A few days ago an old friend shared this meme on Facebook that read, “stop expecting YOU from people,” and my mouth literally dropped.
I’ve heard, “expectations are the mothers of disappointment,” and “expectations will ruin any relationship, fast.” These make sense, but they didn’t hit me as hard as, “stop expecting YOU from people.”
Everyone has problems with expectations. We all know to not have them, but we all fall prey to them from time to time.
And there’s different kinds of expectation traps, some more obvious than others.
Say you have an Uncle you want to be close with but every time you bring up sensitive topics that are important to you, he makes insensitive statements and sweeping generalizations that are maddening.
You only know how to connect with people on matters that are important (because chit-chat was never your strong suit) so you’re conflicted with Uncle Fred because you love him but can’t hold the conversation you want with him and find it difficult to understand the relationship you have with him if you can’t talk about what matters.
See the problem?
You are of the person who goes above and beyond for every friend or family member. You will drop everything to rush to their aid and be there for them however they need it, rain or shine, good or bad timing.
When shit hits the fan in your own life you compare how your same friends respond to you the way you’d respond for them and feel let down.
See the problem?
In some point of your life you dreamed about what your life would look like by the time you hit a certain age, then you got to that age and it hardly resembles the life you expected when you were younger.
You could waste a bunch of time feeling like a failure for not living up to those expectations, or you could realize you’re doing it all in your own time because when you’re younger you don’t include the human factor or understand you’re not always in control…
Know what I’m saying?
The Final Example:
You compare your relationship to those you see on television, in movies, books, or on social media and in doing so put an unrealistic expectation on your own relationship because your comparing it to the standard set by other people.
Social media is curated by the users, it’s a highlight reel. Characters written in books and on television and in movies are scripted, emotions are controlled, and no matter how relateable writers write them, they still aren’t human representations of the real life exchange because real life isn’t scripted.
I work hard to show a little of it all on my social media feed, but I’m not going to discuss arguments I have with my Hubs. The exception to this rule is if the argument is fun, i.e. who takes the best selfie?
The only person I’m going to get into the nitty gritty with about arguments between my Hubs is with my Hubs, because it’s nobody else’s business. Oh and maybe my girlfriend from New York because she’s the kind of friend who isn’t going to pass judgment because we all need that one girlfriend (love you Sabrina!).
Shit I’ve started to ramble with this example, but the ‘stop expecting YOU from people’ still applies to this relationship example. How many times you do think, how come my husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, or cousin, friend, brother, sister, in-laws of all kinds etc… wouldn’t respond THIS way or do it THIS way, or see it THIS way?
Well, because they’re not YOU.
Happy Thursday. May we all learn to stop falling prey to damn expectations of all proportions and focus on what is.
RamblinRandol is my journey back to loving myself (which happens to include baking). It’s an open letter on how I’m growing through what I’ve been through. And like Maya Angelou said, “the ache for home lives in all of us…” It’s time for me to feel at home in my own skin.
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