Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Should we expect to have expectations?

Would it surprise you to know that many a times the expectations we have from others are born out of our own psyche, and has little to do with the person, we have them about?

Expectations in relationships can begin when we take our own ideals, standards, view of things and try to project it onto other people. We then anticipate that they will live in accordance with these standards. We may have a lot of expectations from them because we are emotionally dependent….lack self confidence and rely on others to fill the void of our unsatisfied needs….we are self critical as well.…though I feel the inner critic is the judge and jury of our behaviour. It is the part within us that is filled with mandates such as, ‘you ought to’, ‘you must’, ‘how could you’, ‘why didn’t you’ and so on. Often, instead of taking control of our inner critic, we project it onto others, sometimes using the same terminology.
  
Invariably unrealistic expectations are connected to issues of power, manipulations and control. Have you ever expected someone to be happy, sad, afraid, or in some other emotional state and have been surprised when they weren’t? After all that is what you would feel in the same situation, or maybe been confused….when you did something nice for someone and that you expected them to like, and they apparently weren’t showing enough enthusiasm.

As we project our life's views onto others, we are assuming that they think and feel in a similar way that you thought they might? It was something you would have appreciated someone doing it for you, so why didn’t they like it, you end up wondering. Eventually when someone close to us does something that appears in deep contrast with the standards we have associated with them…we then feel hurt, betrayed, angry, and confused.

The hard truth is that people show us exactly who they are, through their everyday behaviour.…we are actually aware of who they are at a deeper level within us. We need to stop fantasizing and pretending things that are not as we want it to be….stop filtering our thoughts and pay attention to reality, to what others think and feel, and how they behave. We have to acknowledge to ourselves, the truth of who they are as individuals.

Be real with the people in your life. Let them know who you really are, and how you truly feel. As you begin to see and accept them for who they authentically are, gently helps them to see through to their own mistaken assumptions and illusory identities they have built around you, to the real you as well the illusionary veil and stop the futile behaviour of projecting and expecting.

When we demonstrate the insight and courage to embrace the truth, along with finally putting an end to the pain of constantly being disappointed by unmet expectations of one another, our relationships have the opportunity to become rich in authenticity, trust, and deep emotional bonding. We must learn to distinguish between expectations and needs. Everyone has a need to be loved, to be understood, to be accepted and to be forgiven when necessary. When you know what you need from any relationship and can express those needs to others and be willing to allow them to love you the way they can, you will see a shift in your relationship that goes far beyond what you ever could have ever imagined.

Having realistic expectations for others involves realizing that all of us are less than perfect. Instead of looking to others to meet our needs, we must take responsibility for our own life and make necessary changes that are in our best interest. We must leave our self-blame behind and find ways to untwist our thinking and behavior to make our lives more fulfilling. It is important to value and accept our partners and friends for who they are. It is in our best interest not to spend our energy trying to change them to fit an image of what we believe we need and what they can provide for us.

Gestalt prayer

Copyrigth@Motifs2010
Labels: Expectations, behaviour, reality
Pictures: Courtesy Google Images

38 comments:

  1. After reading this article, I really think I need to reconsider my expectations of people that I love. Thank you Alpana. Really insightful!

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  2. wow areal good one

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  3. 'Expectation' , this very word defines relationship. Some say it should be there, some say shouldn't. But I believe, commitment creates a bond, and a bond means expectation!
    Your post says, our expectation doesn't match reality. True. But then again, not having expectation from someone you care, is like trying to forget a person you never knew.

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  4. After reading this article, I really think I need to reconsider my expectations of people that I love. Thank you Alpana. Really insightful!

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  5. Very nice!!! I alway say and believe that expectations leads to disappointment... Thus, I never expect anything coz don't want disappointment, let everything come as a surprise..

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  6. i think its fair to expect ppl to be truthful and loyal .... compromise n expectations are a part n parcel of any relationship!!! And u can always expect me to be there for u ..forever!! Though u have written this article very well!!!

