Do you think deep down they'll always be how they originally were and could slip back into the behavior if provoked?
For example, with myself, I used to be extremely shy and I'd let people, including my family walk all over me. Over the years I go the courage to stand up to those people and I'm no longer shy and have no problem speaking my mind. Not a major change but definitely a change for the better.
And with my boyfriend he was a trouble maker. Fighting in school, selling drugs, getting expelled. He didn't think he'd make it out of high school. But he turned his behavior around. He graduated from high school and will be finishing college soon. He is very peaceful and avoids violence and is very polite. Complete opposite to how he was when he was younger. Major change.
Another example, my mother. She was pretty much non existent during my childhood. Abandoned my brothers and I and ran off. Years later she got her act together and made an attempt to come back into our lives. I accepted her but when my brothers didn't she sank back into her old ways.
Most Helpful Guy
People make mistakes, and deserve to be forgiven and can change for the better. But the degree of change is proportional to the to the desire, power and will within that person to change.
For example, for some guys, they're motivated enough to overcome or let go of bad habits if they get a girlfriend. But what happens when they break up? If she was the source of his motivation then the effect of change will return to its original state. But if the guy had a burning, raging desire within himself to do what is best and right, then the girlfriend can be a psychological boost.
If the person has a true and powerful intention and desire to change for the better then yeah, but if the person's desire is predicated on money, things, peer pressure, or the Iike, then they'll be bouncing back and forth1