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A friend once said blood doesn’t make you family “love does.” At the time she said it, it was exactly what I needed to hear. Whether you come from a large family or a small one we all expect certain loyalties and supports to be in place simply because we are related. Often times we learn the hard and painful way that blood does not make you trustworthy or caring!
One of the biggest pitfalls when it comes to dealing with relationships with anyone is our level of expectation. We EXPECT people to get that they SHOULD do certain things or SHOULD be a certain way. It is when we expect them to do what is right, fair, just, ethical, needed and such and when they don’t we get upset. Our feelings get hurt and we feel somehow we’ve been trampled upon. We feel like we got snuck by a sucker shot in a bar fight.
I would venture to ask is it fair to project our expectations on others? Or instead should people have higher expectations for themselves and set a standard by which they strive to live no matter what? New flash folks – WE ARE ALL HUMAN! Ok…….yes we know we are human but do we embrace the humanity that within all of us? The human race is not without fault. It is humanly impossible for us to be perfect and be all things to all people at all times. That, unfortunately is not something we want to hear when someone who we want to count on lets us down again and again!
Family is what we believe is our foundation. They are our ride of die folks. They are supposed to be there no matter what happens and when they are not, it shakes us at the very core of our existence. Siblings may have moments of not getting along. Parents may work your nerves but when the rubber meets the road we still EXPECT them to be there! But happens when they’re not?
* We get angry
* We often get depressed
* We feel isolated & violated
* We feel unloved
* We sometimes retaliate
* We feel like we are rejected
* Many let them treat us poorly and act like its not happening
Our thoughts are then, how could they? Even the most un-emotional person would feel something whether they displayed it or not if they felt abandoned in that way. Combating those feelings is no easy task and we don’t want to act as though it doesn’t matter. Doing so creates hidden resentments that spill over into our other relationships and various parts of our life. Displaced feelings create disjointed new relationships! So what should we do? Or more likely what could we do?
* Reality check yourself and think of times you’ve let loved ones down
* Ask yourself what’s going on in their life that could have made them act the way they have
* Ask yourself if this is “just their way” and then see if your expectations match who they really are
* Forgive yourself for expecting them to do what YOU believe a person should do
* Move the heck on and don’t fester in the anger, rejection or sadness
* Face reality they just may not be capable or want to be the person they should or could be and move on
I always say, we can’t get mad at people for being who they are. That’s easier said than done but when looking to people for support whether family support or otherwise LOOK AT THE SOURCE!!!! Are they usually consistent or dependable? Have you trusted them over and over to do things right and they haven’t? Are they consistently known to be manipulators, purposefully helplessness, catastrophically disorganized etc. and the list goes on? If they’re not, maybe they are just going through something and need to get it together. If they are, maybe you will need to look at yourself and learn a better way to deal with things without depending on them. You don’t necessarily need to sever the relationship, but set the terms where you aren’t constantly upset and expecting what you won’t get (or give).
Lastly, just because family has let you down does not mean you have to be in a position to have no one there for you. Just like in the case of adoption, as I said before blood doesn’t make you family – love does! Find people who value you, you value and who are the same page as you to let into your inner circle. See others for who they are, don’t judge them and keep it moving!!!