Accept, don't expect

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.
Photo by Jonathan Pendleton on Unsplash

Throughout life, friends come and go, and each one of them are there for a reason, a season or forever.

The concept of friendship is both simple yet complex at the same time.

People make sense of the world through their own eyes, encompassing biological, cultural, developmental and cognitive perceptions. Does this unique and limited way of viewing things correspond to the truth?

Hardly so.

How can you be so sure you truly know your friends and the kind of friendships you have?

You can’t.

We have all been let down by friends, but most of the time we were actually the ones who let ourselves down.

The reason is extremely simple:


If you expect something that does not correspond to the reality, you will be let down.

One of the main causes of relationship breakdowns is expectation. Expectation that the other person should behave, think and live the way we want them to.

We expect from our friends.

We share a great part of our lives with our family, in some sort of compulsory interaction, that helps us to learn more about them and to authentically accept them in one way or another.

But we chose friends.

And we want them as close as possible to what we need from them.

We have the arrogance to expect they will give us what we expect them to give.

We fail to fully understand their identity, their personality, their perception, their baggage of emotions and experiences. Their world.

Even when you think you truly know a friend, if you are let down, you don’t. And this is okay.

We can only get involved so much in a person’s core, mind and soul.

Friendships can last many years, and as life changes, we change.

“My friend has changed.”

How many times have we said that, with that bitter taste on our mouths, and disappointment in our hearts.

Yes, your friend has changed and so have you. Their life has changed, and so has yours.

It is important to learn to let people evolve, especially friends.

In order to avoid perception and emotions, to dictate the absolute truth rather than being aware they were simply my truth, I have learned a couple of tricks, bear with me on this.


Be empathetic enough to sit down over a cup of coffee, a beer, or whatever it is you do in peaceful, chilling moments with your friend.

Leave aside your opinions, ask for theirs.

Understand their point of view as being just as important and ‘truthful’ as yours.

Be brave and accept confrontation.

Be brave and accept the possible scenario of letting them go, perhaps just for now.

Where defence mechanisms do not take over, is the moment where love and genuineness take place.

Be honest, be humble, listen, feel.


Whenever you feel negatively amazed by a friend’s behaviour, look for patterns.

Did that behaviour happen before? Directly with you, or with someone else?

You will be amazed to learn that the premise of the behaviour was very predictable.

Personalities change, our core doesn’t.

You were blinded.

You did not see the reality, their reality, the patterns.

You saw what you were able and wanted to see.

You judged them before and you are still judging them now.

Stop judging.


Accept your friends the way they are.

Relationships always give you something, something that you can take.

Friends are human beings just like you, and they will give you all the emotions you are able to feel.

Good and bad.

Friends are not your property.

They are gifts, and they are the way they are.

They walk with you through this path of life, close, but of their own.

Accept. Don’t expect.

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...


5 Reasons Setting Expectations in a New Relationship is Key to Its Success

by Mitzi Bockmann

Q&A with Jaqueline Mroz, Author of “Girl Talk: What Science Can Tell Us about Female Friendship”


Friendship – The Best of Life

by Nigeria

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.


We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.