Today I would like to talk about having expectations for your friends and relationships in general. I was told that I have too many expectations for people if they are my friends. It was pointed out that I should go into a relationship with no expectations and I would lessen my chances of getting hurt or betrayed. The person who told me this is the most trusted member of my very small circle, my husband. He has seen me lose so called friends due to betrayal of trust. I trust what he says, however I disagree to an extent.
Being an introvert, it is not easy for me to make friends. I approach friendships cautiously and with sincere intentions of making a lasting relationship. I start out expecting that the other person is just as invested as I and they will follow the golden rule. Since I am big on loyalty, I want the same from my friends. I don’t think it is too much to ask for. It has been made clear to me through my past experiences that many people do not feel the same way. There have been times when I thought I must have the word gullible written on my forehead because I always find myself in situations where I think I have a friend, only to find they are using me for their own personal gain. Either I am horrible at reading people; people in general are bad or a combination of the two.
What is it about human nature that causes people to deceive others for their own personal gain? I was always taught to give of myself and to put others and their needs first. God knows I am not perfect, but I try to be a trustworthy person who gives of her time and effort. I do not use the term friend loosely. If you made it through my stringent force field of protection, you are considered a chosen one. In my mind you are like family which means you have my love, honor and respect. I will go to battle for you and with you and no one can say anything negative about you in my presence. Because I know that friendship is a two-way street, I only ask for loyalty, love and respect in return. In my world these are normal expectations and should not waiver. I am aware that people have faults and we all make mistakes, however making a conscious choice to betray a friend is something that I cannot tolerate.
I had a chance recently to take my husband’s advice on my approach to meeting new people and decided I would go in without any expectations. This took a lot for me to do, but I wanted to see if this approach would work. The new person was a co-worker of my husband’s and they got along great so he wanted me to meet this person. At first meeting I thought this person was funny, bright and liked to have fun. We were off to a good start, but again I reminded myself not to have expectations. I let the relationship develop naturally and went about my normal life. We have been hanging out here and there for over a year, texting and an occasional phone call. In fact we’ve met his partner and the four of us have hung out together.
A short time ago, my husband and I were invited to dinner with the co-worker and his partner. When we arrived there was the normal greeting and then the bomb dropped almost immediately. They had invited us to dinner because the co-worker had an agenda. Silly me, I thought we were going to have dinner with people who we were working towards building a friendship, but instead the co-worker was plotting how he could advance his career and wanted to involve my husband in the scheme. I could tell this was going in the wrong direction right away because my “Spidy Senses” were going off. This guy actually wanted my husband to put in a request for a transfer to a different city so they could continue to work together in the same office. You see the co-worker is my husband’s supervisor and my hubby is great at his job. In fact he won an award at the corporate meeting last year. My husband runs his properties like a well oiled machine and in my opinion there is none better. What struck me as odd was the co-worker orchestrated this transfer for him because of a former client and he was the one receiving all of the benefits. He could keep his top rated employee, he was getting a bonus, and he was gaining brownie points with the corporate office for bringing in new business. The co-worker’s life would have no negative impact at all because he lives half way between the current city and the one he was being transferred to. His commute would be the same time and he did not have to pack up his life and move. On the other hand, he expected my husband and me to pack up our lives and move to another city that we knew absolutely nothing about on a whim just to please him. There was no mention of a raise or bonus for my husband. Not to mention, we had just moved into our new place about three weeks prior and the co-worker was well aware of this fact. Of course he said it’s up to you Lisa putting all of the pressure on me and thinking I was going to cave in to his demands because he was my husband’s supervisor. Clearly he did not know me as well as he thought! The old me would have given him a few choice words in an elevated tone that would have left his head spinning, but I have been working on myself and have found my “Happy Place”. Therefore I just looked at him with the eyes of a loaded .44 and kept it civil. Needless to say his little plan did not come to fruition and I realized what kind of person he really was. I did not cut him off, but I learned what he was about and I now know he is not the type of person I would call a friend. At best he can be an associate and I will avoid interactions with him if I can.
As a result of this relationship, I have determined that I should continue to keep my circle extremely small. It’s ok to interact with people, but not to set expectations on how they handle friendship. I will continue to be the same loyal friend and now I know I can’t control what others do. The key is to take your time getting to know people and their true colors will show. Don’t get into the “friend zone” so quickly to avoid feelings of betrayal. I am just going to do me, live life to the fullest and let others do the same. No more expectations! Thanks Honey for the advice.