I couldn’t help but read an article from http://www.huffingtonpost.com called 12 Poisonous Thoughts That Are Sabotaging Your Life, I’m not sure how much credibility I give to articles like this but I found these 12 points to be true in that I could most definitely relate to some of them and knew other people would probably relate to the article the same way I had.
I found three points to be especially true for me regarding other people. They were: 1. Having to high expectations for other people 2. Caring too much what other people thought of me or feeling like I had to prove myself to other people and 3. Thinking that you can change other people. I immediately thought of examples in my life, especially recently, that these three sabotagers could be applied. Most of my frustrations relate to having an illness where I look and am only healthy some of the time but that you can’t visibly tell that I am unhealthy the rest of the time. Recently, the events have related to a certain person I call A, my boyfriend.
I most definitely have high expectations for A when it comes to how he treats me and how he deals with my illness. I expect him to keep in contact with every couple of days when he’s out-of-town working and I expect him to talk or text with me everyday when he is here in town. Are these expectations to high? I’m not sure. I don’t think so since communication is key in all relationships.
I also expect A to have conversations with me and not just blow off my texts or chatting since this is one of the main ways we communicate. I have told him that talking really helps me and it almost ended the entire relationship before because the communication became so bad between us. The sabotaging article would have me believe I’m in the wrong because I have expectations but I counter that with what would happen if I didn’t have expectations? I don’t think what I’m asking qualifies as high expectations for a relationship do you?
What might be high expectations, too high expectations, are the one’s I need him to
know regarding my illness. Specifically, the fact that I can’t go out twice in one day. So, if I spend 3 to 4 hours with my brother watching a movie I can’t go clubbing at night for that amount of time or less at night. I don’t expect him, by this point, to get mad at me because I just am too fatigued to do a second activity after the first, it’s pretty much impossible for me. But people in general have trouble understanding this concept so why should I expect any different from A? Maybe I’m being unreasonable?
I also think sometimes that I think I care too much what other people think of me. I just want to be liked and I want people to care about me the way I care about them. But this isn’t always possible. I know I shouldn’t take situations so personally but when A told me that he didn’t want to talk to me because I decided not to go out with him I cared what he thought. I cared that he felt this was actually a choice he thought I made when really it wasn’t much of a choice for me, I already had plans with my brother. I see my brother less than my boyfriend. And I cared too much that A thought I was making choices and that he didn’t want to talk to me because I wasn’t going out with him.He was having a childish breakdown.
In general, I think I just take things to personally with A and with my friends. I’m always trying to get people to understand why even though I look healthy, I’m not always healthy. Often, I don’t feel good at all and there’s a point I can’t handle things anymore. So, it’s become an obsession, hoping people will just understand why I am the way I am. Why sometimes I just can’t go to that event because it is during a time I am sicker, tired, and have less energy. So I think that I have to just let things slide and realize people aren’t perfect. People say words they shouldn’t, and even I’m not perfect in that department. Maybe I can just be more reasonable regarding caring what people think of me and grow a thicker skin..
And this has a lot to do with knowing that I can’t change other people, only they can change themselves. People can understand you but sometimes they have to want to understand you and step outside their own lives. I can’t change that my boyfriend was jealous I was spending time with my brother and not him. He’s never been close to his siblings they way I’m close to mine. And I’m never going to be able to
change the fact A is just not a planner. He doesn’t often plan ahead and it’s a challenge for him to do that with me because I am a planner. I have to be a planner in order to fit everything especially ‘rest’ into my life. So, I get mad that A makes these last minute plans and expects me to comply and I should just not spend the time worrying that I couldn’t make it to this particular night because I can’t change him. I can’t change the fact he should have made plans earlier with me if he wanted me to go. And I can’t change the fact that I already had plans that day.
It was a fascinating article in many ways and I couldn’t help but find myself relating to it. And maybe I can adjust myself and try to have lower expectations of people, care less what people think of me, and try not to change people but accept them for who they are.