This conversation is closed.

Why do we, as humans, consider change a bad thing?

I was hiking with my friend the other day and we were talking. I realized how often try to keep things from changing, sometimes making matters worse by doing so..

  • thumb
    Jun 24 2012: Humans become comfortable with the familiar, and there seems to be a secure pattern of life associated with it.
    The uncertainty that comes with a new order brings discomfort. It is human nature to seek comfort and security; and the sustainance of habits that seems to preserve both.
    • thumb
      Jun 26 2012: Precisely. It would be naive to expect anything different from humans.
  • thumb
    Jun 22 2012: The reason I have come to fear change is that it is the slogan/platform used by some really bad Presidents of the U.S. "Vote for Change" they urged. Many did and America has changed just like they promised.
  • thumb
    Jun 27 2012: Actually I don't think humans consider change a bad thing in general. I think what they don't really like is 'to be' or 'to get' changed by the will of others. And, even worse, without even being heard before hand. If humans decide for themselves, individually so to say, I would say most of them are going to enjoy it. And if they don't, they may decide for themselves to change it back again the way it was before.

    If it was any different, we would not have so many couples cheating on one another secretly. In this context the decision towards a change would be individual, and not to talk about it would be to avoid the part 'to get changed' by a consequent and therefore ex-partner.
  • thumb
    Jun 27 2012: I think it is because when we have found a comfortable spot we feel safe. Anything that challenges that comfort seems to challenge our safety as well. That usually is not true but the person in the armchair may keel over dead and it does not make the news but if someone dies running a marathon is surely does. We do tend to hate change= I sure have fought it vociferously in my lifetime and yet, sometimes change resulted in the best things that ever happened to me.
  • thumb
    Jun 26 2012: As humans, uncertainty makes us the most uncomfortable. It's natural. If things stay the same over time it's easier for us to settle in and operate on "auto pilot" Even from an evolutionary standpoint I wouldn't be surprised if our survival instinct influences our lean toward the predictable. I personally am all for change. For us to evolve as a civilization we have to be constantly pushing and challenging ourselves --our views, our traditions, our principles. That's not the easiest thing to subscribe to when auto pilot is just so damn easy.
  • Jun 25 2012: Fear of the unknown. However, and I believe a lot of people would agree with me, I consider change to be a very good thing. If you don't have change, what do you have? When you learn, you change. Season's change. Evolution is change. It's the only constant in life. Once there is fear, that's when it becomes a bad thing. I think it is a matter of perspective.
  • Jun 24 2012: because in our childhood our behavior was manipulated by the method of fear provocation so we have a paranoid population.
  • Jun 23 2012: Bhryan, Very good question.

    In little things, we are creatures of habit. Try changing where you store your socks.

    Somewhat larger scale, moving to a new residence. Lots of little changes involved, all requiring a lot of work and requiring learning new habits.

    Changing the streets you use to go to work or school means having to figure out a new route, and probably means traffic congestion and delays.

    Changing to a new form of government often means revolution and bloodshed.

    What is there to like? Just the results. The process is almost always unpleasant.
  • thumb

    R H

    • 0
    Jun 23 2012: I would offer that many humans are security seeking. They will settle for a certain level of perceived attainability because that's what they feel they're capable of to survive and/or glean some happiness. They won't welcome change because it's 'threatening', and they have found a level of survival that's 'acceptable' and 'safe' - especially if they care for others, and no matter how limiting or restrictive that may be. Other people, thankfully so, are not concerned at all with change, and seek it out as a component of growth and prosperity, caring less for the accompanying risk - in my opinion.
  • thumb
    Jun 22 2012: When we know exactly what we are doing we just don't want that to go away. It's like running a mile every day for five years then all of a sudden being forced to run two miles. You don't know if you can do it which leads to not wanting to do it.
  • thumb
    Jun 22 2012: Because we're pattern seeking mammals and we constantly relate things to one another, so the second something changes it messes our balance up temporarily.
  • Jun 22 2012: I believe we fear change do to the proposition of a lack of control. As a principle, humans desire power and control, our routines are routines because we have accepted them and been able to derive pleasure from them in one way or another. This potential loss of pleasure and control is very scary for most.
  • thumb
    Jun 22 2012: We want ot be certain...while everything is uncertain.....change brings more uncertainity as with new situation things are peceived to be new / not known.......we feel comfort with in our comfort zone....thats why we seldom like change.
  • thumb
    Jun 22 2012: Why do you say humans consider change a bad thing? I would more have said that people in modern times tend to have short attention spans for sameness and like novelty. Many aspects of market economies, and certainly marketing, depend on this human attraction to change and the new rather than an aversion to it.
    People also do appreciate some sources of stability in their lives. For example, people like not to have to worry about whether they will be able to afford food the next day. Having some predictable aspects in ones life reduces the energy it takes to make daily decisions and frees up that energy for other things.
    By coincidence I was just reading David Foster Wallace about boredom and how much aversion people understandably have to it- how much humans prefer and crave things that are not the same all the time.
    Beyond this, in particular cases, some people call forward the adage that the devil you know is better than the devil you don't know to explain why people can be risk-averse about big changes.