In Girl Scouts I was taught to: “Make new friends and keep the old, one is silver and the other gold”. So, whatever happened to PLATINUM? One thing’s for sure, old friends seem to be more precious than new ones. They’ve been there for us, know us inside and out, and share parts of our past. If, through hard work and a little bit of luck, a friendship is sustained over a long period of time – say years or even decades – I would dare to say these friends have EARNED “platinum status” in my book. But inherently – like having an Amex Black card in your wallet – with power comes responsibility.
So who’s expectations are more important – yours or your friends? How about your family? I think this really depends on where you find your sources of validation. Personally I split up the responsibility 50/50. I have high expectations in terms of work and health and hold myself personally accountable… but in my personal life I look to others and use their opinions and expectations to set the bar for me. That’s normal right? Maybe not…
As a child, my parents basis for punishment was guilt – which for the most part still works to this day. “Jillian, I am so disappointed in you…” was probably the worst thing I could ever hear. I think this probably just rolled over into my friendships. I’m happy when you’re happy. I want to make you laugh and smile, feed you and comfort you, and help you find what you need. Usually I find what I need and want through helping my friends. This probably has gone to an extreme (and I do realize this) knowing that I don’t even cook dinner for myself unless there’s another mouth to feed along with me. When YOU’RE there – bring on the 3 course meal!
So what does it mean when other people have high expectations for you – or maybe that they don’t? Even more than that… what happens when you let someone down? I put a good deal of effort into personal extension. By this I mean, I try to put my best foot forward and give 100% everyday – but let’s be honest, I am (like everyone else) a human being. I can be lazy and I can sometimes be selfish. Baring your soul is scary business. What if I give 100 and you give me 60, then only for you to decide I’m not good enough? All this effort can also be emotionally and physically exhausting. To add insult to injury, what if you suddenly lost your platinum status?
In my experience, love and time have a funny relationship. An actual physical injury is painful of course, but fleeting. You know it will go away: broken leg – 6 to 8 weeks and you are good to go. On the other hand – when someone crushes you, breaks your heart, shreds your metaphorical Amex Black card – you don’t know when or if it will ever stop hurting. When it comes to love, time seems to actually slow down – drawing out your agony. To clarify – I mean to be in love or just love – it doesn’t matter, it hurts just as much.
So the point here is that if you have earned your way into someone’s heart, don’t abuse that power. Relationships of any kind require commitment, hard work, and loyalty. Please, PLEASE, please, never forget how much weight your words carry. Think before you speak, and mean what you say.
I promise to do the same – Girl Scout’s Honor.