“One of the biggest stumbling blocks to recovery seems to be placing unrealistic expectations on…others”. NA Basic Text p82
“Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment”. John 7:24
In the beginning when I first quit drinking and using, I expected other people to notice. Even during my recent separation, I expected friends to react a certain way. When they did not, I became resentful. It seems that we place enough unrealistic expectations on ourselves during our recovery. Unfortunately, we also place some pretty unrealistic expectations on those around us as well.
Another area I have witnessed this is in our own meetings. People we thought had it all together, were bickering about this and that or inadvertently passing judgment on someone who has been in the program for several years. This is what draws many people away from going to meetings. The last thing anybody wants is to have someone talking about them.
We need to realize that people are people. Once the newness wears off, we go back to old thought patterns while we are learning new thought patterns. It is a process. This isn’t just placing unrealistic expectations, but also expecting people to act normal as we perceive normal. It is here that we start judging other people. I find myself doing this less and less, although it still happens.
It is necessary to let people be people. You can’t avoid them unless you become a damn hermit. Continuing to take a personal inventory of yourself daily will help you to disallow how others react to determine your outlook.