Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Day 7

Expectations result in disappointment
Yeah. this is one that's a bit tricky because we all want to feel appreciated and valued in our friendships.
Step one, don't take every thing your friend doesn't do personally. If you do, it's a big sign of co-dependency. And no relationships ever thrive when co-dependency is present. Step 2. Be gracious abounding in mercy.

The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.  Psalm 145:8

This is the thing: when reality and expectatins don't align, disappointment results. I'm not a fan of setting the bar low. That's silly. But I do believe that the "bar" whatever that is, is different for everyone. And I am sort of leaning towards getting rid of the bar all together.
 So expecting to get something in return for showing yourself friendly is kind of an oxymoron.  

THe biblical principle is if you want friends, you need to show others what a true friend is, be one! But I don't think that necessarily means you will automatically make friends. But inevitably, a friendly person is probably going to have friendly friends. NO need to over complicate this.
Doing something for someone with the expectation of getting a return gesture, you'll probably get a big bag of disappointment in stead.  If you get a return gesture, awesome!!  But if you don't, don't give up on the friendship. Don't stop pursuing or get frustrated and bitter. I just think of all the times people have probably done something awesome for me and I dropped the ball in some fashion. There have been specific instances when I knew that I had sucked it up. (Darn it!) Then, there have been times when I didn't know about it and..well, I still don't know about it. But I'm human. I try, though, to be aware and intentional in my relationships. Chances are though, if they did it "to be nice", they did it to be nice. Take it as that. 
Don't look into it.
Be thankful! What a treasure it is to have friends that do things "just because".  
HEre is some professional opinion on expectations in relationships:

"Some disappointments are actually predictable and preventable. Others are totally unavoidable. It is important to differentiate between the two so that you can respond appropriately.
Repeated disappointment may be the result of a pattern of faulty or irrational thinking. If you are frequently disappointed, evaluate what you are thinking and try to change faulty thinking patterns."

I think that's good counsel! In ANY relationship, it's good to practice introsopective inventory.
So, in short, don't over complicate it. 

Just. Be. A. Friend.

Review time: Initiate friendship, embrace differences, seek balance, fight for the positive,value those you love, be consistent, be real. That's simple enough. Expecting yourself or anyone else to do more is a set up for disappointment.. Keep it simple! 
And keep loving on others! You can't never go wrong with love.

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