Stop comparing yourself to the weak, the mean, the selfish, the needy, the drama queens. Don’t be jealous of them because people give them attention, assistance, forgiveness, comfort, and emotional crutches. When someone expects something good of you, don’t ever look around and say “but HE doesn’t have to do that!”, pointing at someone who you see as getting away with what you wish you could get away with.
It starts early in life, this response of:
- “How come I have to do this? He’s not doing it!”
- “But Mom, she doesn’t have to eat her vegetables!”
- “I picked up more toys than he did – it’s not FAIR!”
And so often it continues into adulthood, becoming:
- “She is always late to work, so there’s no reason I should be on time.”
- “Some people cheat on their spouses all the time, so why should I be expected to be perfect?”
- “But you help him, so why do you expect me to be able to do it myself?”
Yes, there are some people who need help with basic things. Yes, a lot of people are jerks to their partners. Yes, a lot of people are pretty poor employees. What does that have to do with you? Why does it make you want to be less than your best? Do you actually WANT to be treated as though you are weak and incapable? Is the release of responsibility worth the decrease in self-respect?
Look up. Strive to be like the strong, the kind, the humble, the giving, the independent, the calmly confident.
It might take some looking to find these people. They are probably just quietly getting things done, not flailing about, not complaining about how hard everything is, not voicing their drama in public, not demanding attention.
They are not the squeaky wheels. They are the strong frame of the cart. They are the grease that keeps everything turning. They are the people clearing the large stones from the road ahead. And they may be too busy to talk about it a lot – so you’ll probably have to look outside of Facebook.
Don’t compare yourself downhill. Compare yourself uphill, if that”s where you want to get. And I’m not talking “downhill” and “uphill” in terms of society’s view of “success” – money and power. There are plenty of people with money and power who are not worth emulating – who actually are allowed to be weak and selfish and mean because of their money. I am using “uphill” and “downhill” as metaphors for a measure of self-respect, competence, independence, happiness, trustworthiness, and responsibility.
So next time someone says or implies that he or she expects more of you, instead of looking around and finding someone to make you look better, look around for someone to serve as an example of how to be better.
Actually, look for those good examples all the time, and emulate them. You don’t have to wait until the next time someone is disappointed in you.