The one thing we’re doing that drives us nuts
There are plenty of circumstances where hope is a good thing. Hope keeps us motivated, on task. As a therapist, I have seen hope cause heartache. There are even times when I would say hope is bad.
I have worked with individuals who have been profoundly hurt by those close to them. The kind of hurt that affects them so deeply that they don’t know how to trust others. I believe the saddest part of these situations is that sometimes these people still hold out hope that the person who has disappointed them for their entire lives, will one day realize they’ve been a jerk and completely change. I suppose this can happen, but it is highly unlikely.
People show us who they are; it’s our assumption that they’ll eventually change that drives us nuts.
Perhaps you have an emotionally vacant father who has never remembered your birthday. Hoping that this year will be the time he sends a card does you no good. Trying to learn how to deal with the disappointment you’ve experienced can be very helpful.
Maybe you have a sister who is self-centered and never considered your feelings. Hoping that this year she’ll figure out she’s been acting selfishly and she’ll offer to host your family for the holidays is likely going to lead you to more sadness. Accepting her flaws and learning how to work them into your life can help you move forward and past her shortcomings.
I meet with people nearly every day that have frustrating people in their lives. Those frustrating people are not going to change. How we handle them and react to them are the only two things really worth holding out hope for.