cries for a reason. Hence, human behavior is goal-oriented, or to fulfill what they want.

6) Similarities in differences:

Even when each individual is different from others, in some situations, people behave similarly. Mostly when they are in groups or working toward the same goal. For example, in any sport, when viewers are supporting their nation, they cheer when they see their teammates play nice shots.

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7) Complexity:

Behavior change is a process that starts with simple change and progresses to complex change. Such as. Changing hairstyle means changing decision-making skills. Behavior change is a vast phenomenon, and flexible thinking is necessary for this. Change happens easily when a person is ready for it. For any type of behavior, changing the self of the person plays an important role.

8) Influenced by factors:

Behaviour change can happen because of nature or nurture. Nature factors are about speed genetics, heredity, and DNA. Whereas nurture is about cultural beliefs, social surroundings, family, and parenting style, Behavior change gets affected by these factors before it takes place and while it’s in process.

Factors affecting behavior change:

a) Physical factors
1) Age:

Behavior gets changed by a person’s age. For example, in childhood, people cry when they do not get what they want, but as they grow, they develop tolerance for this situation to some extent. They can get upset or feel bad about it, but they do not often cry. With age, they learn to work alone without any caregivers as well. Their behavior is changing due to their practice and being part of society.

2) Illness or pain:

Any physical illness or pain can cause a change in behavior as it affects a person’s ability and emotions to a greater extent. They can either become more humble due to pain or more arrogant; it depends on how they take it. Their perception of the situation will determine their response.

3) Influence of any substance or drug:

A person’s behavior can change because of any substance or drug as well. These changes are temporary in general, but if the consumption of drugs is consistent, it can lead to some permanent behavioral changes as well. In many psychoactive drugs, it’s very common to see behavior change as one of their side effects. But that, too, should be monitored from time to time.

b) Life experience

Behavior can change because of life experience. Each person perceives and experiences life differently, hence behaving differently. Life experience works as a foundation for personality and behavior. A person behaves in a certain way because they have interpreted the situation differently than others. Life experience can be any event that has a deeper impact on life. Such as the impact of their family, friends, culture, religion, or environment.

c) Personal and emotional factors
1) Expectations:

Expectations direct a person’s behavior, sometimes knowingly and sometimes unknowingly. When expectations are not fulfilled, the person feels bad about it. Expectations are also determined by a person’s exposure to life. When expectations are not met, a person changes his or her behavior.

2) Belief system:

Every person has their own belief system, and they act according to it. Behavior change can be caused by a change in the belief system as well. When two people with contradictory belief systems stay together, they find it hard to maintain harmony. A person who has a more rigid belief system faces more difficulty changing when exposed to such situations.

3) Emotions:

Emotions work as fuel for action. Most of the time, a person’s behavior is the output of their emotional experience. When a person’s emotions are in their control, their behavior can be easily predicted, whereas when a person’s emotions are not in their control, Emotional change leads to behavioral change.

Also Read: Understanding Defensive Behavior and Self-image

4) Personality:

Every person has a different personality. Their personality type often determines how they will behave in a situation. Introvert and extrovert personality types enjoy it in different ways; similarly, they express their feelings and act on them differently too.

5) Mental health:

A person acts on thoughts. When thoughts are not clear, bizarre, or irrigational, it leads to unexpected behavior change. It can lead to instability in character or person as well. A person who is in coordination with his thoughts has a more logical relationship between these thoughts and actions.

d) Situational Factors

Situational factors also play an important role, such as room temperature, noise, privacy, light, and people surrounding the person. What the person was thinking at that time can also change his behavior.

e) Person’s needs and wants

Every person has different needs and wants in their life, and they can change their behavior according to that. When the goal seems very easy to get or too hard to achieve in both conditions, a person can create a change in behavior to meet his or her needs.

  • https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/mentalhealth/psychosocial/principles/Pages/behaviour-factors.
  • https://uk.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/types-of-human-behaviour-in-psychology

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