What if somebody's best just isn't good enough?

In continuing my "Say No To Small Dose Friends February" series, I am going to take a look at people that just do not meet our expectations.

The first issue is that regardless of who you are or what you do, you imprint an expectation on everyone you meet. It could be anything from them being friendly to something more personal like them not telling your secrets. Regardless though of what it is, they, sometimes without knowledge, have an expectation to meet that you have placed upon them.

I do not believe it is something we do on purpose, I think it is just human nature. Fortunately, it never becomes an issue until they fail to meet that expectation. Unfortunately, at the time it becomes an issue, it is a huge issue.

For instance, say you have a friend that told something that they were not suppose to or that your spouse did something that violated an unspoken agreement, they have now let you down because of the expectation you placed on them.

The decision now is whether or not you can lower you expectation and forgive them. In these instance, the ball is in your court.

I think you should ask yourself these questions:

  1. Was the expectation a reasonable one?
  2. Did the person know they were doing wrong?
  3. Can you forgive them?
  4. Will you have to lower your expectations to remain cordial with them?

Depending on how you answer these questions, depends on whether you should continue on with the bond you have with the other person.

For example, if you can forgive them and move ahead, then do it. However, if you can only pretend to forgive them, then just cut your ties. There is no point holding on to someone when everything you do or say to them will cause you to question if it will come back to haunt you. This will just add stress and anxiety to your life, and nobody needs that.

Also, did the person know it was wrong? This is a huge one because we all have different levels of expectations. So, evaluate your expectations and try to see it from the other person's viewpoint. Sometimes you may find yourself in the wrong. It is hard to admit, but it will help you grow if you do admit it.

Once you know the answer to these questions, you will be able to determine if this friend is someone that you should remain friends with.

Of course, before you go dumping your friends, make sure that you just did not have them in the wrong category of friends. Maybe that person you thought was your closest confidant should actually just be your Saturday drinking buddy, or vice versa.

Either way, evaluate your expectation on someone before you expect them to meet it.

Also, be willing to accept that sometimes your expectations will just not be able to met be met by certain people. If you find that somebody's best just is not good enough for you, then let them go. Do not make them jump through hoops to gain your friendship. Do both of you favor and sever ties.

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  • Similarly--does the friend, family member, or loved one have unrealistic expectations of you?

    Do they expect you to "read their mind" and then yell at you if you guessed wrong? Or do they change their expectations all the time and yell at you if you didn't know about the change? (again, mind-reading.) Or do they behave more reasonably, "Oh, I'm sorry, I thought you knew--well, could you do this next time instead?"

    Basically, you have to watch out for emotional vampires, gaslighting, and emotionally abusive behavior, is what you're saying. Thanks for writing about this :)

  • This is easy for me - I have low expectations for the people in my life. I do expect certain things from my husband and kids, though. But I am very forthcoming in my expectations and am not a game player. Life's too short to beat around the bush! Nice post!

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    David W. Quinn

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