Is It Time To Stop Expecting People to Show-Up for You Who Don’t Have The Capacity To Do It?

Tough question:

When we are feeling let down by someone, ask yourself this question, ‘do they have the capacity to show up for me in the way I need?’ 

If the answer is ‘no’, they can’t show up for me in the way I need, then hoping they will change is only going to cause you pain. 

Knowing this is a gift. It can set you and them free. The opportunity here is to shift your expectations. 

Let me use an example. You were deeply loved by your biological father. He was very tactile and emotive. Your parents separate and your mother re-marries. Your step-father doesn’t like to be touched and shows little emotion. You deeply want to re-create the relationship you had with your father with your step-father, but as you try to get close to him, you feel pushed away. You feel rejected and hurt and try everything to win his love to no avail.

You talk to your mother about this. She validates your experience of him by sharing that she also feels little emotion from him and struggles to connect deeply with him. 

Light bulb moment! He doesn’t have the same capacity for showing love as your father had. Maybe he doesn’t have the same capacity to love that your father had. You can stop hoping he will suddenly increase his capacity. You can accept him for who he is and look for different ways to connect with him and different ways for you to fill your need for a deeper connection.

Does this resonate with you?