The saying goes, “There are always two sides to every coin.” refers to the fact that there is more than one way to look at everything? From this concept you can create one of the main presuppositions of life; the behaviors are neither good nor bad, but rather useful or unnecessary at the moment. People sometimes seem to forget that last part.
The point is, every behavior helps in the right situation. With the right perspective, you can see how rewarding something in one way can be. A common example of this is the goal of placing no expectations on people in a relationship. It is very true that it would be nice if we could live without expectations – however, it does not work that way.
A certain sense of predictability creates feelings of understanding, security and control over one’s life. This includes relationships. We have certain criteria for determining friendship, and whether we want to admit it or not, expectations and criteria go hand in hand. The criteria we have for identifying a friend are what we expect from them. Some common criteria include things like trust, honesty, compassion, etc.
If we add the awareness that the criteria can be ordered in a sequence of priorities, then some things we can afford to be flexible about and some things we cannot. If a person dislikes a certain type of music upon meeting them, then defining it as an expectation in the relationship will “categorize” them. This expectation is an unnecessary limitation of friendship because it ignores the fact that people’s preferences can grow and change over time. Concepts more important than the taste of music, like trust, we can be less flexible because if a friend does something to lose our confidence in them (like lying, stealing, giving up, hurting, etc.) then the dynamic friendship can change drastically.
Even though a person may recognize that a behavior may be helpful in a different situation – in the immediate circumstances, it may be unnecessary, which damages the relationship. Granted, it’s not that black and white; some behaviors may hurt you, but you will accept that it was not done maliciously, but rather unintentionally. When a person repeats this behavior despite the fact that it harms the relationship, then it will reach a point where “I’m sorry” will become insulting.
With all of this in mind, the questions we want to consider are: Can you allow your expectations of someone to be flexible on minor issues while affirming your values on the real important points? Can we accept that people change while ensuring that those changes do not go against our own highly valued criteria of friendship ?; Is it possible to accept someone for who they are today and expect things to change tomorrow, knowing that it is normal to expect certain essential components? (such as trust, honesty, etc.) remain somewhat consistent?