You can’t count on anyone but yourself

You can’t depend on anyone. you can’t hang your heart on people doing what you ask them to do. You can’t expect them to follow through.

Sounds a bit like a Nickelback song, right?

It’s actually something I’ve had to think about, and it makes a big difference in your relationship.

See, you can ask someone for something, but the other person doesn’t have to do it, and importantly, you can’t judge them for that. Remember, the healthy person detaches himself from the outcome of any request.

As my guru once said, expectation reduces joy. Yes, I had a guru.

See, I was recently let down by a friend, and got into a funk about it. How could she? What have I done to deserve this? What is the feck?

As I grumbled and listed the long line of disappointments I’ve had at the hands of other people, I realised I was the only one who was suffering. I also realised I had choices in each situation; remind them, ask someone else, go apeshit or be silent.

Unfortunately, more often than not I chose the silent martyr route. I know.

See, it’s a Truth that in life people will disappoint us. It is a Truth in relationships that we get hurt. However, if you remember that people are just human and fallible, it makes it easier to accept the downs with the ups.

Letting go of the outcome reminds you that you don’t control other people, but you do control yourself, your own behaviours, actions, reactions.

So if someone lets you down today, remember that you have choices. Talk to them about it, ask someone else for help, get into a funk, or a bunch of other responses. See it’s about you, not them. They’re just being themselves.

Your responsibility is to make sure you make your request clear, and let the outcome fall where it does. If there’s anything you can do to make it easier for the other party, then make those moves. If it works out, good. If it doesn’t, so be it.

So stop controlling and be a partner instead.

Now it’s time I stopped being a martyr (read: mhata) and talked to that friend.

20 Replies to “You can’t count on anyone but yourself”

  1. You’d better recognise. Don’t ever make someone else responsible for your OWN happiness or well-being, cos you’ll be disappointed.

    Rather make YOURSELF happy and well, and if that makes someone else wanna be around you, that’s a bonus!

  2. I’m more of a ‘if you want something done (properly), do it yourself’ kinda girl.

    Alternatively, I will worship at the alter of pessimism. Always expect the worst, thus avoiding disappointment. As far as I am concerned, optimists are gluttons for punishment.

  3. Gee Tara, always the cynic. I think the trick is not in expecting disappointment, it’s in not expecting anything at all.

    If we live by the maxim that nobody owes us anything, not even love, then I guess we’ll be truly happy, due to the fact that we won’t expect or need anything from anyone.

  4. AND, just going off topic ever so slightly, or rather flipping the subject just a bit, I hate when people have some false sense of entitlement or think that because something has happened, they are entitled to payback. Like I signed some unwritten contract or something. Basically, it really sucks being on the business end of someone else’s expectations, and said someone assuming that you psychic or some such. Like they say, when you assume, you make an ass out of u and me. Arrrrggggggh!!!!!!!!

  5. Guess the moral of that story was, be sure to manage expectations others’ expectations too. 🙂

  6. after much consultation,
    far and wide,
    and then a bit farther,
    deep too,
    if you really must know,
    meaning my people and i,
    decided that “guru” was a bit … oh we don’t know … old?
    so we now prefer that i be referred to simply,
    more precisely,
    and most importantly,
    more contemporary,


    wait for it,




    “Him who is most humble yet much esteemed”,

    you may want to update your mention accordingly,
    just an expectation (there goes that word again!) i have of you,
    i can count on you (there follows that phrase too!) can i not?
    or is that stretching just beyond … ?

    p.s. hey Tara 😉

  7. Tara, for real, are you THAT cynical?!

    Does that philosophy apply in your relationships?, do you go into a relationship telling yourself that you are not going to project your expectations onto your partner? is he under no obligation to remember birthdays, anniversaries and all that other crap that women are so preoccupied with? can he (or she) neglect your female need for constant reassurance of he’s undying love for you without fear of victimisation?

  8. Philosophy applies, to some degree. No, He ain’t obligated to do anything he doesn’t want to do. He just needs to know that I do not feel obligated to stay in a relationship that doesn’t suit or satisfy. We all have choices, and what people need to do more of, is choose the road of least resistance more often. This whole TRY business is folly as a rule of thumb. If birthdays really matter that much to a person, what’s the point of staying with someone who blatantly is not bothered enough to set an annual reminder in their outlook? If you need constant reassurance, then, get someone who is prepared and happy to provide it, rather than insist on beating a dead horse. I have no problem cutting my loses. I never expect anyone to change, purely because I’d hate for someone to expect it out of me. People are who they are when they are. If I’m lucky, we are compatible, and, I guess, things are allowed to get to he point of no return, LOVE. But if not, rather than hoping, or expecting, I’d rather just call it quits. I’ve seen enough of people hoping for the best and never getting it, and feeling like they just wasted a lot of time and effort that could have been applied elsewhere. As someone put it, I’m a dumb luck kind of girl, and the odds are better if you keep moving. Not standing still, for Fate to do her thing. Because, you know what, Fate, in all her various guises, is still a saddistic witch, with a capital B. Also, when you persist with something, finally letting it go hurts more than it would have much earlier on, doesn’t it?

    Am I cynical? I wouldn’t have thought so. I’m just a pragmatist. And I hate to leave myself wide open, unprotected like that. Fact is, we live in a sick sad world, and I just like to be prepared. I don’t like being blind-sided. It’s not as much a control thing, as it is about having a handle on as many possible scenarios.

  9. To some degree?!!!…. really?!, do you smoke? no I only smoke on weekends………….

    We all know that there is some code that is imprinted onto the female hard drive that CANNOT be altered or reprogrammed. some primal need to use your genitalia to control or influence your partners behavior, Ask any man… and i mean ANY man in a meaningful relationship.

    Sooner or later Tara, you too will drive some poor bastard to the pub out of sheer frustration, sooner or later you will find some dude to call your very own ‘soul mate’, and yes, you too will find that ‘cutting your loses’ as you put it will not be a viable option anymore, because you LUV him too much. so instead you will try to alter he’s behavior to conform to your expectations of what a soul mate should be doing to keep your fires of love burning.

    expectations… see the damn things are everywhere!

    you see Tara, as Joe says, people are going to do things that piss you off. The only reason these things can piss you off in the first place is because you will, despite your best efforts project your expectations onto other people. The key is not in becoming a cold hard emotional cyborg but instead learning to let go and move on when it happens.

    Do not try to bend the spoon — that’s impossible. Instead, only try to realize the truth: there is no spoon.

  10. Mos and Joe, I dont need your pity. I get by.

    Skriff, I like to look at it as leverage. If you got it, you’d be a fool not to use it. A very useful tool in this patriarchal society. 🙂 Seriously though, Skriff, and your question?

  11. Martyr – Thanks for letting me know what it really means in my venacular!! Have always wondered what it means in Shona!!

    Howzt Joe?

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