1. We expect other people to be honest and open with their intentions (especially romantically) but how many people are we keeping on the back burner? How many people do we leave lingering and wondering and waiting just because it’s more convenient for us?
2. We get angry at people who aren’t unconditionally kind. We try to teach children to be kind by punishing them when they’re not. We demand that other people are open-minded and loving, often in very close-minded and unloving ways.
3. We expect that if somebody is interested in us, they should have to make the first move. Nobody wants to be sitting around waiting for someone to ask them out or sweep them off their feet, but nobody wants to do the asking or sweeping either. When’s the last time you leaped out of your comfort zone to tell somebody you care about them? When’s the last time you definitively asked somebody on a date – not just to hang out? When’s the last time you did what you want others to do for you?
4. We don’t understand when people aren’t compelled by the cause(s) we feel most strongly about, but we complain the second somebody else’s passions inconvenience us in the form of too many ALS bucket challenge videos on our Facebook feed or ‘annoying’ political opinions that we don’t want to have to see or hear about each day.
5. We expect people to trust us right off the bat, but the reasons we don’t trust others are always justifiable.
6. When someone isn’t there for us unconditionally, or doesn’t know that we need them without us having to say so, we find it rude and selfish. But how often do we go out of our way to try to psychoanalyze and predict the actions and desires and intentions of the people in our lives?
7. We call people small-minded for making judgements about parts of our lives that they don’t know the whole of, but how often do we do that to strangers and coworkers and friends as a matter of daily conversation? We know that if people really knew us – really knew our whole story – they’d understand… and yet we run around judging others for things that we don’t understand, stories we don’t know the entirety of.
8. A common source of frustration is when people don’t take care of their relationship issues in a way that seems obvious to us – leave if the person isn’t perfect, ‘get over’ the things you can’t change… but how often is that the case in our lives? We don’t allow others to be messy, but expect them to lend a comforting shoulder when we’re in pieces.
9. In theory, we expect people to be accepting of all religions, yet if someone doesn’t understand our dogma or belief system or religious background, we consider them just ‘not at the level’ to understand it. We can claim that every path is valid, but many people don’t realize they believe theirs is just a little more effective.
10. We think people who judge others over petty things are terrible, but we’re judging them… for judging…
11. We expect people to not make jokes at our expense, despite the fact that often the cheapest shot at humor is in tearing other people down, and at the end of the day, we’re quick to go for the lazy (and mean) jibe that gets a laugh when we need to feel a little lifted.
12. We expect that people value themselves, and stop disparaging themselves but we also expect them to lift us up when we do it ourselves (or we even think our constant self-deprecation is endearing.)
13. We expect people to change overnight, whether it’s eating better and taking control of their health, getting out of a toxic relationship or job — whatever it is, when other people self-sabotage, we think a pep talk will do the trick. That’s rarely the case — we need only to look at our own detrimental habits to see that.
14. We roll our eyes and shoot dirty looks at people who don’t behave the way we think is considerate and appropriate – who are too loud in public, who are late or messy or in some way unkempt, yet when we’re tired and stressed and behind schedule, we don’t care if we loudly take a work call while on line for coffee, or hold up a waitress or cashier to accommodate a random need. It’s fine when we’re loudly laughing and talking over brunch because we’re excited, but it’s annoying when someone else does the same thing. It’s only not a nuisance if we’re doing it.
15. We expect complete honesty from others, and yet when that ‘honesty’ is something we don’t want to hear, it’s ‘mean,’ and when it’s our turn to tell the truth, we avoid doing so until there’s no other choice.
16. We expect unconditional love from the people who are closest to us, as if that will be enough to make up for the fact that we do not love ourselves.