Expectations, we all have them.
We expect that folks will treat us the way we treat them. We expect that folks will be decent, honest, kind… we expect what we expect because we think others see the world as we do. lol But they don’t. We all grow up and experience life in our own way… things happen to us, or around us and by watching our care givers we learn how to act, react or cope. Each of us learns many different coping mechanisms, each determined by the degree of coping we need to do. If you grow up in a home where folks all reach for the bottle when things get tough, then you may learn that this is how to cope. If you live in a situation where people around you sit and discuss what they feel, this is what you learn. We may learn new ways to deal with life as we grow older – we may be shown or we may read it somewhere, but we basically start out with what others have programmed us to know.
When someone you know *let’s you down* you are only let down by your own expectations. You expect them to behave the way you would… it only makes sense, right? Wrong. lol It’s right for YOU. The way someone else copes will be different from the way you cope, but that neither makes it wrong, nor right…it makes it how they deal. Because you don’t see it as the right way, doesn’t mean it isn’t the right way for them. If they behave in a way that you would not, it’s not personal. It’s their skills in coping and reacting…
No one is you. No one went on your path and learned what you have and they won’t behave how you expect them to. lol They will behave as themselves.
Now… if you feel let down by their actions or words, or lack thereof… you have a choice. People are who they are, and for a large part they will not change because you wish it so… your choice is this. You either accept that they are not you and you accept them for who they are, or you decide that their behaviour is so far different, unacceptable and unhealthy for you that you cannot have them in your life… or you can, but in varying degrees. There are friends you confide in and there are friends you simply say hi to, and pass the time with small chit chat. If you know that someone you are talking to is incapable of being responsive to you in any way you find healthy, then why would you confide in them and expect miracles? Everyone in our lives provides us with something. No one person can give us all we need. This is why we have a partner, and friends… if you can discern which ones are *bedroom* friends, which are *living room* friends and which are simply acquaintances then perhaps your life will be clearer. lol
To a certain point… if you allow someone to behave in a way that hurts you, or is unhealthy for you – if you allow it over and over… you are telling them that it is ok to do this. You are saying, yes, please continue – I don’t mind that I’m hurting, confiding in you and you are talking about the ceiling and the fact that it needs some painting. lol
Start out as you mean to continue…. if you allow someone to treat you like dirt, they will. If you let people know that they have crossed a boundary, or that what they are saying / doing is unacceptable… then they know. And if they repeat it – you have a choice. But don’t allow it, stand up for yourself. You’ll find the experience truly empowering…. People will often tell you who they are if you just listen. Don’t expect to change them. You are responsible only for you and changing you for your better… you cannot and will not control another person’s actions, nor is it your right to do this. While you think you are fixing someone else you are depriving them of the right to learn for themselves.
It’s a daily struggle and I must be diligent in my efforts, but there are things worth learning and practicing in life. In order to be happy, we all need a little trust and a little less expectation – of others. lol
I feel the same way about guilt. When someone tries to lay a guilt trip on you it is normally a manipulative tool to make you react a specific way for their sake. You have a choice… take it on and react, or let them have it… it’s normally an issue they need to deal with – but it’s your choice. I normally just say *sorry you feel that way, I hope you find what you need* and leave them to it. lol It took a long time to unlearn some of the unhealthy behaviours, thoughts, attitudes I grew up with – but I’m working on it! 😉
Oh my, this HAS turned into quite a ramble.
I expect that if you made it this far, you might expect something earth shattering as a closing!! lol You’d be wrong! 😛 lol
Have a marvelous day!