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  7. It's a very insightful article and I really enjoyed reading it. Expectation reduces joy, so don't expect, just be your strong, confident self.Beautiful post, Alpana.....

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  8. gr8.....it's true in relationships expectations are fullfilled unknowingly but further it becomes a habit leading to disappointment.....and are taken for granted..!

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  9. Thank you...
    @Rajkamal:Thank you,I really feel happy when people can connect to what I write.
    @Nandini:You are my best friend, this does not apply to you...Thanks anyway.
    @Souvick:Everyone has their own outlook,I believe that to expect too much out of any relationship,will eventually lead to disappointment.
    @Rimly:Thank you,after your posts,I just cannot match up to you and Sulekha...its a learning process for me.
    @Seema:Thank you,I always try to follow your outlook..hope to be successful at it.
    @Akanksha:You better sweetheart,or you know what you are heading for..love you always.
    @Sulekha:As I mentioned..I now consider it an honour to have your comments.
    @Dipti:You are speaking my mind..What are friends for..

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  10. Alpana - well written as always... and love the thoughts in it. I think I am going to change a few things about expectations today... THank you for this!

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  11. Alpu....I clearly remeber my husband asking me the day we got married...what are my expectations...and my reply..."nothing" he was really taken aback..on the other hand he had a lot of expectation, where i was concerned..u have the answer...very well written...I loved it..thanks once again...

    Seema

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  12. Relations !!! Can we really survive without expectations???When we r young we expect our parents 2 help us..in our teens we expect our frends 2 co operate in many ways..after our marriage we start expecting from our partners certain things,,but sumtymes dat really falls wrong..dats d tyme when we r hurt..we have 2 undrstnd we r 2 diffrnt individuals..hw can all our thoughts match???Its lyke mixing salt 2 sabji,sumtyms perfect..sumtymes ......dats our fate..bt still will keep on expecting in lyfe..never ends..always begins new..jst bit tough..wht say?

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  13. Alpu,it would be really good if we didn't have any expectations but.....we survive to fulfill our expectations;dont we?Simple Economics,demand n supply;there might be crisis at times but it will surely revive.There will be surplus too,honey.Just wait n watch.Every relationship demands certain expectations,sometimes we are capable to fulfil sometimes not!But being a mathematician,let me tell u,still we have not invented the value of infinity...............thats expectations!Luv u.

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  14. Well what I hv learnt is ...one is better off without expectations ....whenever u start having expectation its best to delete that thought....I prefer to remain honest to myself by doing the right karmas ...performing my duties honestly and in my free time doing things that truly make me smile " friends "......so guys to remain happy no point having expectations and brooding later.

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  15. ‎ Alpana- I am a victim of too much expectations..I had built castles in the air and had dreamt of a good life with a person I thought I had loved and I thought had loved me...the castle is now a flat beach where the footsteps of 'yesterday'..are the only things you can see..so I would say..begin any relationshp without any expectations if possible and love unconditionally..possible? Am not sure...

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  16. Very true, have learnt never to have any expectation, as it just leads to disappointment and heart break..

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  17. The punching line, or at least for me...we should stop "fantasizing" about situations and people and accept the hard fact that "they" are "they" and "i" am "i"...life does become easier after this realisation goes down your system. A very well put across bitter truth and a fact of life...love you

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  18. Nicely written Alpana,It's difficult to answer that question,..expectations can be both positive and negative depending on the context, but the toxic ones hinder our progress because they stem from the ego— “I” When there is respect and a foundation of unconditional love in a relationship, all good things follow in accordance, and there is no need for expectations..... but again cannot be generalised..

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  19. Expectations!...something we see everywhere..loved what u wrote as always..n yes I 'EXPECT' to read more on ur blog...:)

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  20. Another Exquisite Article Alpana, Expectations can be good and can be bad. Expectations in the form of Assumptions can be bad, Expectations in the form of Requests can be good, I Expect you to live up to this article Alpana, Looking forward to more

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  21. 'Keep on discovering..... you will soon stop being a meer actor on this stage... u will learn to direct'!!!!!!! Cheers

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  22. You are getting better by every article..your play of words leaves me spell bound...this was a good and much debated topic...it's difficult to say whether one is happier having expectations or not..keep up the good work...may you reach for the stars this year!!!!!

