Last night I was packing,
I saw a picture of yours.
A good one.
A happy one.
Today I looked at it again.
I don’t miss you as much anymore.
But your face will always be
one of the few faces
seared in my mind forever.
I choose to remember
the good memories I have of you.
Tomorrow I may still bleed.
I may still cry.
I may still hope
to spend time with you again.
I may still remember the pain.
But I won’t lose myself again.
I’m reclaiming the void
where my heart once was.
How can they do that?
Throwing away what I can
only dream about?
… from five to one as I hold you tight in my heart and in my mind, one last time because…
Five. I want to stop thinking I’m worthless because you left me hanging just like that. I refuse to be seen just the way you see or think of me because you never really bothered to know me.
Four. I wish to say your name again without feeling sad, without feeling hurt. I want to say your name again like it never meant anything at all.
Three. I have to stop replaying the day we first met. The night we first kissed. I want to stop thinking what could’ve been if I just left it at hello. I want to learn to accept everything that happened and why it was too easy for you to just end it that way.
Two. I want to stop avoiding my life because of the past. I want to go spend time in a cafe, restaurant or anywhere without the fear of running into you.
One. I need to accept that it’s my fault all of these happened. Trust has failed me many times in the past but I still chose to trust you then. And I will still continue to trust that someday, I will meet someone who will choose to stay.
And now, I’m letting go…
Most people get upset when their expectations are not met. I guess it’s normal to feel that way for a while. However, for myself, I’ve learned that if you want to be happier, successful and have a stress-free (or less stressful) life, it’s very important not to expect anything from anyone specially things we too, are not willing to do for ourselves. We all are following different paths in life so it’s quite understandable when other people’s actions/behaviors don’t always align with ours.
Very often, many of our disappointments come from misguided, erroneous or even unwise expectations. True enough, it’s also hard not to expect anything in life, but we’ve seen it many times too, that life is not always what you’ve planned or wanted it to be. Moreover, people don’t always behave the way we want them to. We can always hope for the best but expect less or expect the worst.
So today, I thought it would be nice to share with you a few things I’ve learned to stop expecting from other people.
1. Stop expecting others to understand you.
This is one of the very first things I’ve stopped expecting from other people at an early age. It’s one of the most important things I did for myself. It helped me a great deal. As someone often branded as weird, strange, naughty, crazy or stubborn when I’m just being myself, I used to expect that someday people will understand me. Expecting others to understand me always leads me to disappointment though. It used to make me upset for hours or sometimes even lead to fights. But as soon as I’ve accepted the fact that I don’t need them to understand me because I very much understand myself, life has never been better. And I had always been the same weird, strange, naughty, crazy and (not so) stubborn (anymore) girl that I am.
It’s important to remember that not everyone will understand you and they don’t have to. You may be unwanted by some, but you may also be priceless for others. So always keep in mind your worth and spend your time with people who value you.
2. Stop expecting others to agree with you all the time.
People have different opinions about everything and it is very unrealistic to expect them to agree with you all the time. You can try to convince them to agree with you about the subject in hand but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they will concur with what you’ve said. Not everything that seems right to you is right for them, too. Opinions vary. So it’s perfectly fine if they don’t always agree with you, besides, you also don’t agree with them all the time, right?
3. Stop expecting people to return the favor.
The golden rule states that, “Do unto others what you want others to do unto you.” In reality, this isn’t always true. Not all people will show you kindness the way you show it to them. Many assholes and bitches who are not happy with themselves will treat you unkindly/cruelly despite the kindness you show them. So if you want to do favors to people, do it from your heart, do it because you want to without expecting that they’d do the same for you later on.
4. Stop expecting people to respect you when you don’t respect yourself.
While it is important to be nice to other people, it is also essential to be nice to yourself. Never beg people for respect, attention or love. You give yourself these things. Respect yourself, pay attention to yourself, love yourself. At the same time, respect others. They might not respect you as you respect them, but respect them anyway.
5. Stop expecting people to know what you’re thinking.
If you want to say something, tell them. Don’t expect others to know what’s in your mind. People can’t read minds. So you need to talk. You need to effectively communicate so people will understand and know what you want or what’s in your head. Just say it.
6. Stop expecting people to change overnight.
You can’t change people. I guess, you shouldn’t even try to. Personally, it’s either you accept them as they are or live without them. People change but that is totally up to them and when when they do without others forcing them to do so, it also changes the way you see them.
7. Stop expecting people to live or do things according to your standards or your idea of who they are.
Allow people to be themselves and stop expecting them to act or behave according to your standards. Appreciate them and respect them for who they are. People’s morals and ethics differ. Right and wrong are not always clearly defined, so as long as you expect others to do things according to what you think is right will often leave you in frustration.
8. Stop expecting people to be always okay.
Every now and then, life throws a curve ball on us and sometimes, other people take far too long to cope with these difficulties. We deal with our problems in different ways and others suck at it sometimes but we all have good days and bad days. It’s okay not to be okay all the time. Have a little more compassion for others.
