When I was young, my mom taught me to see the good in each person, and because of that, I grew up with the idea that everyone had much more to give–they just needed a little push. I would always wait for them to do something magnificent to prove that there was something more to them than what they actually showed others. That instead of just meeting me where it's convenient for them, for example, they would go out of their way just to spend time with me.

I know expecting too much can lead to disappointment, but I believed in the greater good and told myself that I just needed to be patient with people because, like what they always say, "Good things come to those who wait."

So I waited.

It wasn't until I got into a relationship when everything changed. Of course, I didn’t vocally tell my partner all my expectations. I wanted him to make an effort to reciprocate the kind of care I gave him. I didn’t want to nag or whine; I wanted it to naturally come from him, for him to show me that he actually wanted to give back what I was giving him. I just wished he would initiate plans, actually text first, or simply take into consideration my efforts to visit him at home.

While it’s true that you shouldn’t keep tabs on what your partner can or cannot do, and that it’s only normal to give and take in a relationship, otherwise, one of you will get tired. But even though I tried my best to stop expecting too much from him, I still couldn’t help it. I kept comparing us to other couples and it led to big fights. Every night, I would overanalyze and tell myself that maybe, just maybe, I wasn’t good enough–that I wasn’t worth the effort.

Because of that, I stopped expecting too much from other people. I was now too afraid to get hurt again.
After all, the more I gave myself to people, the emptier I felt. It was like giving a piece of my heart to everyone and leaving none for myself. By the time I reached my late 20s, I decided to change my mindset about this issue. Slowly, I tried to regain my composure and build up my self-esteem. I took all the negativity I had and threw it out the window.

One night, I sat on my bed and gathered my thoughts. I weighed the pros and cons of expecting too much. Was it making me a better person? Was I giving too much? Was it taking a toll on me?

That night, I learned that not everyone would have the same heart as you. Not everyone would be as willing to go the extra distance for someone. Not everyone was the same, and it’s a part of life that I had to learn to accept. It was that night when I realized that I shouldn’t pressure people into giving what I could give. It's not always because they don’t want to, but simply because they’re not capable of it or it’s not the norm for them. It’s just how it is.

I figured out that there’s nothing I can do to change that. Now, I’ll focus on being myself and go back to offering what I can–without expecting that people would do the same for me. I just have to enjoy the act of making other people happy and appreciated, even if they don’t return the favor back. Why? Because when you give to someone, you shouldn’t be expecting something in return–you must be willing to give with all your heart.

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PHOTO: Pixabay

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