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  23. @Kriti:Thank you,all you girls from our LC are an inspiration for me.
    @Seema:I know what you mean...there is no point expecting anything from anyone..
    @Sunayna:Good one,you should start writing..our views always match..love u.
    @Reshmi:You sound right,but I can't depend on anyone,and to expect..never!!
    @Sudeepta:I know where you are coming from..and agree with you.
    @Niloo Aunty:Glad you think like me.
    @Alkadi:Love you too..and our thoughts have to be the same..you are my sister.
    @Sachi:Thank you..I like your outlook towards it.
    @Bandana:You will,sweets..thanks.
    @Bilal:Thank you...going to bank on you for more support.
    @Carolaan:Thank you..my angel in disguise..
    @Aniladi:Thank you..I hope so.and with your support,thing will be better.

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  24. Expectations & Relationships - the best way to address the burden of expectations either way is to be at peace with self thru meditation & learn the art of detachment ( detachment doesnt mean disliking)....

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  25. Dear Alpana ,Your message impelled me to take a journey of myself and I came to know that after 31 years of marriage, I have become a love maker from lover.Thank you 4 waking me up,only the thought of being a lover again refreshes our relation.( of mine and Pratiksha )thank u once again.

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  26. Hi Alpana, a very good write up and a much needed clarification in our lonley world of today. You have rightly set the clarity of this thing called "EXPECTATION". For me - EXPECTATION : the less you have it the better you are.
    Cheers and keep up the good work.

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  27. Great blog post!!! I have a few expectations to change!

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  28. Isn´t it nature that we always expect too much from our loved ones and they in return from us? Great blog and really made me think about my expectations and the pressure I put on my loved ones.

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  29. i believe expectations have both good and bad effects on life. it is we who are responsible for the effects. if we choose the wrong person with right expectations it is sure to bring disappointment and if we choose right person with right expectations it makes life more easier. so in any way we are the cause for every expectations that come true and that don't.

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  30. well.. a lot has been already said here in favor of your write up, and rightly so... you have written it so well and have touched all possible aspect of the subject....Hats off...:))

    all i can say that problems in any relationship starts, when we start expecting others to think n act like how we think n act....and this is never justified in flourishing any relationship....

    regards,
    irfan.

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  31. I had never read this and I'm glad you reposted it. When I saw the title I had high expectations for it. In this instance they were met and exceeded. YOu are a very interesting person. I would love to sit and just talk for a few hours with you. With a glass of wine, maybe two glasses lol


    http://jpweddingphotograpy.blogspot.com/2011/05/read-all-about-it-proof-dinosaurs-in.html

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  32. Good post Alpu. When you dont expect anything, you dont get hurt!

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  33. After going through the many different winding roads of several long term relationships, I have tweaked my expectations and dropped many hangups. The basic truth is that no matter what demands or "rules" are expressed between two adults, we will end up doing whatever we want. Drop all of that and take a stance of laissez faire. Let them be themselves and should it not work out or you see something that you cannot deal with, then you can choose to go your own way. You can move on and find someone else because you are special!

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  34. A very nice post.

    Loved the closing lines!!

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  35. I have learnt over the years to accept people for who they are. Not to demand anything. To place no conditions in return for my friendship. In my eyes love should be unconditional.

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  36. although a tough topic to write but clearly written...u ve earned a fan!

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  37. My bird can speak and is quite intelligent. Every evening he says, he want to talk with someone who was thought to be among our family for the last ten years...

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  38. Expectations lead to disappointments, unless one side is willing to post requests n the other side is willing to oblige with the requests. Most cases one side doesn't agree & finally leads to breakups. So I must agree that expectations be lowered to a minimum to avoid further sadness, disappointments etc etc. I've tried loving other ppl for who they are but there are so many ppl in this world who have a sh*tload of expectations that sometimes its utterly impossible to please.

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