Most of the time, my filter doesn’t work. I have to say what I need to say. Not to humiliate people but I just need to speak my mind. I can be brutally frank and it’s too late to care (sometimes) how people would feel when I say something. Yes, I can be a total bitch sometimes (or often, that depends on how you define a bitch!)) but I’m not about to change anytime soon, whether that makes people like me or not.
We grew up believing that we need to belong somewhere in this world. The need to be a part of something else, of something bigger than ourselves. And alongside this, the need to be liked or wanted by people.
I remember a panel interview I had when I was just starting to create a life of my own back in Manila. While waiting for my turn (since I always arrive early in any appointments because I hate being late and people who come late), the HR coordinator came in the waiting room telling me and the other interviewees some information she called “tips” about the interviewers. I remember her saying, “Miss M is this kind of woman to work with so you should be like this. Mr. H on the other hand is like this. Another Mr. H is the same. Mr. O is pretty much like this and that. You should adjust to what they require of you, change your attitude to please and impress them and make them like you.”
That made me think the whole time I was waiting. And I’m still reminded of it even these days when some salesmen visit the office offering their company products and services. I’ve encountered a number of salesmen selling their products explaining the features, offers and benefits that come with it and when we start asking whether the product has this or that, even those that are NOT actually included becomes suddenly a part of what they’re offering. Later on, after buying and using the product and you contact them again because of malfunctions whatsoever, it becomes a problem. Why? Because of the unnecessary promises and warranty or replacements promised that the salesman mentioned comes with the product doesn’t actually exist or can not be actually included in the item in the first place. In short, they just tried to please you or convince you at that time in order to sell their items. They’re salesmen after all! But the problem it created afterwards does not only affect the salesman himself and the customer, it could create a problem for his superiors and the company itself.
So the same thing pretty much happened in that panel interview. Three of us were interviewed by five interviewers. It was pretty funny to me because the other two interviewees were inconsistent and kept changing their answers in order to please every single one of the interviewers. They seem to be reinventing themselves every time another interviewer asked them a question. They turned out to be ass-kissers in the interview. I think that’s terrible. I mean, they seem to be not sure of themselves or what they’ve got to offer. If I were the interviewer, I’d be second-guessing whether or not I can depend on them to do the job I’m hiring them for. I guess if you try to be everything to everyone, you lose the unique person that you are. Every time you change yourself or what you’re offering just to please people or whenever dismissal is looming in simply shows (for me) that you’re not clear about yourself, what you are offering and/or the value of it.
Anyway, they picked me for the job. Three of the interviewers pretty much liked me, the other two clearly did not. But I didn’t accept the job offer. Why? Just because.
Being on the receiving end of a shitty situation recently, I’ve realized that I still don’t care (and wouldn’t care) if people don’t like me. It’s safer that way as far as I’m concerned. It allows me to be true to myself and what I feel and that’s all that matters to me now. I can freely express myself regardless of what other people think or say. This is me, I’m clear about who I am and what I want and what I can do or offer to people. If people don’t like it, it’s okay. If they do, then good! 🙂 I don’t have to change for other people. If ever I will change, I’d have a pretty good reason for myself why I will.
Sometimes, it’s not easy to say no to people that we end up saying yes even if we don’t want to. Maybe it’s human nature, most of us don’t want to feel selfish by saying no, sometimes we just choose to be kind so we say yes. I’ve always believed I have all the right to say no without feeling guilty. As long as I say no in a nice way, I think that doesn’t make me a jerk. And when people don’t like me, it gives me more power to say no wherever and whenever I need to a lot easier.
One other good thing when people don’t like me is that I learn more about myself. It teaches me what I can become, what I can do, thus, giving me more self-confidence and other people’s influence become lesser.
Knowing that I’m worthy of other people’s energy is another good thing when people don’t like me. 😉 For them to be using their precious time talking about me probably means I’m somehow affecting them. Oh, that’s flattering! 😉
Bottom line is, I don’t really care if people like me or not. I make no apology for that. People usually love me or hate me all my life and I actually really love this about myself. Not everyone’s gonna like me and that’s okay. People’s judgments have no bearing on me, what they say about me is none of my business. I choose not to waste my time on people who don’t like me. I’m not on this earth for them. I’ll just continue doing my thing.
Happy day, homo sapiens!
Social media has made it possible for people to become friends to anyone around the globe merely through the click of a button. I think it’s generally a good thing. My need for friendship isn’t too much but once I decide to build one, I intend to make it genuine as much as I can. Somehow, maintaining friendships can be hard work but so worth it at the same time because our friendships are one of the most influential and essential parts of our life. Recently, I’ve been pondering quite often about my friends and friendships. The friends worth keeping and friendships worth saving. The fact of the matter is that, my social circle is quite noticeably shrinking. I don’t see that as a bad thing. I actually think I quite understand now what they mean with “less is more” and “quality over quantity.”
