Disappointment is one of the hardest emotions to deal with. I can get over anger and frustration, but disappointment, that’s a killer. My expectations of others, to me, don’t seem to be overly high. Basically put, I expect the same respect, loyalty and honesty that I put out into the world, back.
It is emotionally shattering when someone that you care about falls short of your expectations of even the smallest things. My heart wants to forget and move on, but my head says that I’m just setting myself up for more heartache down the track.
I’ve always been taught to see the good in others, but when it comes to blindly ignoring a persons actions to preserve your own idea of who and how that person really is, it becomes an issue of of lying to myself and choosing to be naive. Good relationships are built on trust and when there is a moral difference between you and a person, whether it be your partner, mother, father, brother, aunt or close friend, you start to wonder whether you can co-exist with that person.
Sometimes it can be that you haven’t communicated your expectation of that person to them, and therefore, they cannot live up to those expectations without knowing what those expectations are.
But do I really have to spell this out for you? Do I really need to tell you what it is to be a decent human being?
The answer is yes. In a world where there are so many different personality types, and people have different histories and up-bringing, it is only logical that they would have different moral codes and standards.
A really good example is tardiness. Some people have no problem with making people wait for them. ‘It’s only 15 mins, 30 mins, an hour…’ And yet others (including myself) harbour guilt and anxiety when they are late and have not properly respected others’ time – Comes down to how you value your time really, doesn’t it?
So YES, vocalize your expectations, and when that person actively chooses to fall short, then you can right-fully hold them accountable.
So what happens when they do fall short?
You ask yourself, can you live with it? Can you honestly lower your expectation and accept that this person doesn’t have the capacity to fit into your idea of them? Will you accept a compromised version? Will you settle for less? It’s a tough decision, but if the answer is no, then you must try to distance yourself. Because if you don’t you will start a very quick path to building resentment for that person.
Maybe not forever.
One day you might see that this person has genuinely evolved and changed, and there ‘new’ being is someone you might want to accept into your life again. People do change after all. This is the best outcome you can hope for in the future.
But how do you let go?
I’m still trying to figure this one out myself. But I tell you, it’s not without some tears and heartache. Remember that you are choosing to let go an idea that you created of someone, and choosing to see them, in reality, for the person that they actually are. What is the point of having a friend, if they are a shit friend? What is the point of trusting someone, when they do not value that trust? There is no point. Often we hold on to people because we fear being alone. But I would rather be alone than be surrounded by toxic people.
Once again, Actively rejecting people and certain personality traits will send a great message to the universe that you want something/someone better. And the ‘better’ will come eventually. We must let go of the bad ,so that we have time in our lives for good people. It is far from easy, but the concept makes perfect sense.
Also remember that distancing yourself doesn’t need to be mean or spiteful. It could just mean interacting on a shallower and impersonal level. People can only emotionally mess with you if you give them the power to.
This is NOT about YOU.
Another important point is: Whether or not someone lives up to your expectation, is not a reflection of your worthiness. Wait, I will say that again: If someone falls short of your expectation of them, it is not because they thought that you were not worth the effort. This is about THEM not YOU. Self blame is a dark, dark road.
Finally, if you have people that are in you life that are ace-ing the relationship and friendship game, hold on to them tight and be grateful. Today I’m grateful for David, my kids, mother and our strong family unit, which sets the bar on my expectation of the kind of relationships and interactions I want to be having with others. To my friends and the few people who are actively putting in the effort to be a positive force in my life, Thank you. You know who you are. Never go away.