Friends are important, there’s no denying it. Some of the best memories you’ve made, or will make, a good friend is by your side. Sadly, friendships can get messy. There are million reasons why, but of them one of the reasons is: expectations.
At times friends are going to want to do things that make you feel uncomfortable. They might expect you to be a certain way that just makes you feel uneasy. They might know how their expectations make you feel, they might have no idea. Either way only way you can manage their expectations is to communicate. Talk to them about how you feel.
Obviously talking to them about their expectations might not be easy - you never know how they will react, right? If are really scared by them, you might want to ask yourself if actually still want to be friends with them. But if the answer is yes, then this is what I suggest you do:
First, think about what it is exactly that’s making you feel uncomfortable. Do they want to spend too much time together? Are they expecting you to be too outgoing? So on, and so on. Give it a long, hard think. Maybe write it down, or imagine you are telling them.
Next, try seeing if there is something else going on. In other words, maybe there is something other than the expectation that is actually. Maybe you’re feeling really stressed at the moment and this is making feel like they have high expectations of you, when actually, they don’t. Or maybe something else is going on in their lives, now they are taking their stress out on you. Try to see things from their perspective before you talk to them.
Okay, now the scary part: talking to them about it. When you talk to them stay calm. Try not play the blame game or be mean. Remember, they might not even know how their expectations are making you feel. Focus on your feelings rather than their actions. For example, “Lately, I’ve been really stressed, and I feel like I can’t give you as much time as I normally do”. “Or I feel uncomfortable when we go to parties, and I would prefer if we just hung out alone”. Been kind, but firm – stand your ground.
Listen to what they have to say, but if they refuse to see your side of things, maybe they are not worth keeping as a friend. Keep in mind, the issue may take time to work through, you might need to talk to them a few times about it. Creating healthy expectations can be a team effort.
Change your perspective and uncover a way forward for you!
Setting Boundaries by Dr Rebecca Ray It is about pursuing the things that set our soul on fire, loving deeply without losing ourselves, and better resisting the demands and expectations of others.
Being a Teen by Jane Fonda
A thorough guide to identity, friendship, family, the body, sexuality, pregnancy, bullying, and more-everything a young person needs to grow up happy and healthy.
Right & Wrong Expectations in Friendship by Joyce Meyer
Clowers takes the reader step-by-step through short, easy-to-read chapters, answering questions like: how to fix yourself first and controlling your expectations.
The Jungle Book
Mowgli is a boy brought up in the jungle by a pack of wolves, in which he befriends a panther and bear.
Inside Out An eleven year old girl and her five core emotions, Fear, Anger, Joy, Disgust and Sadness, struggle to cope with her new life.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid
A young boy wants to become popular in middle school, but lands in hilariously sticky situations.
If you would like to explore what’s going on
for you today, then just jump on! You will be
welcomed to a safe, warm, non-judgemental
space where you can be yourself and uncover
what is important to you. You have all the answers. Let us help you find your way.