I’m a very sensitive person. I take most things seriously, everything makes me anxious, and I’m a classic over thinker. These are a few faults that I have, on a list of many more.
Another one of my faults– I assume that other people are going to understand all of this, and that they are willing to adjust themselves in order to keep me happy and at ease. This includes being understanding and patient, comforting me often, agreeing with me, and constantly being there for me, while asking for nothing in return.
These are completely unrealistic expectations, I realize, yet I assume them anyway. I expect everyone to treat me this way, and when they don’t, it’s shocking. But not only is that unfair to other people, who shouldn’t be asked to live their lives any differently for my sake, it’s unfair to me, because I get used to people babying me and walking on eggshells around me, and then look for others to constantly do that too.
Most people have similar expectations– where they need people to adjust themselves to make them happy.
Here’s a harmless but specific example: A few years ago, one of my best friends wanted me to meet her boyfriend for the first time, and it was a really big deal for her to have him meet me. When we finally met, we were talking about something, I don’t even remember what it was, and I disagreed with him so I jokingly tried to argue. He was so insistent on being right that he thought I would back down, as most people apparently did when talking to him. He was so set in his personality and who he was that he didn’t take it as a joke.
I misunderstood. I expected him to accept my personality and that I was disagreeing with him, and he expected me to accept his personality and relent. It ended with my friend in tears because her boyfriend didn’t like/get along with her best friend, because we had both expected the other to understand and neither of us had. This wasn’t really fair to her, because both her boyfriend and I had made it more about being right than being there for her.
Often, this isn’t even about adjusting to someone’s personality, or other people adjusting to your needs/faults. It’s about assuming that people will treat you like you treat them.
My friend from high school was telling me the other day that she has struggled with constantly being let down by people. This girl is a ridiculously amazing friend, and has always gone the extra mile to be there for others. But because she does this for others she expects others to do it for her. Most people can’t put in the effort for friendship that she does, so in this way her expectations are kind of unrealistic. She kept expecting people to treat her like she treated them, and it made her really sad.
I’ve had a few other experiences like this, where I’ve expected people to change for me, or the other way around, or even both. I won’t get into these examples, but I want to emphasize how much this has affected my life.
So when I found this quote the other day, it hit home pretty hard.
You think everyone has the same heart as you, and that’s what’s gonna fuck you up.
When I read this quote for the first time, I interpreted it to mean that you think people will understand you, change for you, do what you expect them to, and when they don’t, it leaves you sad and disappointed.
Something my dad has taught me is that you can’t expect anything from other people, and I think that what you especially can’t expect other people to do for you is change who they are for your sake. And I agree with him.
Based off of my own experiences, you not only can’t hold expectations for other people, but you have to make up for it by having more expectations for yourself. You have to be confident enough in who you are, have good intentions, and try to be selfless and as good a person as you can be. I have my faults, but I have to focus on myself and being better rather than other people being better for me.