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Chris Rock once said:  “When you’re meeting a person, you’re not meeting them, you’re meeting their representative.”  As true as that is, when you spend a lot of time with someone, after a while that façade begins to fade and you can see the person for who they truly are.  Within times of joy, turmoil, despair and anger, true emotions begin to fill in those holes of their personality and you begin to see past the shell of the person and into who they really are.  When those times happen, I believe in Maya Angelou’s saying:  “When someone shows you who they are, believe them.”

When I was in college, in one of my psychology classes I learned that by the age of four, the personality that you have then is pretty much the one you’re going to keep.  Not saying that you’ll keep the perspective of a four year old, but if you were selfish when you were four, you’re pretty much going to be a selfish so-n-so when you’re 44, if you’re not already.  There have been recent studies that challenge that theory, but honestly, I still believe it.  I do think that people can change, but I do believe that the fundamental aspects of a personality will be set by four. Will you be an extrovert, or introvert; a giver or taker; a sociopath or a person who watches sociopaths on Maury?

If there seems to be a problem in relationships (whether romantic, familial, or work-related) the problem can be traced back to one person expecting a certain type of behavior or behavioral change and the other person failing to meet their expectations.  To the person who’s upset, the expectations seem easy enough to understand and to follow; however, this person just seems to fall under the bar constantly.  Who’s really at fault in all of this?

Honestly, if you’re expecting someone to change, then maybe you should change your expectations? Resentment grows when people consistently make poor decisions.  Each time that person fails to meet your desires, until you come to terms with it, you’ll remember the multiple times they’ve failed you. And like pipes under pressure, you’re going to eventually explode on that person.  Marriages end because of this type of dilemma.

Sometimes you have to consider that maybe your expectations are out of whack for that person.  There are always signs of a person’s true nature. When those signs occurred did you notice them, ignore them for the sake of the relationship, or hope for a change?  When engaging in a relationship (of any kind) with a person, one of the best things to do is to embrace that person for who they are, faults and all.  Of course they’re going to fail sometimes, because they’re imperfect and human.  The same way that you’re going to fail under someone else’s expectations.  By having that mindset or embracing their faults, it might allow you to have grace for the other person.  Not saying that you need to stay in a frustrating relationship that is going nowhere (because the person in question continuously does the same crap over and over that they promised to stop doing… not that I’m bitter or anything), but unless you terminate that relationship, all you can do is accept it.  Until then, when that cat shows you their true nature, accept it when it meows, and stop expecting it to bark.  If  barking is important to you and you do move on to another relationship, try to find a dog next time.

Kendra Koger is a blogger, writer and a meower since she’s been four.  Follow her on twitter @kkoger.

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