I have always had a problem with expecting too much from myself. I'm much harder on myself than I am on anyone else. And, while I recognize that in myself, it's funny how seeing other people do the same thing to themselves seems so much harsher. When a friend is aggravated with himself because he has been unable to do something he intended to do, or unable to do it on the time scale he had planned, it bothers me that he is so hard on himself, that he is expecting to be perfect and not allowing himself to make a mistake or misjudgement of time. He sees it as failure, starts feeling badly about himself and questioning his abilities.
Because I care about my friend and know how very hard he works to fulfill commitments and act in an honest, noble manner, it hurts me to see him doing this to himself. It is kind of ironic that when I am beating myself up for not meeting my own expectations, it seems legitimate and appropriate, but when I see someone I care about doing the same thing, it is too harsh and uncalled for. There is a lesson in all this I guess, but very difficult to recognize or remember it when I need to. I suppose I should care more about myself and have a bit of the compassion and understanding for myself that I do for others I care about.
The next time I am down on myself and feeling badly about something I have done wrong or not been able to do, I suppose I should try reminding myself that I wouldn't be so rough on a friend. I would have enough concern and love for a friend to allow them to make mistakes or to not be perfect.