Monday, October 11, 2010

great expectations

Or - not so great expectations, as the case may be!

Being the age of 34, by now I'm starting to realise a few things about myself.  I have expectations of people sometimes that aren't fair.  I like people to be like me.  And when they're not, sometimes I feel hurt and wonder why they're being like that.  Crazy, isn't it?

Let me explain.  I am a very social person and my idea of hell is being on a deserted island.  I like time by myself, don't get me wrong, but I enjoy it for recharging my batteries, and don't like it if it goes for more than a day or so.  Being a stay at home mumsy, I find I need to get out and about at least once a day with Alex, so I can interact with others.  Otherwise, when Richard comes home, he's nearly knocked over by the barrage of words that comes flooding out of my mouth...."and then I did this, and then I did that, I saw a cat that chased a bird, then Alex did something cute, etc etc etc".  Richard is a soul who doesn't really crave conversation in the way that I do, and finds this generally offputting.  As you would!

Anyway, I am ok at the developing of friendships. I can be caring and sympathetic, and pride myself on being there for people (hey, I am discovering good stuff as well as bad stuff here!!).  But where it all comes unglued is when I haven't heard from someone for a while. Or if I feel like I'm doing all the running.  If phonecalls go unanswered and unreturned.  I feel hurt, then upset.  I feel like I don't matter to them.  I've come to realise that I have friends who don't need to communicate as much as I do, who I have to make a point of *not* ringing, because it only upsets me when they don't call me back.  They've constantly reassured me that they do love me, but that they know they're crap at keeping in touch.  So, these friends, I know are still in my life, if only on the periphery.

The rest of my friends, especially those in the mummy trenches, I kinda like to see at least once a week or once a month.  I like to keep in touch with people and find out how they're going.  I wish I could be some other way, but if friends continually make excuses or cancel on me then I feel like they don't really want to be my friend anymore.  I struggle with those people who get so busy that they can't catch up.  I never get that busy.  I make time.  But I really have to stop expecting my friends to be exactly like me!!  I need to just let go and let them have their lives without wondering why that text wasn't returned or that email wasn't answered. 

I hesitate to blog about this, because I know it makes me sound somewhat pathetic or neurotic.  I have plenty of people who I share my everyday with, but I seem to get caught up in wondering why those "too busy" people don't contact me - instead of focusing on those who do contact me, and those who I see and enjoy time with.  This is something I'm going to really work on, because it cost me a wonderful friendship last year.  Instead of talking about how I felt, I just got madder and madder, until in the midst of a dreadful bout of PMS, I unleashed a tirade on a dear friend.  She was in a very vulnerable place at the time, and has been unable to forgive me.  I get that.  I know I can be hard work.  So I'm trying to get rid of my expectations of others and give them space to be them.  It's hard.  Cause I want everyone to do what I do - because I'd understand that.  I understand myself.  Other people? not so much!!

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