A Person is NOT Their Behaviour

By September 4, 2013 March 8th, 2017 No Comments


Too often in life we identify people (including ourselves) through the behaviours they choose, rather than seeing a person for who they are.

sept-BEHAVIOURFor example, I’ve heard people say:

–        That’s the naughty/good boy

–        That’s the rude/polite girl

–        That’s the alcoholic… or person who doesn’t drink

–        That’s the bad/good mother

–        That’s the Aspergers, ADHD, angry, sad person

–        That’s the D grade or A+ student

The list of examples is endless and can be heard throughout many interactions in daily life, however, these examples are simply descriptions of a person’s behaviour and by no means describe the person for they are.

These behaviours are what people become “identified” with and soon think this is who they are … this identification is so very harming and can have life-long implications on a person’s psychological well-being throughout their entire life – harmful because a person places their value of who they are, based on what they do, not based on the truth of who they really are!

We must remember: At the core of every single person is an awesome, amazing, loveable being!

However, people are not always using awesome, amazing loveable behaviours to match their natural beingness!  It is very, VERY important in life to support people to know that:

Behaviour is NOT who you are. Behaviour is what you do.


Behaviour CAN be changed if a person is willing to:

  1. Understand the reasons for their behaviour choice
  2. Learn means of changing their unwanted behaviour

With this approach we will learn to realise:

  1. Wow!  What an amazing boy … “naughty” behaviours is what he sometimes does, thus what he can learn to change if we understand what is going on for him
  2. Do you see that awesome person … “Drinking too much” is something they do but something they can learn to change if we understand what is truly going on for them
  3. I see  an awesome girl … “A+ is the grades she sometimes achieves but should she get a D- she is still equally  amazing, awesome and loveable just for being her”
  4. What a loving lady … “sometimes her children misbehave, or she makes some choices in mothering I do not agree with… but … mothering is not WHO she is, it is what she does!  She is an Awesome, Amazing, Loveable person just for being her!

Remembering that behaviour is not who you are but what you do, allows us to see a person for who they truly are, and thus allows us to objectively understand the reason for their behaviour choices.  Understanding behaviour is the first step leading to successfully change unwanted behaviour.

This question and answer section is aimed to support those that would like to understand and change unwanted behaviours used by you, your child or any other person.  Please write in with any behavioural questions you would like support understanding.

More at www.fabic.com.au


Tanya Curtis

Tanya Curtis  

Tanya founded Fabic (Functional Assessment & Behavioural Interventions Clinic) in 2006 with a vision to support people to understand and change unwanted behaviours. Tanya is an author, writes and presents behaviour specialist DVDs, and has developed online behaviour support programs // www.fabic.com.au