I expect a lot, I readily admit this, though I find the term, “high maintenance” supremely insulting. A way to put down a woman who knows what she wants and is not afraid to tell you. Luckily the man I share my life with understands my expectations (for myself as much as anyone), appreciates it (can you believe that?) and admits to benefiting from it.
Having high expectations can ruin you, if you let it. The ability to distinguish between reality and your expectation is key to keeping yourself from being disappointed. Be realistic in what you expect… perfection is great in your dreams but pretty hard to achieve in real life. Get as close as you can. Understand that things can, and do, go wrong sometimes and that’s okay. Greatness can still be possible too, just not the greatness you expected.
You’re not being fair to anyone (yourself included) if you don’t communicate your expectations. Even people who know you well will not always realize how important something is to you — speak up. And keep in mind that there is power in the words you choose. You’re not commanding (now that would be high maintenance!), you’re saying your piece calmly and clearly. Maybe you ask for help to get there.
As far as expectations go, I don’t expect anything more from others than I do of my own self. I give 1000% effort in every area of my life. If I’m behind you, I’m behind you to the bitter end. Ask my advice and I’ll put careful thought and research into the answer I give you. You get my very best efforts, no matter what time it is, what day it is, how inconvenient it might be.
I’m all in, all the time.
While this is great for the people in my life, it hasn’t always been so great for me. I find that many (though luckily not all) people take what I have to give, and keep on taking without thought or hesitation. It’s like feeding a ravenous beast who never, ever is satisfied. Is always wanting. At some point, you just plain run out of food.
I’m just learning to identify the takers in my own world, and my own responsibility for enabling this behavior. Shutting them off, after a lifetime, isn’t as easy as making that promise to yourself. I risk rejection, abandonment and isolation — which is hard not to care about even when logic and experience insist tell you otherwise.
Now that I think about it, I’ve always felt the need to earn people’s feelings for me. Rarely have I known unconditional love — instead I learned to work for it. And work hard.
It’s what I do. At this point in my life, recognizing the impulse and limiting it where appropriate are probably the best I’m going to get. No apologies. No regrets. Just so you know.