Just Because YOU Would Do It Doesn’t Mean Everyone Else Will

“Stop expecting YOU from other people,” says the meme.

So true!

Just because you believe YOU would do something, doesn’t mean someone else WILL do something.

Maybe they should do what you do; maybe they shouldn’t. That point may be self-evident (to you); or it may or may not be debatable.

It doesn’t matter. People WILL or WILL NOT do what they choose to do.

Big example: There never should have been a Nazi Germany. But enough people wanted, permitted or tolerated it that it happened. And yes, something like Nazi Germany (or even worse) can happen again.

It’s true with lesser, more mundane and less life-threatening examples, too.

Family members will do what they want to do. Just because you love them, and just because you believe another family member loves you, does not mean that they will act or think like YOU in all cases — or even in any case.

Parents say: “I didn’t raise my child that way.” Usually, they’re saying this about a 30 or 50-year-old. That 30 or 50-year-old is not a child; and hasn’t been a child for many, many decades. So how you raised him or her is of little relevance, even if you believe otherwise. How do we know that? Because they’re acting, right now, in a way contrary to what you believe and remember you taught them.

Marriages flounder or fall apart for this reason. “I thought he loved me.” Usually, this means: “I thought he thought and acted like I do in all or most cases; that’s proof that he loves me.” Actually, a person can love you, but make different choices from you. And just because he or she makes different choices from you doesn’t mean he loves you less. Those choices might result in YOU loving HIM or HER less. But that’s a separate discussion; and that’s the discussion you must have with yourself.

Expecting others to act or think like you do is often a subconscious expectation. You could read this entire post, and agree with every word of it, and then go into a situation with a friend, a loved one or even a stranger and find yourself expecting just the opposite. That’s how emotions work. They’re often not under our direct control, and that’s OK … because our conscious thinking IS under our direct control. We’re free to correct our emotions when we discover our emotions are wrong. And it’s not the end of the world, in most (if any) cases.

So cheer up! The world is not exactly like you. It keeps life interesting; and it will always be like this, so try and accept it, for the sake of your own peace of mind.


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