I first arrived in Kuwait on the 1st of March, 2009. I have a variety of friends back home but very few real ones. They’re some of the best people I’ve met. The kind of friends for keeps. A few weeks since, my friendships have changed a lot. I’ve met different people of different nationalities. Most of the friendships/connections built were situational. Most needed context to make sense. Some stayed longer while some had a shorter shelf life. I still do wish them well now but I don’t intend to reconnect. Luckily, I also get to meet a few that didn’t need any context but exist in any given situation, people who are always there during my ups and downs, stayed during my best and my worst days, the type that lasts.
Several times, I let go of a few friends while a few others let go of me as well. I didn’t think I was being selfish to let go of them just like that but mind you, it wasn’t always easy to put an end to it. However, given the world we live in and the values instilled in us, I knew it was necessary.
A couple of years afterwards, two of my closest friends abruptly ended our friendship. I first received a message from one of them telling me never to call her again and a few days later, I received pretty much the same message from the other. Sure I’ve made mistakes and dealt with things the wrong way. We had misunderstandings at times which is pretty normal in any relationships but why they suddenly wanted to end the friendship, until now, I still don’t fully understand.
Your peace is more important than driving yourself crazy trying to understand why something happened the way it did.
My heart ached. It really did. Breaking up with friends is just as painful as any other relationship break-ups there is. So after months of failing to know how I’ve wronged them, I stopped. I thought maybe knowing the answer may not satisfy me just the same and I don’t want to drive myself crazy thinking why. I just finally allowed the hurt to help me grow. It was sure a painful way to end an almost decade of friendship but I’ve decided to just let go and move on. I still sometimes think of them though and wonder, did they give up easily on me? Or did I give up easily on them?
I love my friends, really, I do. Friends are one of the most beautiful gifts of being alive. They help shape our lives one way or the other. They cheer, support, help and see the best in each other. Friendships that have depth and true understanding is one among the essential elements of a blessed life. And I feel blessed to have a handful of them. Interestingly enough, some of us drifted apart at some point for some reasons, both inevitable and necessary, but later found each other again and our bonds became stronger. Sadly though, not all our friends give us that good effect. Some lie. Some betray. Then it’s difficult to rebuild trust and loyalty once again. So sometimes it’s better that they end. And a lot of my friendships are meeting its end nowadays.
Whichever and however way we choose our friends/friendships, I think it’s vital that we offer a meaning in each other’s lives. It’s nice to think that we fulfill them and they fulfill us. My friends mean something to me in different ways and play different roles in my life. I do appreciate, value and respect each one of them. Be that as it may, I personally don’t find any reason to work on a friendship that leaves me unfulfilled. More so, friendships out of habit or obligation. That’s just not fair and friendships are voluntary so I think there’s nothing wrong in ending friendships that doesn’t suit you in a positive way anymore.
Sometimes, too, we just outgrow our friends. At some point we realize that they’re not good for us because they bring us down or whittle at our confidence every so often. Some friendships evolve with us, but some do not. I will not apologize for evolving closer to my true self and evolving past their comfort zones. We change as we age and grow. So I think it’s just right to let go of such friendships and accept that it’s over.
Other times, too, we have this friend who always swings the conversation back towards him/herself and has no interest in what we have to say. I’ve met a number of them kind and I just avoid them as much as I could and luckily, they themselves stop talking to me, too.
Moreover, there’s betrayal. As it is with all kinds of relationships, nothing could murder friendships faster than betrayal. It hurts a lot to be betrayed. It hurts all the more to end a friendship because of betrayal. I no longer see any point of saving a friendship when one betrays the other.
From time to time, psychological or emotional issues also become reasons why friends drift apart. It’s important that we maintain everything balanced in our friendships. Support for each other. Will to help in making each other better. Give and take. Trust. Unfortunately, there are times when these factors shift its balance and no longer serve one or the other in a worthwhile, beneficial, balanced or positive way. One typical example is a change in fortune among friends. The manner how we deal with situations like this isn’t always the same, thus, causing friends to drift apart. Where envy or jealousy didn’t exist before starts to gradually emerge. It’s nice to have friends who are always there when we are at our worst but I just don’t get them when they leave us in times when our fate changes for the better. (More of this on another entry.) So I suppose, it all boils down to who we pick as friends in the first place.
I’ve also met a lot of people who just befriend you because they need you. We don’t usually see this right away at the beginning of friendships but eventually, it shows. They take, take, take. And you give, give, give. Then they leave you. They build it when they need it, and break it when they don’t.
Here’s the thing, it is important to always try our best to see things from different perspectives before we make rush judgments whether to still keep these friends or completely cut our ties with them. After all, we all make mistakes. Some of us (myself included) don’t like to rely on anyone for anything to get us through life’s hardships but perhaps there’s nothing wrong in giving the friendship a second chance, be a bit forgiving and understanding maybe, because throwing away a friendship can’t be that easy. Every kind of friendship adds something to our lives, good or bad, it’s just up to us how we are going to let it affect us.