I recently had it pointed out to me that I try to connect with people who are unavailable in some way- setting myself up for disappointment and feelings of inadequacy. This is probably because of my constant efforts when I was younger to reach my parents. I held onto this hope that we’d someday have the relationship I needed/wanted. I mean, let’s be real, I still do this. Even when I have all the evidence I could ever need to prove that certain people will continue to let me down, there is still a part of me that believes it will all work out the way I want it to (spoiler: it never does). I seek the attention and affection of others that aren’t good at giving those things to other people or because of the place they are at in their lives, can’t give those things to other people.
This is a common trend in my life, but in past five years, I’ve had someone I considered a best friend completely ghost me and another person who I got close with over the course of a year, lose touch with me in a way I didn’t see coming (but should have). I put so much of myself out there- so much into every relationship- and I allow myself to be so vulnerable to anyone I let my walls down for. So much so that I then get really hurt when they burn me buy not living up to whatever expectations I had for our future friendship/relationship.
I try to brush these situations off like they aren’t a big deal- saying things like, well that’s their loss. But I’d be lying if I said they didn’t bother me. I don’t think about them every day or ruminate on this to the point of where it affects my day to day life, but whenever I do think about it, it still hurts and confuses me. This type of behavior makes me look inward and wonder what’s wrong with me or what did I do wrong. I automatically assume I’m at fault and spiral into thinking that everyone hates me. When in reality, it probably has nothing to do with me and their behavior is more reflective of who they are as people and what they’re going through.
Even people that I’m close with and people that haven’t let me down in a major way, I still worry in the back of my mind that the disappointment is coming. I worry that if I’m not perfect, those people will leave my life too. Logically I know this isn’t true. I have so many people in my life that love me and care about me. But it’s tough when you’ve watched a similar pattern play itself out throughout the course of your life time and time again.
I want to stop expecting things from people that can’t give them to me. Or at least start to recognize this behavior and acknowledge it. I like to think I’m careful with my heart and soul- but I’m really not. I love connecting to people and sharing my life with others and always expect relationships to be reciprocal. This gets a little dangerous and it has hurt me many times. I have to get better at not giving so much of myself away freely.
I have to get better at not expecting things from people that could never give them to me. I have to get better at asking for what I need from the people around me that can give me love/respect/friendship.