It doesn’t make an ass out of you and me. Just me.

This one thing has been the bane of my adult life, and I can’t really say I know why. As strange as it sounds, it could be from a newfound naiveté, or simply from a complacence I’ve developed as I’ve aged.

I find myself assuming many things at my age; some are worse than others. I can make presumptions or judgments about people I’ve just met, or draw conclusions about them based on observations I’ve made of them.

However, I’ve found myself making a habit of assuming that I can rely on people, which is (in my opinion) one of the worst assumptions you can make. There’s no worse feeling than putting your faith in other people who turn right around and disappoint you. I can’t deny that I’m partially to blame, though: I’ve chosen to put this faith into people who have had a history of being unreliable or have had no proven track record whatsoever.

Then I realize that sometimes the most reliable people in your life will let you down, and I haven’t really decided what to do about it. History says that you won’t be let down again, but sometimes the risk of failure is too great to chance it again. I suppose it depends on the situation.

Through this, I’ve come up with one of my primary philosophies in life: if you set your expectations low, you’ll never be disappointed.

I developed this attitude in high school, but it was initially about movies. I was disappointed with almost every movie I went to and eventually got fed up enough that I refused all invitations to the theater. Then I developed this mantra, and now I don’t hate going to the movies as much (though I go infrequently enough that I still get my hopes up every time).

This mantra can be applied to all avenues of your life, and that makes me profoundly sad, but it also doesn’t faze me. This is how it always has been and always will be. You can set your expectations high and hope for the best, but be prepared for the worst. That’s what I do. I am a pessimist at heart, after all.

Don’t be that person that lets other people down. Life’s too short to fail other people. Put your best effort into everything you do, no matter how big or small. That’s one of the best ways to foster a thriving society.

It’s a bit hypocritical coming from me, I know.