Posted by Mark Schmitz
“There is no greater enemy to those who would please than expectation.” — Montaigne
A friend and I were recently rehashing some difficulties – ridiculous drama, that we recently experienced, courtesy of a mutual friend. This friend I was talking with suffered from the drama much more than I, to the tune of about $3,500. In my friend’s most recent session with her therapist, she was encouraged to accept; “It is, what it is.” I began to realize that we both had certain expectations of our mutual friend.
Later that day, I found myself thinking, as I watched one of my neighbors attempting to give some order to her cluttered apartment, ” Why is she doing it like this? This isn’t the way I would do it.” She was making more chaos than when she began. And how about this: on my roommate’s behavior today I was thinking, “I don’t understand why she’s acting like this. What’s wrong with her?” I wondered, “Am I setting myself up for disappointment by my expectations or am I realistic about what I am expecting from myself and other people and life?”
When we start to say things such as what I have said, we can stop and look inside ourselves. Chances are, we’ll find expectations. When we want people to act and live according to our wishes, we have set ourselves up as arbiters of their behavior. Somewhere within ourselves, we cling to the idea that we know the best way.
Underneath our expectations may lurk such feelings as abandonment, fear, insecurity, grandiosity or anger. We worry that we can’t control what’s happening – and we’re right, we can’t. But the more we respect other people’s right to make their own choices and mistakes, to express their uniqueness, and to grow in their own time, the more freedom we have to do the same. We can use our power for our own good, and not give it away to hidden or not-so-hidden expectations. It is, what it is.
Posted in Adversity, Boundaries, Challenge, Conflict, deceit, Defects, Delusion, Dificulty, Dishonest, Dispute, Dysfunction, Fear, feelings, forgiveness, Friendships, Game playing, Hurt emotions, Lying, Negative, Past Transgressions, People in your life, Personal Growth, Relationships, Self concept, Self Discovery, Self-improvement, Shortcomings, Spirituality, St. Francis of Assisi, Struggle, Tough Times, Truth, Vindictive