Stop Expecting Too Much from Friends

They’re also humans

Praise Adeola
3 min readMay 17, 2024


If you want to live long, be careful of your expectations- Apst. Femi Lazarus

Photo by Womanizer Toys on Unsplash

In relating to people, it’s easy to forget that they are human beings. Humans are prone to forgetfulness, make mistakes, and also have relationships with people aside from us.

  • True friendship extends grace, allowing us to see things from the perspective of others.
  • It’s sympathetic to their circumstances and current realities.
  • Friendship gives freely, without demands

I recall a time when I used to get upset if my friends forgot to post long birthday captions about me. In turn, I’d do the same on their birthdays. Eventually, I forgot their birthdays too, unintentionally, caught up in the busyness of life. This led to reciprocal anger and distance in our relationships.

Through this lens, I realized how unfairly I was treating people. They, like me, were engrossed in their daily lives. Forgetting my birthday didn’t mean they cared less about me. They’ve shown up for me in more ways than I give them credit for.

So, I changed my attitude. I stopped judging friendships by such trivial standards and began asking myself, “Do they positively influence my life?” “Do they contribute to my emotional, spiritual, and professional growth?” and “Am I a better person because they’re in my life?”

I have wonderful, thriving relationships with friends whom I only see once a year or even more. When we meet, there’s no blame game about who didn’t check up on whom. We understand each other’s responsibilities and the demands of life. These relationships are built on trust and understanding.

In my current relationships, I value trust and understanding over numbers. I’d rather have two friends who trust and understand me than ten with unrealistic expectations and constant bickering about who last checked up on whom. I value quality over quantity.

However, this doesn’t excuse neglecting friends, failing to celebrate their milestones, or not showing up when they need you. Without these, it shouldn’t even be called friendship. Where you need to step up, please do so and make no excuses. There’s always room for improvement in how we relate to others, whether through better communication, listening more, or giving.

I strongly recommend reading How to Win Friends and Influence People. If you have read it before, read it again. Most times, it takes reading twice to get the point.

Friendships are beautiful and add flavour to our lives, but they require trust, understanding, and maturity to navigate. It won’t always be smooth sailing, but if someone matters to you, you’ll do your best to make the friendship thrive—sometimes that means giving them grace.

And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

Hebrews 10:24-25 [NKJV]

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