Subconscious Relationship Expectations

Take a moment to think of your friendship circle, family, or even the ones that you hold dear. These relationships probably come with the expectation that you will care for them, and they will care for you. After all, this is what a relationship is about, two or more people who mutually respect and care for each other.

While this is true, sometimes we may not realize that we are placing certain expectations on other people that only end up harming ourselves and our relationships.

Closest Relationships

Think about the people that are closest to you at the moment. This could be your parents, siblings, best friend, significant other, or spouse. These are probably the individuals that you turn to when going through a hard time and to share your happiest news. You may have one or two people that you rely on.

While it is wonderful and necessary to rely on others for support, it is important to remember that one person cannot fulfill all of our needs. That’s the beautiful side of having multiple people in our lives, we can draw strength from them. Each person can bring something to the table.

Expectations

It is normal to turn to your best friend or significant other and we may lovingly look at them as if they have all of the answers and that they can fill every void that lives within us. These are unfair expectations for both the other person and ourselves.

Each person that we know brings something to our lives. One person is only one person and as hard as they try, no one can take on the role of making us happy 100% of the time. We can look to others and most importantly ourselves for that sense of fulfillment.

Reciprocation

The beauty of life is helping and also being helped. Returning the love and respect that is given to us is very important.

Just as one person cannot be our complete source of happiness, we also cannot be that for other people.

As human beings, we are capable of so much. We often have the strength and power to move mountains, but we also have our limits. Giving and receiving makes the world go round. We must remember, however, that we are not superheroes!

Processing Betrayal From Friends

Recently, one of my very best friends decided to withhold something from me, something significant from her life that typically I would have been the first person that she shared this with, but I wasn’t. To say that I was upset is an understatement.

We have known each other for half of our lives, and we have been through so much together. She is an open book, sharing anything and everything, however, I am the more reserved one that shares only what I am comfortable sharing. I admire her for being able to be so real and open.

We would like to think of our friends as those that will always be there by our sides, ones that always have our best interest in mind, however, this is sometimes not the case.

Evaluate

There is a need for us to evaluate whether or not the betrayal was on purpose or something that we perceived as a betrayal. In my case with the situation above, it was a perceived betrayal, I don’t think that my best friend meant to harm me in any way by withholding information, but it hurt, nonetheless.

I believe that a lot of times feeling hurt and betrayed comes from expectations, which I suppose is why there is advice on keeping expectations low. I felt like because we always share everything and because she is my best friend that I expected to know. Truth is, she is not obligated to tell me. Low expectations can help prevent hurt feelings and disappointment.

With the given title of best friend, or even friend, we may have expectations that we should be told everything, however, it is completely up to us as individuals to decide how much to share and when. Knowing that we have always shared things, I expected that the information that I learned would have been shared with me and I suppose that’s where I went wrong. Nobody owes us anything regardless of status.

The Hurt Remains

Despite this, the hurt lives on. I am still shocked that I was not filled in regarding this information and the fact that it was withheld from me is upsetting and makes me question where I stand with my best friend.

The best thing to do in this type of situation and honestly most situations is to communicate. There is so much that can be learned and solved by communicating. Oftentimes there is some sort of misunderstanding or personal reasons behind someone’s actions and choices.

When the timing is right, my next step is to have a discussion and communicate my feelings. I am hoping to discover the reasons why my best friend withheld such important information from me.

The Takeaway

Take time to communicate and find out answers to your questions, take time to process your emotions and try to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Just because we don’t see a valid reason why someone acts the way that they do, it doesn’t mean that there isn’t one.

Most of the time proper communication can solve or at the very least lessen hurt feelings. If two people are compatible and capable of a lasting friendship, then sitting down and talking it out is sometimes all that is needed. Communication truly is the basis of everything, sometimes we overlook its importance!

I Met a Goat Today

Please stick with me, this story is not as random as it sounds. I was reminded of some valuable life lessons today.

I decided to visit a nearby public farm. I have always loved farm life and I admire the strength of farmers who put in hours and hours of hard physical labor in all elements of weather. As a lover of nature, the farm was an even bigger bonus.

I packed my water bottle and some snacks and took a drive to the farm. I was instantly filled with happiness as I saw large green hills, lots of wide-open space, and many farm animals that surrounded me. I couldn’t wait to see what was to be discovered during my visit.

I walked past the pigs, and the sheep, and observed the horses and cows grazing. There was even a nice home created for the ducks, equipped with a little pool of water for them to play in. In front of the ducks and chickens was a very lush environment filled with plants and greenery, it took me a while to see what was inside but hidden near the bushes was a beautiful peacock.

I kept walking and looking around at this gorgeous farm, I took a dirt path that led me to a large grassy area that housed the goats. A little goat came up to me immediately, it was like he suddenly appeared out of nowhere. There were unfortunately signs not to feed the animals, so I wasn’t able to, but what I was able to give this little goat was love. I petted his course hair and just enjoyed looking in awe at this little creature that wouldn’t leave my side.

I was surprised at how friendly this little goat was, especially considering how the other goats did not even approach the wooden fence. I petted his little face and talked to him and then decided to head up the dirt road to explore more of the farm.

To my surprise, the little goat followed me up the dirt road. He walked right beside me as I walked, the only thing that separated us was the wooden fence. I continued walking up the dirt road, the goat and I side by side.

