I have been doing a lot of searching and questioning of myself lately. I think like most people I struggle with self-confidence/worth from time to time. But I believe, lately, that I have got a good handle on my self-worth. I feel pretty confident about what I bring to the table in any interaction. Not just romantic relationships, but relationships in general; work, school, friends, family, acquaintances, etc. My problem is I am aware of this. I have placed a price on what I offer, and I expect some sort of appreciation for it. Is this right or wrong I have no fucking idea. What I do know, is how this awareness affects my relationships.
I do know that the expectation of appreciation is one-sided and purely what I see fit. Not necessarily taking into consideration how or what other people place value on what I bring. Example, say we are at a dinner party and I bring a beautiful bottle of wine, Guest 1 is a wine drinker and connoisseur of all fine crafted materials. Guest 1 will place a high value of appreciation for what I have brought. While Guest 2 doesn’t drink at all, essentially Guest 2 can appreciate what I brought as a nice gesture but does not value it at all. And most likely Guest 2 is going to rub me the wrong way for not appreciating me in the way I want to be appreciated.
This is the part that I hiccup on all the damn time. I want to be the best, most enlightened version of myself. I want to live like Buddha and place no value on anything, but I can’t. I am still a flawed human at the end of it and I still feel the need for validation/appreciation/value.
I have been described by many as a very fluid person, I “go with the flow” for most of life, never letting anything bother me too much one way or the other. I like that about myself. I can very much agree to this description of me. I like to think of myself as a chameleon I can very easily be whatever is needed for whichever situation. You need a supportive someone in your corner? Boom I am there! I will be your biggest, most annoying, rowdiest cheerleader. You want someone to be pissed with you? Look at that we both hate so and so now. You need to be told how awesome you are even though you just did a really jerkish thing? You are still the best in my book.
I don’t think any of my support is fake, it is a very authentic emotion to help someone through a very authentic time of their life. It just bothers the fuck out of me when people cannot appreciate that I can be that for them and hold a light for me when I am having a very authentic moment in my life. My dilemma is, is this wrong of me to feel that way? Should I just accept who I am and accept who they are with no consequence or expectation? What is expectation exactly? Almost all religious references talk about treating others in the manner you would like to be treated, but for what if it isn’t reciprocated?!
Tony Montana once said “All I have in this life is my word and my balls,” well all I have in this life is my energy and my time. If you give me your time and energy I will not waste it. Whether that is a simple phone call or text, a request to hang out, face-to-face conversation, whatever. I expect the same from you. Don’t invite me over and then be stuck on your phone ignoring me the entire time I am there. Or don’t make plans and then show up an hour late, I don’t have time to waste like that. Don’t ghost me, oh my god that is the fucking worst, ghosting. Who the hell came up with that concept in the first place? Like do people just do that shit for fun? What is wrong with my generation of peers? It’s called respect, plain and simple.
I think that is my new thing, reciprocation. I do not feel it is wrong to expect reciprocation, if I am going to give my time and energy and invest into your life I expect the same effort from you and I do not think that is a crazy over the top expectation. I have also realized that if you are not going to reciprocate what I give, I don’t have to keep you around. And that is totally ok.
All this to say, if you can really dig into yourself and know who you are and what you bring to the dinner party, you should not feel guilty about expecting reciprocity in return. If that is not given, throw that fish back into the water, there are plenty of other significant others, besties, co-workers, cousins, whatever out there for you that can see your light and handle the glare.