Hi there, I've never written in a forum like this before but I'd like to hear what people have to say about friendship and expectations. Let me give you some background info before. I moved to a new city a few years back for work. At first things were going well, but then I started to feel very lonely being away from my family and friends. It took me about a year to adjust; at first I didn't even realize I felt lonely. I can't say I truly experienced loneliness before. At least, not like this. Fortunately, I have my childhood friend who lives in the same town. However, things changed when she met her now husband. I wasn't a priority in her life anymore. I adjusted to that as well. I find it quite difficult to make friends.... I'm trying, but it's hard. I know lots of people, but have very few friendships. Anyways, my main question here is: how do you know when your expectations of people are too high? Sometimes, I feel my loneliness clouds my judgment. I certainly don't expect people to know what I'm thinking. Let me give you an example. My friend, whom I mentioned earlier, has her husband who I'll name jack. Jack and I became friends, but I feel that this is more a friendship of convenience. For example, last month two of my great-aunts passed away in one week. It was hard since it happened all in one week. I didn't speak to my friend about it, but he knew bc his wife told him. I called over the weekend to see if he wanted to hang out. I wanted to hang out with his, but also just have some company to forget the week. His wife said he was out, but that she'll be busy Saturday and him and I can spend some buddy time together. She said that's shell pass the message along. Saturday rolls around and still no call. So I decide to go rent a movie. He calls at night to say how he's exhausted from having biked all day and that he forgot to call me. He even used a cliche line, which was lame that I'd rather not repeat. I shrugged it off because, and honestly, I didn't really care. I can't say I'm mad, but to be honest, it made me feel very lonely that I didn't have someone else to rely on. But then, as I started to think about it, I also felt that it was a little shitty that he didn't want to hang, seeing as how my week was. So here's my question, were my expectations too high to think that my friend might think 'gee James had a shitty week, let me spend some time with him.' I mean, he did make plans with me later the week, but again, it was something he wanted to do. I feel that he wouldn't go out of his way, even a bit, for our friendship. Am I expecting too much? Do you expect your friends to do little things like that for you?
Oops typo. I didn't mean to write ' I also felt it was bad that he didn't want to hang' I meant to say, I felt bad he didn't want to hang...
James, true friends never forget and true friends do the little things that make big differences.
But true friends are hard to find..that's why most of us only manage 3-4, even less, in an entire lifetime.
We need to 'cultivate' friendships with different people. They help us out at different times in our everyday lives and we return the favour to them when they ask.
When we offer to assist/help/just listen/or be there without being asked then we are being a true friend.
And our expectations are ours..we choose our friends using these expectations. Sometimes we naturally know, we follow our instinct.
And your expectations of Jack weren't too high, he didn't want to hang out...hence his cliche line which you saw through straight away...your instinct at work.
James - sorry your friend let you down. Now you know that he is not the one to go to when you need someone to pay attention to you and what you re going through.
Perhaps you need to widen your social network, or do some volunteer work to find people who are more in tune with your values and needs.
Good luck. I think you have an awareness of what you need - go out and find it.