Too often we short change what we say and do. Or we don't even realize the impact we have on people. Oh, if only all my impacts were positive ones. I cringe at the negatives ones which I may or may not know about it. My resolve is strengthened to have more of the +s and less of the -s, starting right now.
I'm learning that what is expected may actually be what happens. People can rise to meet your expectations of them. This is a powerful force that leads to improvement or destruction of a person. If you express an expectation of doubt or a lack of confidence eventually you will see those results. The same is true if you believe in someone, show confidence in them, or expect them to succeed, eventually you will see those results.
Although you cannot make decision for others, but you can certainly have an impact on them. You can find out a lot about a person's character by observing what they do. What someone does shows who they really are. Based on their actions...if they line up with their words then you can tell a lot about a person's integrity.
Over the years I have learned a lot about myself. I have found that my lack of participation has been misunderstood in many circumstances. Some have thought that I felt that I was better than those around me by not saying anything or getting involved. Some have thought that I just couldn't be bothered or didn't want to participate. To be perfectly honest, sometimes I didn't want to participate. BUT for the most part, my lack of participation was more of a defense mechanism because I didn't want to get hurt and I knew of your doubts and lack of confidence in me. So, I merely stayed out of the way to avoid meeting your expectations. Nothing more.
Sometimes you want someone to think differently about you. Sometimes you want someone to feel a certain way about you. Sometimes you want someone to care more. We all have relationships in our lives we want to be different. One of the hardest lessons to learn is that you have to let people make their own decisions. You can drive yourself completely crazy trying to control what others do because people ultimately do what they want to do. You can try to make sense of situations and replay things over and over again in your head. You can go back and forth telling your side of a story. But no matter what, people will do what they want to do.
This can be hard to come to terms with. The trick is to surround yourself with the right kind of people. Spend time on the relationships with those who reciprocate how you feel. Invest your efforts with those who appreciate and care. Putting time and effort into negative or one-sided relationships only leads to pain. It takes two people for any relationship. You have to realize you cannot carry the relationship alone.
So what do you do when you find yourself in a one-sided, negative, controlling, or manipulative relationship with a friend or family member? How should you deal with this kind of relationship? Should you stop surrounding yourself with these people? If these relationships only lead to pain, do you "wash-your-hands" of these friends or family members? This can be a difficult situation to find yourself in.
I do not have all the answers for that question. This is something I am still learning about. I will say this, so far I have learned a lot. I wouldn't say I have learned a lot about other people as much as I have learned more about myself. I have learned that while I have a few things to work on (okay a lot to work on - I admit it), so do a lot of other people. I have also learned that there are a lot of people out there that think a whole lot about themselves.....to a fault! Not in a good way, for sure. BUT there are also a lot of people out there that think a lot of themselves, but do not flaunt it. People who do not force their adventures, views, beliefs, ideas, and thoughts on others. They are just good people trying to do the best they can with the talents and abilities they have been given, in an efforts to help others. These people are sure of themselves, but humble at the same time. It is exciting to see and be around this kind of person.
(Disclaimer: All of the ideas or words above are not all my own. I have taken what I have learned and added some of my own thoughts.)