As a highly sensitive person, how often do you expect others to act in a way that they are not capable of? I often do this! Frustration over the behavior of other people is a major source of stress for highly sensitive people.
I was doing a social experiment with my cats, Prissy and Charlie. I looked at them and asked them to moo. I then let out a few long, loud moos. I was hoping they would catch on! They looked at me strangely and thought I was crazy. I think they wanted to do it, but felt unsure how to do so. As much as they wanted to, they didn’t have the capacity to moo.
When you take a closer look at your personal and professional relationships, you may find that you get upset when people don’t act as you wish. You may be trying to change the unchangeable, and as a result, you become a hostage to your own expectations.
Fortunately, there is a way out. Awareness and acceptance are the keys to freedom. Being aware of what other people are capable of and accepting their limitations will lighten your load. Why expect others to go against their natural behavior? Don’t we get annoyed when people tell us to not be so “sensitive”? Expecting another person to be something they are not is unproductive for both sides.
Instead of focusing on the weaknesses of others, shift your attention to their strengths. Different people will meet your needs at different times. When you need support, go to a person with a track record of being supportive. If you need someone to lift your spirits, seek out a person who is naturally enthusiastic and optimistic. Don’t try to get validation from the person who never gives it. Don’t expect punctuality from the person who is chronically late. Having unrealistic expectations just deplete your energy.
Yes, it would be nice if I could teach my cats to moo, or better yet, to clean their own litter pans! However, I know they aren’t capable of these things. This is not a “deal breaker” for me to have them in my life. I love them and accept them the way they are. As any animal lover can attest, our pets provide us with comfort, companionship, and unconditional love.
It’s easy to rationalize away a desire or expectation for people to change to meet our needs, but people don’t change just because we want them to. Instead, accept “what is”, make adjustments when needed, and get ready to embrace a less stressful life.
Let people be who they are, and learn how to love them for who they are. Lenny Kravitz
Do you try to change other people, or do you accept them as they are? I’m interested in any thoughts or comments that you have.
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