Living Up To Expectations
Have you ever been in a situation where you feel people have expectations of you? I don’t mean from your job or such like. I mean situations where people expect you to behave in a certain way because of what they’ve heard about you. Or the expectation that you should behave in a certain way towards other people - very often blowing smoke up their bum and expecting you to fawn to them simply to massage their already sizeable ego.
I’ll never forget the time that someone came up to me and said that I was nothing like they were expecting. When I challenged them as to what they were expecting they told me that someone they knew had said I was a certain type of person highlighting all the faults they perceived me to have. They basically listened to the stuff they were told and immediately formed an opinion of me - before they’d even met me! They judged my character based on hearsay and conjecture. They formed this judgement based purely on what they’d been told, rather than finding out the kind of person I am first hand. Why did the person feed them a line of BS in the first place? Why did the recipient believe and listen to what was being said? The truth is I don’t know the answer to those questions but I do know that it hurt me. My knee-jerk reaction was a vitriolic one. How dare this other person spread s*** about me?! How dare the person that got told this s*** believe it without knowing me.
But, I realised that we are all guilty of this in one way or another. It’s just most of us don’t actually try and ruin a person’s life by talking s*** about another person. We just believe all the stuff the media tells us or the stuff our friends share on social media ;-) (I know, I know we’re actually far too sensible to do that). But the power of a rumour is so, so strong it can irrevocably damage someone’s life. Yet people do it. People gossip and spread rumours to each other all the time that if their behaviour could make them metamorphose into someone they’d end up looking like Cissie and Ada! Just because someone doesn’t fit into a perceived mould doesn’t make them a bad person worthy of rumours. Just because someone does things in a different way to how others would do them, does’t mean that they are doing it wrong. And yet there are people out there who seem to derive great pleasure in telling people how to behave and getting the hump if you dare to be different or have your own opinion.
With all that said the most important thing to remember is that we are all constantly changing. Essentially we’re like chameleons. We modify to our surroundings. We learn new things. We change opinions. We grow. We shrink. Sometimes we laugh. Sometimes we cry. Something we used to like we no longer do. Something we hated is now our favourite. Our tastes change. In fact, if anyone stays exactly the same throughout their life, they’re missing out! Changing yourself for another person though, is never a good idea. Changing yourself because you’re not happy is different. If people don’t like you for you, then do you really need them in your life? Be a force of nature. Be a strong person. But modify your behaviour appropriately. It’s great to be enthusiastic and passionate about things, but if you’re a frigging tsunami, not many people are going to tolerate that. But then, does that matter? Are you doing it for them, or for yourself? It only becomes a problem if it doesn’t sit well with you. However, if everyone appears to have a problem with you maybe you need to look a bit deeper. Always look at your motivations.
We can’t please all of the people all of the time. Not everyone is going to like us. You’re not going to like everyone. Some people don’t like Tom Hanks, one of the nicest people on the planet. Some people like Donald Trump, the complete antithesis (in my opinion). If you go through your life trying to make everyone happy all that happens is that you become unhappy. Or unfulfilled. Some people will be nice to your face and slag you off behind your back. That’s their problem not yours. If people listen to them without hearing your side of the story, they’re the ones at fault…not you. But by the same token it’s about accountability. Is there some truth in what they’ve said? To thine own self, be true. Another’s opinion of you is none of your business. Your reputation is simply another’s judgement on you. Some people can be very judgemental and others not so much. We’re judgemental to a point - it’s just some are able to be more open minded.
Be A Comfortable Sweatshirt
Be the kind of person that you would want to be around. Be a comfortable person with whom you’d enjoy spending time. Don’t act like you’re the most important person in the room. Listen to learn not to react. All these things are great ways to make people like you - but more importantly they’ll help you like you. If you can’t stand being with yourself, how is anyone else going to? If you don’t enjoy your own company, how can you expect anyone else to enjoy it? If you don’t love yourself, in a healthy way, how is anyone else going to love you? The most important relationship you’ll ever have is with yourself - so make it a good one. If something’s not right then only you can do something about it. What that something is - is entirely up to you. If having hundreds of friends is important to you, ask yourself why? Personally, I’d prefer quality over quantity. I’d rather be a reliable, solid friend, than a flaky, inconsistent acquaintance…I’d like the same in my life - and thankfully, for the most part I do.