It feels as if we are often settling, despite knowing that we could do a lot better. Unfortunately, this comes naturally to a lot of us, as it can be difficult to ask for whatever it is that we want (or need) from others. I have always had 'high standards, but low expectations' for people, whether that pertains to friendships or relationships. This has helped me to look for the good in others, while also not expecting too much (or too little) out of them. However, why not tolerate only the treatment that I deserve? Why have I ever accepted anything less than that? Over the past couple of months, I have learned the hard way that this is not the best mentality to have. It is time to ditch this attitude -- because why live by it when you could have high standards and high expectations?

Humans crave love, respect, loyalty, and dependability in each other. These qualities should not ever be taken for granted, but this does not mean that we shouldn’t expect them from other people. If someone cannot accept us for who we are, then why even bother with them? With lowered standards comes a ruthless cycle of letting toxic people into our lives. Once we let them in, it is hard to kick them to the curb. Why? Because that is what we have become used to, and we become desensitized to how others treat us. Though this is not directly our fault, it is our responsibility to take initiative in our lives and start focusing on those who truly make us happy.

People will show their true colors when you need them most; this can lead to harsh, yet pivotal, realizations. If they are not there for you, cut them out of your life. As difficult as this may be, you do not need anyone who doesn't need you. Sometimes all it takes is a blocked number (or two) to feel better, knowing that you have taken another step toward focusing on those who matter, and those people only. Don't waste your time on people who do not deserve you; it is more than OK to allow people in only if you know they make you a better person. Life is too short to deal with unnecessary drama and burdens, so stop taking sh*t from others and start working toward a life of pure love and happiness.