Get Over Yourself
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Politics and Activism

Get Over Yourself

It's not them, it's you.

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Get Over Yourself
Cache

About a year ago, I was on the phone with my dad venting about my feelings being hurt yet again. I can’t remember specifically what the incident was, but I had been let down by one of my suite-mates. In response to my frustration and tears, I expected my father to sympathize on the other end of the line. However, his seemingly harsh words have resonated with me ever since. After I finished my rant, he declared,

“I want you to understand that you are difficult to be friends with.”

What? I waited for him to laugh, but there was only a heavy pause. Clearly this man was joking. In my mind, in no way was I hard to have around. I was overly generous, loyal, thoughtful. I went out of my way to make sure everyone was taken care of. See, all my life I’ve gotten hurt because (excuse the clichéd expression) I “swim across oceans for people who won’t jump puddles for me.” I couldn’t believe what my dad had said to me; he had raised me to be emotionally articulate, and now couldn’t see that I was the one being victimized by those that weren’t as sensitive.

Here’s the thing: in the gentlest way possible, my father had told me that I needed to get over myself. The truth is, I was difficult to be friends with, and it’s still something I force myself to work on every single day. I had made the mistake of assuming that if people in my life did not demonstrate friendship in exactly the same way I did, they weren’t in fact being a good friend at all. I set unrealistic and unfair expectations of what it meant to “be there for me,” because if someone didn’t match my specific definition, I deemed them hurtful and myself taken for granted.

It’s human nature to take matters personally, especially with those that we care about most. We do it with friends, family, significant others. We take our own expectations and perspectives and believe that others are wired the same. If a friend forgets to call, it’s immediately because they aren’t prioritizing you. If a boyfriend doesn’t post a long Facebook post about your relationship, it’s instantly because he wasn’t thinking about you. In our own minds, we arrive at illusions of how we think things should be (people constantly declaring affection and taking deliberate action to show they care), and miss out on the reality of how things really are. And that reality can be really great. Support and kindness can be displayed in a thousand ways, so remember that the next time a friend wants to share a song they think you’ll like, even if they’ve forgotten to check in for a while.

If you are someone who is naturally inclined to want to bring people together, be vulnerable, and do things for others, it’s cowardly to let yourself harden as a defense mechanism. No one wins when you take on a “well, if they don’t care about me, I don’t care about them” attitude. By all means, you can still value yourself and be treated the way you deserve. What you cannot do is deem people toxic or selfish solely because they display their care in a way other than your own. Take it from someone who was difficult to be with, difficult to please, difficult to convince that her efforts were being reciprocated….it may be time for you to get over yourself, too.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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