Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Accepting Disappointments

"Sometimes we expect more from someone than they are able or willing to give. It’s easy to see who we want a person to be and ignore all the signs that point to who they actually are. Give people enough time and they always reveal their true selves. Whether you choose to accept the truth is up to you. Ultimately, you can't blame someone for being who they are. The fault lies with you, for believing they were different." ~ 5 Degrees of Comedy ~ Carlos Wallace

My friend Carlos said it so perfectly this morning. (Thank you Carlos.) There are many facets to people to which we sometimes fail to see for many reasons. Speaking for myself, I personally like to give the benefit of the doubt when it comes to those I care about. I want to believe that their intentions are good. I want to believe that they would never hurt me. I want to believe they would never betray me...and so on and so on. Then after a few disappointments, I realized something: they’re human. They’re like me. I know I’ve disappointed some people in my life that I regret and in some cases, I don’t regret because that was my heartfelt choice - not to hurt them intentionally - but to look out for my well-being, even if that meant saying “no” to a friendship or not being there for someone when I was needed most. So now, whenever I get that tinge of disappointment from someone in my life, I try to put myself into their shoes and perhaps, ask some internal questions of my own: Were they going through something personal? Maybe they have their own set of issues to tend to? And if it’s a friendship (whether related or not) that’s been recently reunited, maybe that person isn’t ready to ‘chitchat’ and do lunch yet, possibly having a few resentments to work on? You don't know what's going on in that person's life. It’s all about comfort levels. Reading too much into something can really put a distorted view on whatever situation you’re upset about. Accept it, don’t overanalyze and leave the blame game home because in reality - nobody knows the truth except for that person who had disappointed you. Of course, every situation is different. I recently started learning this valuable life lesson.

"If you're betrayed, release disappointment at once. By that way, the bitterness has no time to take root." ~Toba Beta

The one thing I know is, even in relationships, I don’t care if you’ve been with someone for one month or twenty years - nobody knows anyone fully. You always hear someone after a divorce say, “I thought I knew him/her.” No. You’d like to think that you do. I think once we ‘think’ we know someone fully, we put into our minds that they’re ‘predictable’ and sometimes, downright boring, when in fact, there can be a whole different person lying underneath to which you never chose to tap into. I still tell my wife that I’ve known for over sixteen years that I’m still getting to know her. There are so many different and wonderful aspects about her, that in a sense, it would be presumptuous to say, “Oh well I know how she is.” With anything in life, the day you stop asking questions is the day you stop learning. People change. Hearts change. Minds change. It’s up to us whether we can adapt to every single situation. And let me tell ya, it’s hard sometimes because change can be the biggest stressor for anyone. “We grew apart” is a big reason why people separate. Even friendships, “We just went our own separate ways.” And that’s fine. As long as you accept it, don’t overanalyze and leave the blame game at home, you’ll be better suited for the next round of “disappointments” that cross your path.

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Monkey Man said...

Well phrased. How can we know someone so well, when change is always afoot. Not only for them but for ourselves.

Xmichra said...

I know that I get criticism when I say this, but I find I do say often : Yes, as far as I know I am in a very good relationship.

Why do I say that? Because I only know what I personally know. I am fairly positive that My husband feels the same way - but if the universe crashed down around me tomorrow I would know that it wasn't from fault of me ignoring something or pretending that life is just perfect. It's not perfect, things can happen, but I am pretty sure I'm good.

My mom in specific hates when I say things like that - she thinks it brings on unwanted juju. But I have thought like this for many years and think that in some way it is actually good juju (or what have you) to not just take things for granted and to brag or go on and on about how you think you are.

It's all perspective, mixed with emotion and a dash of uncertainty. Life :)

Deb said...

MM, I will never tell anyone, "Oh I know you well" - it's very presumptuous and for me, untrue. :)

Oh I definitely think there's a difference in knowing your partner loves you as opposed to fully knowing every single aspect, every untold (harmless) secret & desires, etc. I know my wife loves me too, she shows it by her actions, as well as words. But I can happily say that I'm still learning so much about her, which makes our relationship 'new' in a way. That's so funny about your mom thinking it's a 'juju' for saying that - it's cute. But you get the point of my post. :) And you're absolutely right - it's all about perspective and a dash of uncertainty that makes relationships what they are.

Just_because_today said...

One fact I resisted for years is that we can change a person. We'd like to believe it will be different for us, but eventually we realize it's not different, they are not who we want them to be, but who they always were. Carlos and you- right on.
I don't think either we can totally know a person, but sometimes we can know them better than others just not totally. Like we know they like the Basement and cheap wine ;)