It has been one of those weeks where I’ve been bad at life. I mean really bad. Like irritated-I-want-to-punch-all-people-in-the-face-because-they-are-all-annoying-and-I-am-perfect bad. I could blame it on the hormones (rollercoaster anyone?). I could blame it on lack of sleep (3-5 hours is healthy, right?). I could also blame it on the rain. (It’s always appropriate to mention Milli Vanilli, just in case you were wondering. If you don’t believe me, just ask my friend John. He’ll agree with me.)
In all honesty, the reason this has been a rough week is because I am really good at letting other people adversely affect my emotions and mood. Boo. This is particularly gross when it’s people I care about. Which would make sense to a point, but really? I’m 30. I need to
probably grow up in this area.
I wish I had an amazing formula to get over this. But it boils down to letting go of something that is big and nasty and ruins a lot of things.
I just shivered, and not in a good way.
See – I’m realizing if I care about someone (good) I’m going to care what they think about me (also good – to a point). However, if I have an expectation of how I think they should care about me? It gets messy. Feelings get hurt. Misunderstanding abounds. Disappointment sets in. Nasty, nagging thoughts settle in my mind. I start stewing. I focus on how this person doesn’t really care or if “they” were a good friend they’d show me through x, y and z. Pretty soon, I’m wading through an Amazon Rainforest’s worth of emotional junk that didn’t need to be there in the first place.
Donald Miller wrote a great, very simple blog post yesterday about not allowing drama in life. I don’t consider myself to be a dramatic person in the sense that … you know what? It’s useless to finish that sentence. Because I am an INTENSELY dramatic person. And it all starts in my emotional noggin. My imagination running absolutely amok with no boundaries in sight.
I wish I could say this will be fixed tomorrow. We all know it won’t be. However – it’s something I’m working on. While expectations happen, I need to work on the reality of mine. Am I asking things of other people I wouldn’t even ask of myself? Is the issue not so much the person in front of me but my desire to gain happiness from them? What do realistic expectations look like for me and others? These are the questions I’ll be asking myself. (Hopefully…)
So what about you? Do you struggle with setting unrealistic expectations for people? Have you learned to create healthy distance when it comes to letting someone affect your emotions? If so, how? I’d love some thoughts…