To Stop Wanting Everyone to Be Like You

This came up under “peace of mind” for Creative Commons photos, so enjoy this view!

Easier said than done, blog title writer (that’s me)!

Do you ever have thoughts that percolate in your brain and you can’t get them out of your brain, but you’re also not sure how to verbalize them?

That’s what I come to the blog to do! It’s my white canvas to Bob Ross my brain. Now you’re going to be reading the blog post in his soothing voice, which is apropos.

In all seriousness, something I’ve struggled with is trying to not expect others to be like … me.

See how weird, and seemingly egotistical, that sounds when I say it?

But my suspicion, and perhaps it’s wishful thinking, is that everyone does this to a varying degree because a.) who do we know better than ourselves? (insert joke here about how we don’t even know ourselves); and b.) what better frame of reference for the kind of person we’d want to be friends with and romantic partners with than ourselves? That’s how we ascertain commonalities and something that invigorates all of us is finding those commonalities and reveling in them.

Of course, there’s the whole dealio platonically or romantically about how opposites attract, and there is our siblings, parents and other familial members for frames of reference, but it seems to me the ready one to avail ourselves of … is ourselves!

However, it can also backfire because it’s not fair to other people to expect them to comport themselves in the way that you do. Now, certainly, I would expect there to be some hard lines on this score. That is, I’m not a bigot and I would expect anyone I associate with to not be a bigot. That’s a hard line, right?

Things that wouldn’t be considered hard lines are friends, partners and so on who share everything in common with me, or even show as much interest in the things I’m interested in, or who may react differently in different situations than I would. That seems unfair.

I bring this thought up because something I’ve struggled with in the wake of donating my kidney is that … I kind of wish that example of altruism would have had more ripple effects (or at least, ones more apparent to me!) upon those closest to me. That is, that my example of doing something that’s considered one of the kinder things to do — donating a kidney to a complete stranger — would either inspire those in my life to do their own forms of kindness and/or re-evaluate the way they move through the world.

I’m not even saying the people in my life aren’t kind and/or don’t do their own acts of kindness; I’m not trying to sell them short!

To the latter, I guess what I’m more specifically thinking about, even beyond the kidney donation, is that I have a hard not time not wishing that others around me comported themselves the way I do.

Slow to anger (if it manifest at all, or whatever other way you want to describe this: calmness, being laid back, etc.), not hung up on petty drama and holding grudges with respect to family, friends or others, and a mindset toward strangers (again, whether I had done the kidney thing or not) of kindness, patience, understanding and … yes, let’s be cheesy, love.

Again, it makes me feel weird to express this, but I’m wondering if others can relate to what I’m saying? Is it too much to ask for others to model themselves after the way I am, I say in jest?!

The better way of thinking about this is coming to terms with the fact that not only should I not expect others to be like me, but that it’s futile to expect others to change in the way I want them to.

But I think the reason it bugs me is that I’m not those aforementioned things. I’m not quick to anger, or hung up on parental things (not anymore, at least, which could be its own blog post), or hostile to strangers (I’m misanthropic, but that’s different, I jest again).

So, when I see others like that, particularly family members and friends, it’s rather disheartening and demoralizing that even in my own sphere, I can’t seem to exert much of any influence through my deeds (because deeds should hold more weight than words, but words matter, too! Particularly in the way we talk about strangers).

Does any of this make sense? I’m at the point of feeling like I’m rambling, so I’ll cease the words here.

My latest music obsession is this song by Beck.

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