Lately I've noticed something about how the people in my life interact with me - they make minimal effort. (please enjoy semi-relatable, cheesy Pinterest quotes throughout this post)
Now this post may seem a bit bratty, but in the spirit of my resolution - I don't care. I spend so much time making sure I'm being flexible and easy to work with that I have lost sight of what I want.
Example: I may be looking forward to a dinner with a friend for a week and the friend calls to cancel last minute. I'm crushed, but I reassure the friend over and over that it's totally fine and I was hoping to eat something I already had anyway. Sure that the guilt from canceling on me is enough, I never put extra pressure on my friends.
Example 2: I want to hang out with a friend and just be normal, but I am the mom of every friendship so I end up just trying to make them feel better about whatever crisis they are in. Which is nice for them, but is a pretty emptying process when no one returns the favor.
Example 3: I spoke to a friend today about exchanging gifts. The friend said, "I'm so sorry - but it's not wrapped." Determined to be the easy-going chick I sell myself to be, I say "don't worry about it! Yours isn't wrapped either." Though I should've said "Yours isn't wrapped either YET" because why wouldn't you wrap a present? I love wrapping! Why did I pretend it wasn't important? I want wrapped presents, why didn't I just say that?
Three take-aways from these scenarios. (in no particular order)
1. Maybe I do these things because I'm afraid that if I'm inflexible I will eventually exhaust my friends because they feel like they can't do anything right. (which probably stems from my own insecurities that I "never do anything right.")
2. I am saying out loud that these things don't bother me, but secretly they do and inside I feel offended by an expectation that wasn't even clearly explained to the other person. Definitely unfair of me to do that. The truth is that I have standards and too many people don't concern themselves with giving their friendship with me a little extra effort sometimes.
3. I don't think people can actually measure up to the expectations I have for them in my head so I set the bar SUPER low hoping they will stumble over it and not totally ruin my mood. But what I'm actually doing is being dishonest about what I demand for myself and not really helping them be a better friend - to me or in general.
So what am I going to do about it?
Be aggressive about what I want. Stop being afraid. And have enough resilience to not get totally bummed out when someone doesn't jump a higher bar of standards I've set. Demand excellence from myself and demand more from others.
Do I expect people to anticipate my every need? No. I'm too independent for that.
Would it be nice to have someone follow through with plans they've made with me, let me know in advance if something isn't working out, or just let me know I'm thought about every once in a while? Yeah, that wouldn't be horrible.