The better question would be, why do we expect so much from our family and friends that we leave ourselves open to disappointment?
In times of trouble, most people go to their family or friends for emotional support some, even, for financial support. But, do we have the right to expect them to drop everything and help us through our crises?
It usually depends on the type of relationships that are in place. On a good day, we can acknowledge that the other person has his or her own life and his or her own problems. On a bad day, we may not be that understanding. It’s on those bad days that we may feel that we have given so much and received so little in return, and many relationships fall by the wayside after the crisis has passed and the person is left licking his wounds and feeling like the relationship has been one-sided.
What do we put into our relationships and what should we expect in return? In most relationships, one person usually gives more than the other but, in a good relationship, when the giver needs the support of the other, it’s usually forthcoming.
Not everyone is good at talking about his problems and asking for help. In that case, are you expecting your friend or family member to be a mind reader, to know what you are thinking and feeling? Shouldn’t they know instinctively when all is not right in your world and offer to help you?
The answer is that your expectations may be slightly skewed because you’re expecting them to be mind readers and most people are not mind readers. Most people cannot tune into your mind and figure out what’s going on with you unless you tell them. And, if you’re not good at communicating, you may be left feeling that no one cares about you and you can’t go to anyone for help.
Then, there is the opposite of that. You may have to ask yourself if you’ve gone to them for help too often and taken advantage of their friendship. It’s a delicate balance. Sometimes we have to give more than we get, but over the long haul, things either have to balance out or we have to look for someone else to take their place.