c. David Grim (taken 8/19/08)
How do you deal with frustrations when it comes to interacting with people? It's awfully easy to project your own flaws onto others. I try to be aware of the reasons why I react in certain ways to certain individuals. It's difficult to step back and do this when emotions are riding high, but I have found it to be a useful process.
My biggest problems in relationships usually stem from thwarted expectations. I've known this to be true of myself for awhile, and so I generally set the bar low when it comes to friends and loved ones. I try to work under the operating assumption that I never quite know what I'm going to get. While this approach can sometimes leave me feeling lonely and depressed, I have found that it minimizes heartbreak.
Still, I find on occasion that I want more than I can reasonably expect (based on previous experience) from someone, and then I get upset. I guess I should take issue with myself for continuing to act against my best judgments and believing in people who let me down repeatedly. Maybe I'm too sentimental, but I must admit that I still find myself engaging in wishful thinking. To what extent do individuals change over time? It seems that it's almost always an arduously slow process, even with the best of intentions.