Thursday, January 27, 2011
Expect the unexpected
"Where is it written that others must act the way we want them to. It may be preferable but not necessary" - Albert Ellis
I have heard a lot about expectations in relationships (this is not to say I am an expert, its just I'm a girl... I have a lot of girlfriends.... And we talk) and from my personal opinion the main reason for many break ups is un realistic expectations(even though people may not know it). We go about having unrealistic expectations of the people in our lives, and sure enough we always end up disappointed. I can raise my hands to this one.
I have expectations of everyone, from my family, friends, boyfriend(s) even teachers, in fact the only people I have zero expectations of are people I don't know and have never met before. Its just the way the world goes round, no matter what kind of relationship you have, whether romantic or platonic, it is going to have some kind of expectations.
Now I don't think this is wrong, I mean besides the fact that I think expectations are ingrained in us from birth with expecting our parents love and take care of us, I also feel that how else are things going to happen (our way) if we don't have a blueprint of how we want them to happen? Right? Wrong.
Having expectations of others is a dangerous pursuit. I think too often we fall in the trap of expecting the people in our lives, especially the ones we date to act and behave a certain way, and become frustrated, angry or hurt when they do not. But see, this is because expectations are one sided. YOU expect something from someone which THEY at no stage agreed to. It is as if we are trying to mould them into the 'perfect match' rather than trying to figure out if they are our match to begin with, and moving on if they are not.
Expectations, whether stated or hidden frequently create all sorts of drama, like communications break down, relationship conflicts, distrust, misunderstandings, emotional distress and a whole lot of other problems. When a person fails to deliver MY expectation I am hurt, disappointed and resentful, THEY didn't stand a chance. They were blissfully unaware that I even had such expectations from them. See how that works? Yeah, not so well.
Remember, the only person you can control is yourself. You may want a perfectly scripted relationship but happily ever after only exists in books and movies (you can read more of this in my post Not In The Real World) relationships are a continual work in progress, keeping your pride and ego at bay, accepting certain things and learning to pick your fights. Not sending you roses just because its wednesday is surely not a battle worth fighting. Not doing what he\she says and not keeping their word--> well now that's worth pursuing.
If you want your relationship to be what it could and should be rather set realistic expectations or better yet toss it away all together and go with no expectations at all. Expect the unexpected, after all expectations are really just planned disappointments.
"Happiness is living without expectations" - Peter Cajander