Thursday, January 01, 2009
Well, it's the time of year when many people make New Year's Resolutions. I used to until I realized that I was setting myself up for failure.
If I were going to make a resolution, I suppose it would be to improve on my ability to see people as they really are and not some idealized perception that exists only in my mind. My husband has always said that I expect too much from people. It's true and it's because I have given them hefty qualities that don't even exist.
I remember years ago when a friend and I were following an RV from out of state. At each intersection, the driver hesitated longer than my friend thought they should do. She ranted about the social level of people who drove RVs. Another time she asked me if I thought she should continue a friendship with a certain couple. Her concern was that the husband worked for a fast food chain. At the time, I dismissed these incidents (and similar ones) by thinking that she was having a bad day, or that she was in pain, or that I misinterpreted what she said, etc., etc., etc. It took me years to accept the fact that she was a SNOB of the highest degree. Until I faced reality, I mourned the loss of that friendship and assumed that I was solely to blame for the loss. That was because I perceived her to be a kind, understanding, giving person when in reality she pulled those qualities out only when they would benefit her in some way.
I don't mean to blame her and people like her for the pain they cause. They are just being themselves---I am the one who lacks the ability to see who they are and accept them as they are. Over the years, I have become very cautious (oh, all right...cynical) about putting the friendship tag on people I meet.
I don't get hurt as much but I liked the world a whole lot better when I could view it through rose-colored glasses.