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Saturday, January 16, 2016

WHAT DO YOU EXPECT...

I have written many posts on expectations, but this is a subject that cannot be over-emphasized in the quest for a positive life filled with happiness and ease.

In a world in which our time is limited, expectations rank right up there with the number one time waster (number 1 being worry). Yesterday, three people who I cherish dearly either hit me with their expectations or had a hard day feeling let down by their expectations. While it is natural to feel that people should behave in a certain way based on your actions toward them, it is unreasonable and such a waste of time and energy to think that they will do so, much less do so every time.

We all want to think that because we would react a certain way toward a friend or loved one that they will in turn either return the favor or respond in the way in which we thought they should  Then, if they don't, we feel let down and have anger or hostility toward them, even if just for a short time.  When the situation is reversed, when you are on the end of someone else's expectations of you, you then realize it more as a form of manipulation because when you don't react the way they wanted you to and you get hit with their anger or attitude, you realize the goal of the anger and/or attitude is to try to make you feel guilty or in the wrong. I now notice that people get frustrated or angry with me because I have learned to let their feelings be just that...their feelings. I don't play into their expectations or the aftermath thereof.  I just let them have their feelings of frustration and/or anger and wait until they are done dealing with them.  I know they will come back when they or ready...or not. On the flip side, I don't put expectations on the people in my life anymore and am MUCH happier and less stressed because of it.

Expectations, which are learned, become embedded in our subconscious and, like all change, are hard to bring to the surface at first in order to recognize the fact that we are doing it. This, of course, is necessary in order to become conscious of the expectations as they arise and to adjust our thoughts to realize that the person we are talking to or dealing with is an unpredictable human without a script. This person will react differently than you would to each and every situation and if you want this person in your life, accept who they are...embrace their differences and hold onto any similarities for they are rare.  

When we live in the moment and learn to let go, we can skip over the small, silly disagreements that occur in every relationship because, let's face it, having everyone in your life be a "yes" person is more like queen and servants, not like friends/lovers...which will ultimately result in tyranny.  You can agree to disagree and move on from there.  Learn to embrace those differences and love that about this person because that is part of what attracted you to them in the first place in one way or another. If you like or love a person for who they are, let them be who they are and don't try to control or manipulate them with expectations because again, you are only hurting you.

Expectations are the best way you have available to you to let yourself down.  We tend to blame the other person for their reaction, but you are letting no one down but yourself and hurting no one in the process but...you.  Is that really worth it? I know from much experience on my part that most of the turmoil I have/had with people I love/loved, came from my own expectations and feeling let down by (what I thought was) their wrong response/reaction. The best thing you can do for all of the relationships in your life with the people you want to keep in your life, is to openly and honestly communicate.  Communication is tantamount to success in every relationship.  If you can trust someone enough to talk with them openly and honestly when something bothers you about them, without fear, you will strengthen that relationship to the core and it will be the best relationship of all. 

If you want to lead a positive, happy and easy life, work on becoming conscious of each time you feel let down...bring that feeling to the surface and ask yourself, "why am I feeling this way?" You will then recognize it to be an expectation you were having and now that you have brought it to the surface you can address it and then thrown it away. Like attracts like so, in the same way that not judging people brings people into your life who will not judge you, not having expectations of others will bring people into your life who will not expect anything from you.  

Live in the here and the now, no expectations, no judgments...just joy.


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