Tuesday, December 9, 2008


I struggle sometimes with disappointment in some of my relationships. I've been learning to either adjust my expectations - or communicate clearly what I need. In many situations, it's a difficult balance. I also struggle with what's appropriate - and where my responsibility lies in a situation. This should be nothing new to anyone who reads this blog regularly.

I've found a couple of tips that have helped me greatly.

Did I ask for help? Did I state my expectations clearly up front?

Am I expecting too much from a person who is dealing with their own stuff? Who isn't capable of looking beyond where they are at? Was I moving forward with a plan that no one else was interested in following? (This is also something I'm often guilty of).

Usually, in the process of asking all these questions, I find the answer. I find what path I need to take. I realize that I am responsible or that I need to find other avenues to spend my energy on. Maybe it is a matter of having picture disease.

Part of any relationship is understanding your part in it.

This is the conversation I want to have with some of the people in my life. I want to say "we're in this together - until we're not. It's not just me here in this relationship". And people sometimes respond with genuine anger, hurt and frustration. But aerin, you always do x. Or you should do x.

I remember reading some time ago about a woman who suffered from OCD. She finally went into treatment - but her husband and children sometimes would ask her - Mom, why don't you pick up my clothes off the floor anymore? Why don't you organize the cans in the cabinet anymore so we can find what we need?

It's a cliche to say we get what we put into things (and we reap what we sow) - but I firmly believe that.

Sometimes we give a lot and get nothing in return. And that's okay. It can be a good thing. I have been the recipient of lots of giving where I wasn't able to show appreciation or give back.

But when it's a pattern - and one person may be always giving, and then they step away - maybe it's time to reassess. Perhaps the relationship wasn't healthy - or perhaps life happened (as it often does). It's not always about any one person.

Not surprisingly, most of the adults in my life do realize this. I am continuously amazed and appreciate when people respect and understand these concepts. I suppose I just get frustrated when there are others in my life that don't get this.

Maybe it's time for some personal introspection - or time to remember we're all adults here. Communication and relationships are a two way street.

1 comment:

Freckle Face Girl said...

For most of my life, I moved around enough that I could easily lose touch with friends that weren't that great. Living in one spot, I've decided that I'm too busy to find time for certain people. A busy kid-filled life is always a good excuse, right?