I was truly mesmerized by this behavior; I found it precious and heartwarming. I loved all of the animals there on the farm. Each was unique and special in its way. Even though I enjoyed and loved all of these wonderful creatures, there is one that stood out…you might have guessed it already, it was my little goat friend.

We are keen on remembering things that elicit some sort of emotion in us, whether positive or negative. We are drawn to things that show us love, trust, and happiness. I know that this is a farm animal, but in general, this can be applied to the human population as well.

I have not been able to stop thinking of this little goat! Referring to humans, this shows us the importance of kindness and love. This tiny creature left a lasting impression on me.

As we go through life, we can easily recall the times that we were treated right, that we felt loved, and times when someone cared enough about us to stick by our sides. We will never forget those that trusted us and wanted to be in our presence.

Not only was this a beautiful day at the farm, but this precious little goat reminded me of the importance of pure love and kindness and what a difference it can make to someone. We don’t forget moments like this.

Be the person that welcomes someone, be the person that shows love, kindness, and respects other people. Be the person that stands out from the rest because they have shown others that they are valued.

Through Thick and Thin

I’ve always heard that finding a true friend is like “finding a needle in a haystack.” The older that I get I believe this to be true. I have a good number of friends and acquaintances, but I can count on one hand the number of friends in my life that I can truly rely on and have proved themselves to be genuine.

When we first meet someone, we get a sense of their energy, and our intuition and gut instincts start to kick in and tell us whether there is a good vibe coming from this person or not. Sometimes two people meet and there is an instant connection and other times we get a strong gut reaction to stay away. It may be difficult to tell who has genuine intentions, but sooner or later the truth usually prevails.

One can get a pretty good sense of someone else’s character fairly quickly. We are keen to pick up on energy, we can see if this individual sticks to their word. Someone who matches their words with actions is typically genuine. Unfortunately, some people are very nice to others, but it is not for the fact of being nice and caring for others, it is more for personal gains. In the beginning, this person may be difficult to spot, but over time their patterns may become more noticeable.

I tend to be someone that likes to see mainly the good in someone and I know that sounds like a positive quality, but it also can hinder your judgment when you are unable to catch signs that someone may be untrue. I am so busy looking for all of the good qualities that someone possesses that I overlook the red flags.

Over the years I have been able to spot a truly genuine person over someone who is not. Someone genuine will try to keep the relationship at 50/50, their words will match their actions, they will truly care about you and ask how you are doing, and they will have your best interest in mind and be on your side and in your corner. A true friend or significant other will show interest in your life.

If you do have a true friend, keep them close as they are few and far between. It is important to note that sometimes friendships shift and dissolve over time, this does not necessarily mean that this individual was not genuine. Even the best of friends are known to become astray and it’s natural for some friendships and relationships to run their course, people just outgrow each other and sometimes this person may have been in your life for just a season or a reason.

After being burned many times by people, I used to spend so much time analyzing others’ behavior and actions to see if they were being authentic, but in hindsight, it’s better to just let things naturally unfold.

As with most things in life, the truth almost always comes out and true colors are often brought to light. For those of you that have a truly genuine soul in your life, hold onto them and never let them go, they are a rare find in this unpredictable world!

Why the Difference?

One of the greatest things in life is the love and support of family and friends. Why do we treat our loved ones so much differently than we treat ourselves? We should make taking care of ourselves mentally and physically our utmost priority. We cannot give much of ourselves to this world if we are not whole.

Most of us are very hard on ourselves, I know that I am. I’m told this over and over again, yet I don’t see it myself.

Imagine that you made a mistake on a project that you are working on at your job. You might tell yourself “I can’t do anything right; I am such a failure.” Flip this situation around. A family member or friend is in the same situation, they just made a huge mistake on a project they were working on. What do you tell them? Would you tell them that they cannot do anything right and that they are a failure? Probably not. Instead, you might tell your friend that they did the best that they could do and that they are only human and it’s natural to make a mistake now and then.

You and your significant other just got into a fight and you start saying to yourself “I am never good at relationships,” you keep telling yourself “I am a terrible communicator.” What if a friend was going through this, what would you tell them? Maybe you would say that they should take some time for themselves to regroup and try to remedy the situation, maybe you would tell your friend that relationships aren’t easy, that constant effort is needed, and this doesn’t make them a bad person.

Do you see the differences in how people typically speak to themselves versus a loved one? One’s internal dialogue is so very important because we start to believe what we tell ourselves. Negative self-talk is very detrimental to us and those that we have a relationship with.

Why is it that we can so easily support the people that we love, but we cannot give that same grace and support to ourselves? Why is it that we can quickly build someone else up, while so easily tearing ourselves apart?

We are so hard on ourselves due to human nature; we know all of our faults and weaknesses and we tend to not have patience with ourselves. We also know about our pasts, and we carry parts of that with us. Whether we like to admit it or not, it does affect our confidence. We like to place other people on a pedestal, while we are the ones that are flawed as we strive to be perfect, something beyond human capability.

The next time that you are dealing with something in life, and you find that you are being hard on yourself remember to stop and ask yourself what you would tell a loved one that was in your exact situation. You give so much kindness, hope, and empathy to others, be kind to yourself…you deserve it.