There’s a difference between pessimism and realism. The pessimist says the glass is half empty, while the realist says, there’s water in the glass. I prefer realism. The title of this article is not meant to be pessimistic. It’s meant to be realistic. Not everybody will disappoint you, but some people will. And when they do let you down, there’s not point in being surprised about it.
Your partner of 10 years, who you think should know better by now, could buy you a box of chocolate for your birthday, showing you that he literally just bought the first present idea he found on Google. Your best friend could forget that it is your birthday. And your mom could give you that, “Oh yeah it’s your birthday today right? Don’t forget the shoes I asked for when you come to visit.”
And when that happens, you might be tempted to go on a pity party. You might want to tell yourself that the world is a horrrible place, and that nobody cares about you. If you do, you will be partly right.
Nobody cares about you more than you care about yourself. Nobody can care about you more. You’re the centre of your universe, and everybody else has themselves at the centre of their universes.You shouldn’t expect any different. What’s important to you might not be what your friend thinks is important. Your priorities are not everybody’s priorities and that doesn’t mean their priorities are wrong. Just different.
So when somebody doesn’t meet your expectations, you shouldn’t be surprised. Guess what? Your birthday might not be important to them and it doesn’t have to be. And even if they disappoint you with things that you think pertain to “basic human decency,” they show up late or they don’t do as you asked for instance, you still shouldn’t be surprised. Don’t expect to be number one on anybody else’s list but your own.
One of my role models and the most enlightened person I know, Humble The Poet, once said, “It’s not selfish to put yourself first. It’s selfish to expect others to put you first.” I think that’s a motto we should all live by. You happiness is your responsibility and nobody else’s.
Cheers to life!