Have you ever felt like someone has let you down or simply hasn’t measured up to your standards or expectations? Have you perhaps thought that they were actually unaware of this need or requirement that you have put on them? When did it become OKAY for us to simply expect things from someone else because of our relationship to them. Would you expect or demand things from a stranger? No. Then why do we place such high expectations of those whom we hold nearest and dearest?
If there is one thing I urge you to try to change or work on in your life it is this: Let go of expectations. They have a tendency to make us feel unhappy, untrusting, and unsatisfied, and it is all because of a little dialogue that goes on in our head when we associate someone with a set of expectations and criteria to fill.
In recent years it has come to my awareness that I have a tendency to expect too much from people, be it expecting them to act a certain way, say certain things, do certain things, and react in certain ways. However, since becoming more aware of this and consciously trying to change the way I think and behave, I have noticed my relationships grow and have noticed that I have had a greater sense of calmness and happiness about me.
Once I stopped expecting things from others I began to truly appreciate what others have done for me and have valued their relationships to me even more so than before. So how do we change our expectations? It can be quite easy, but it can also be quite hard as years and years of subconsciously labelling someone with expectations can take some time to undo. For example some common expectations are as follows:
I expect that my friends/partner will want to spend Friday night with me simply because I do.
I expect that I can get away with talking to my family members like shit because they are family and they will always be there.
I expect that my friends or family will help me move houses as I have done this for them before.
I expect that my husband/wife/partner will call me when they are away.
I expect that my friends or family will pick me up or drop me off somewhere simply because.
I expect that since you are my friend you should act in a certain way.
I expect that since you are my husband/wife/partner that you will greet me in a certain way.
I expect that since you’re my sister/brother that you will do this for me.
I expect that since you are my partner you will shower me with love and affection.
I expect that since we are housemates you will do designated chores.
I expect. I expect. I expect. The list can go on and on and can be quite draining.
It is NOT okay to expect things from others simply because of their relationship to you. Try removing the label of ‘partner,’ ‘wife,’ ‘mother,’ ‘brother,’ aunt,’ ‘friend,’ or whatever label it may be and then ask yourself would you expect these demands from anyone else. Chances are the answer is a big fat NO. We are ALL equal and we are ALL individuals with our own individual lives and thoughts. When we stop expecting we start appreciating. Don’t expect help but then receive it? Holy heavens is this a god send. Don’t expect a phone call from a loved one? Wow how friggin’ sweet and thoughful was that random call.
As I said above, when you stop expecting you start appreciating and it is these moments that start to make you truly appreciate and feel a warm sense of love, happiness, and gratitude for those beautiful souls in your life. And to finish up, stop expecting things from yourself. These expectations can be some of the most damaging ones as you start to damage your own sense of worth.
I expect to succeed in this job.
I expect to have a million buck in the bank by age 30.
I expect to rock that bikini come summer time.
You are more than your expectations so start acting accordingly. Stop expecting and start appreciating what others and what you do for yourself. If you notice yourself having that mental fight in your head of “did they really just say or do that?” take a step back out of your head, breathe, clear your thoughts, and ask yourself if this is something they have done or something that you simply think they have done.
Got any advice on how you deal with expectations? Pop a comment below, I would love to hear it.
P.s – this will be something we will be truly working through at the retreat in May – I cannot wait – there’s a few spaces left so check it out here.