The people who love you the most expect the most of you. They want to see you become the biggest, brightest, best version of yourself. They will sometimes hold you to a higher standard than you hold yourself. But they don’t hold you to that standard because they’re being judgemental, at least not in a way that is negative. They hold you to that standard because they see something in you that you don’t yet see. Or maybe they see something in you that you see but aren’t yet acting on.
The people who don’t really love you also don’t expect anything of you. Many of these people will have very low personal standards for themselves. The fact that their standards are low means they’re only comfortable with people who share their low standards (or people who are willing to lower their standards to join them). These people will never want you to become the biggest, best, brightest version of yourself. They fear that they will lose you, and they fear that the fact that you are so bright means that they are dim and insignificant by comparison. If you grow, you prove that it is possible, and those with low standards don’t want the responsibility of growing. Any attempt to escape the gravitational pull of people with low standards will be greeted with a harsh rebuke, and you will be criticized for believing that you are better than this group.
Never, ever, ever lower your standards.
Hold yourself to a standard so high that no one else would dare to raise your standard. When the people who love you do attempt to raise your standard, know that this is because they see something in that you that you don’t yet see. Know that when people try to lower your standard, they are trying to do so for their own benefit, not yours.
Never, ever, ever lower your standards. Ever.