Nothing is Ever Good Enough: Perspective and Expectations
The phrase “nice guys finish last” has always irritated me, especially when it proves true. What should be hard-earned praise somehow turns into scorn, leaving you feeling unappreciated and useless. The worst part of it? You’ve probably given that very same feeling to someone else. As have I. More than likely, we do this without even realizing it.
Earlier this week, I had a fleeting moment when I wanted to call my friend out for not talking to me “enough.” In reality, the 20-40-minute latency between his responses was because he was doing his best to divide his time among the several people who wanted his attention. As soon as I realized that, my attitude completely changed. I spent the rest of the night enjoying whatever conversation he could afford because it meant he cared about me enough to talk to me despite everything else he had to do.
I had expected him to stop everything to talk with me because I was feeling a tad under the weather. Looking at the situation from his perspective showed me how unrealistic such an expectation was. This allowed me to truly appreciate the effort he was putting in to making me feel better, preventing a senseless argument and showing me how blessed I am to have such amazing friends in my life.
Last night, that same friend told me he doesn’t feel like his efforts were “enough.” Clearly, he was so very wrong. There is no instant cure for things like headaches, but such things are still temporary. They’ll bother you for a time, but can only affect your mood if you let them. The important thing is to be happy despite your aches, and in that sense, having a friend to talk and laugh with can make a world of difference.
My friend expected to be able to “fix” me, to cure me of my headache. Such a thing is impossible, making his expectations of himself unrealistic. This stressed him out and made him feel like he wasn’t “good enough.” From my perspective, however, just sitting and talking with me was all I could ask for and more. I had no expectations of him. He is my best friend and I love him dearly.
Certainly everyone has heard the advice to always see a situation from someone else’s perspective, but I cannot stress enough how important is to take expectations into consideration as well. I’ve seen so many relationships fall apart because of such feelings of inadequacy. Whether it’s a friend, family member, or romantic partner, don’t let someone you love stress over not being “good enough.” Similarly, don’t let anyone tell you your best efforts are still not “good enough.” Nobody deserves to let their kindness go without recognition.
Posted on February 18, 2011, in Real Life and tagged Advice, My friends are amazing (all of them), Trust me -- don't do this!, Your best efforts are always "good enough". Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.