The most hurtful moments in our lives come from those closest to us. As human beings, we place people on pedestals believing that because we have created a spot for them in our lives, they are somehow indebted to us. We believe that they must contribute to our wellbeing. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The people in our lives should help us grow and become better. But what happens when the people who contribute to our wellbeing also contribute our demise? Should we be so quick to label them as “jealous” or “fake”? Should we be so quick to erase them from our lives?
I think not.
In situations like this, we need to take a good look in the mirror and remind ourselves, “no one owes us anything in this life.”
Often times the issue isn’t the failure or the people who have failed us. Rather, the issue is that these people have failed to subscribe to the image we have of them. We value ourselves (and others) so highly that when our valuation isn’t reciprocated, it’s a slap in the face. There is nothing wrong with wanting more from people and being disappointed when we get nothing in return. I’m sure we all can remember the time we gave our friend a birthday present and when our birthday came around, we didn’t even get a Happy Birthday text. I’m sure we all can remember the time we supported someone at an event but when we needed their support, they were nowhere to be found. While such acts are inconsiderate and–dare I say– disrespectful, it doesn’t give us the license to hate.
We must balance our wants with a sense of realism.
People have their own lives. People are complex. At times they will show up and at times they will be too preoccupied with their own life and wellbeing. That is okay.
We need to stop creating scenarios that leads to destruction and drama.
What do I mean by this?
I mean that we sometimes aren’t considerate and forgiving. We are so quick to write people off. It is almost like we wait for people to screw up. Of course, no one wants to feel played, but the truth is that we have all been played just like we have all done the playing. It is important to do some self-reflection when we encounter people in our lives that don’t fit the image we have created for them. We must ask ourselves, “What about the situation and/or person make me feel this way? Is there something deeper that is causing me to react this way?”
You may be thinking, “why should I go to this length for anyone, especially someone who has shown me their true colors? Why should I give someone who has knowingly hurt me a second chance?”
Simply because the world is full of people who deserve a second chance, a third chance, and heck even a 100th chance.
The truth is, people will fail us. Our parents will fail us. Our partners and friends will fail us. In fact, we will fail us. It’s part of life. Just because someone fails us, doesn’t mean that the person is not a true friend or supporter. What is more important than the actual failure is coming to a realization about our expectations. This is where communication is key. Not just communication with others but more importantly communication within.
My point is that instead of “getting even” with people who have failed us, we must learn a better, more constructive way to deal with our disappointment. I propose that we just suck it up and deal with it. That involves recognizing that people are complex and multi-dimensional. We need to stop looking at things as black and white and recognize the gray.
We need to be realistic about our expectations of people.
Realist understand that life is full of good and bad moments. Realist don’t place people on some high unattainable pedestal. Realist surveys the scene and responds accordingly, giving people the benefit of the doubt. Realist recognize that people will fail us at one point or another and it’s not an attempt to hurt us, it’s simply because people are human and humans are flawed.