So even Shakespeare didn’t really say “Expectation is the root of all heartache.” my friends (according to things now circulating). So There goes this whole post. Kidding, but he did say “Oft expectation fails, and most oft there where most it promises; and oft it hits, where hope is coldest, and despair most sits.” — Shakespeare, “All’s Well that Ends Well,” Act 2, Scene 1.
So I want to remind you…stop expecting YOU from people. There. I said it. But really, why do we do this to ourselves? It just doesn’t end well. Let’s take a look at our friendships. We make a friend and things are great for a while. Maybe we’re in the honeymoon phase of friendship. We hang out, and have a great time. But after a while, things change. Maybe it’s because we were raised a certain way and they weren’t. Maybe it’s because they started out wanting something from you and they have it now, who knows. But we are all individuals with completely different circumstances thrust upon us and how we act in each circumstance will not be the same. So let’s take a look at some things you should never expect from other people in your life.
- Stop expecting them to treat you the same way you would treat them. This is the one that fails me the most. I don’t get this. Why haven’t I learned it by now? Here’s why. Not everyone has the same moral compass as I do and I still forget things like honesty, integrity, and being a nice person don’t come naturally to all people. My problem is I want honesty, integrity, and someone who is going to be nice in a friendship, but their version of those things might look different to them. For example, they might think it’s nice to lie to people to save their feelings, or to make themselves look better, or to save themselves from an argument, while I think it seems cowardly. I would prefer to know the truth, but maybe they were not taught that and therefore think a “little white lie” is okay as that was what people did to them growing up. It’s a shame we can’t have those courageous conversations though. I bet it would save loads of heartache in the friendship.
- Stop expecting them to answer your call. So you would take a call from them say, oh I don’t know, even if you were in the middle of a business dinner. They might not do the same for you, and if you are waiting for it, it won’t happen. You shouldn’t be responsible to clean up their mess, on call 24/7 for them to vent and then expect the same from them. Oh wait. You would like it to be reciprocal? It might be time for a chat around how they’re treating you and how you feel you are being treated. If you have made a mistake and you were responsible for something, it might be time you admitted you rely on them too much to answer and they rely on you as well. Reminder: Not everyone is your friend.
- Stop expecting anyone else to make you happy. I’ll never forget when I had to explain to a friend of mine that it wasn’t right for her husband to think she had to be responsible for his happiness. You can’t blame others for your mistakes, your misery, or your screw-ups (or screwing other people). You did that all on your own and this is an important lesson. No one else is responsible for your happiness. People can be miserable towards you, hateful, spiteful and they can also be warm, loving and positive. None of it actually has to do with you really. It is a crazy lesson, I know and a difficult one. Many times I have gone to bed and realized I had no right to be as mad as I was at my husband over something. I have now worked really hard to separate whatever is wrong from the fact that I love him, and whatever happened, be it an argument over bills, or something like that, can’t make me unhappy. It’s all my reaction to it as well as his of course, but ultimately, what energy am I bringing here to the table?
- Stop expecting others to see themselves as you do. If they decide they aren’t worth x, y, z, you can try to help them see it, but you won’t change their mind. They have to feel worthy of whatever it is. The job. The relationship. The money. The raise. The career change. Going to school. You see them as such, but you seeing it doesn’t make it true. If it did, your kid would be whatever it was you wanted. I would probably be a lawyer (according to my folks, but I didn’t see it). Anyway, they have to put in the work on their mindset and it can’t be done for them.
- Stop expecting to be understood. People. I don’t care what year it is, stop blaming politics, your dog, your PMS, your break-up, etc for why everyone doesn’t get you. My empath friends, you might never be fully understand by all, and unfortunately, it’s going to hurt. I am right there with you, believe me. Why do people deliberately misunderstand what you are saying? Because they do not listen with their heart. They don’t listen at all. They wait to reply, argue or fight on social media these days. If they listened with their heart, or even put out feelers about things they have done to you in the past, they might understand why you say some of the things you say. But as it stands now, not many people are willing to be the bigger person and admit they are wrong (especially in print).
- Stop expecting people to do the right thing. The person who doesn’t care about others is going to do what feels right to them come hell or high water. They might not even make eye contact with you. They know what they did. Time and time again they have been given chances. Third chance rolls around and here we are. Still thinking they’ll pick the right thing. Guys. This one is on us. They have shown us who they are and naturally, they are not going to change just because we want them to. Unfortunately, we can’t control this. I wish I could describe the feeling I get when people do this to me. It’s a sadness so deep it hurts my heart. I literally get an ache where my heart is because I want so much for them to do the right thing, but here it is again, and they didn’t think they were worth it, me, the friendship, or perhaps the hardest thing to accept around it, is that they didn’t even think about my feelings at all and just don’t care. They are not capable of doing this and have shown it. Repeatedly.
Being highly sensitive to energy, feelings, and emotions can feel like a weight is dragging you down, but the truth is, it doesn’t have to be this way. We need to cut the weights off, and stop expecting others to be like us. Understand us. Treat us the way we would treat them. But when we do find people who feel like the right fit for our energy, hold on tight. Make sure to tell them what you expect in the friendship and be honest about your feelings. Don’t run from it if it feels like a good fit and if they do something every once in a while that feels off, ask them what is going on. We all make mistakes, but it is what you do next that matters.
You might like to read:
- How to Protect Yourself from Negative Energy
- Emotional Detachment…recognizing it and more
- 5 Ways to Spot an Emotional Manipulator