The perceptions of expectations

Expectation. Noun: the act or the state of expecting: to wait in expectation. The act or state of looking forward or anticipating.

Expect. Verb: to look forward to; regard as likely to happen; anticipate the occurrence or the coming of: I expect to read it. I expect him later. She expects that they will come. To look for with reason or justification: We expect obedience.

I have observed how, in my opinion, people place expectations on people and things to a great degree. Their happiness and moods seem to depend on the actions of others or things that we really have no control of.

I, myself, am guilty of putting expectations on people and places/situations/things that I have no control of. Yet I let it control my level of happiness and emotions. Sometimes I get upset that people do not meet up to expectations I believe they should be following. Sometimes I realize this is completely irrational and have to stop and remind myself that I have control of no one, with the exception, somewhat, of the boy and even he is his own being. I expect him to mind, follow directions, show respect and use manners. I also expect him to have an occasional meltdown or act out. He is after all only 5.

However, it seems when it comes to adults, I have to decide if I can live with people not living up to what I “thought” my expectations are of that person. Straight off, people who continually lie or try to bring any harm to me and mine are gone. Sorry, I can’t have that. But what about those “other” expectations that seemed so important in the beginning?

Let me share an example. When I first met a friend of mine we clicked immediately. We did things together, share our lives and had a grand time. She became another “sister” to me. Then I moved across the country. While we spent many hours in each other’s company prior to my moving, she was notorious for not using her phone, losing her phone and forgetting to call. When I moved I don’t know why I thought this would change, because by that point, we had known each other several years and I had already accepted this about her. I realized I could choose to walk away from a friendship or accept the way she was. I chose to keep her. I know I have things about me that she chose to keep me over those things that irritate. I am grateful. We have been “sisters” for nearly 20 years. We have gone through all kinds of life situations, good, bad and plain hellish, yet we have stayed friends because for better or worse. We chose to keep each other. We have both forgotten something that was important to the other and have both chose selfishly at times, yet we work to keep our friendship.

In spite of the “expectations” people have of what friendship should be like, I continue to cherish this valuable friendship in my life. We could both choose to end our friendship, but why would we when it is a treasure to have someone who truly cares and has your best interest? She has a spouse, child and family who is also there. Yet she keeps me around. Most likely for entertainment but we find each other hysterically funny and definitely find something of value in each other.

Oftentimes I find that I am not living up to expectations of others. Sometimes I realize it and will talk to the person about it. Other times I have no idea I have even “messed up.” Many times it is miscommunication or misunderstandings. Rarely do I loose friends. I see it as life is precious and the humans in this life are a part of something larger than just us. Each and every one of us are different. We all have different thoughts, feelings and beliefs. I do not agree with everything my friends and family do or say nor do they agree with everything I do or say. Yet we still choose to be around each other. We choose to continue to have relationships with each other, even when it can be hard.

I believe we choose to change those “expectations” because we love that person enough to know that we want them as a part of our life, even with the craziness, no matter what it may be.

We change our perception of what our expectations are because we don’t want to lose someone special to us over something we may not agree with or even like, but the overall person is most definitely worth it.

It may be worth taking a look at your perceptions and weighing it against the overall picture.

Sometimes, expectations are way over-rated!

I hope y’all have a fabulous day!

Keep Hope Alive!

 

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One thought on “The perceptions of expectations

  1. Thank you for you post. It was indeed thought provoking, in general, and personally. I have a general habit of sometimes literally sitting down with a piece of paper and dividing the subject at hand into two categories; the Pros vs the Cons. People/relationships/friendships are a little more complex than that, although they shouldn’t be. Humans make things way more complex with expectations, perceptions of how things should and shouldn’t be, and in turn destroy some of the things that mean the most to them. They also say you hurt those you love the most, and it’s usually the result of unrealistic expectations, your perceptions of how a person should be and how they should treat or not treat you.. I once knew ( key word knew, as I could not continue to be around someone so shallow) that was literally going to divorce her husband because she felt like he played too much golf instead of paying her the desired attention she felt she deserved. He in no ignored her, he adored her; but golf was not only a passion of his, it was an escape from HER at times. He didn’t just throw jewelry at her as a form of his affection, he indeed did spend time with her, quality time..just not as much as she perceived to be enough. After holding my tongue for as long as I could, my response to her constant bitching about his golf was this, ” Honey, if the worse thing your husband does is maybe play a little too much golf maybe you need to 1. think about why he plays so much as all you do is bitch at him 2. be grateful that is ALL he does, as you bitch at him too much 3. Maybe reconsider your perception and expectations of what marriage is all about.”. There are some things about people close to me in which I do in fact hold higher expectations of them, than I do other things. No one is perfect, certainly not I; in fact I think sometimes I hold higher expectations of myself than other do of me because of how I have become to perceive myself. I have kept some of the same friendships for close to 20 years, so obviously I am doing something right in some areas. I do not lose friends either, unless I choose to walk away because I feel they are unhealthy for me emotionally or mentally or because they have harmed in some way me and mine, and that is a big No No with me. I can be just as equally cold as I can be a warm person. Some people do in fact disappoint me at times, that is a part of life, but I keep them around because as a whole, they are a generally good person towards me, other people and humanity as a whole; they truly do mean well. I never expect people to put in the SAME amount of effort into something such as a friendship/ relationship etc as I do. I do what I do because I WANT to, and trust me, I don’t really do anything I do not want to do or give. I do what I do, whether it be a gift, a compliment, words of encouragement because when I love someone in any form, I want them to be happy, to see themselves as I see them. I do however have some expectations of friendships and relationships and of the people in them, and one of the main ones is to at least meet me “half way” in some ways concerning certain things, that does NOT mean ALL of the time..but at least some of the time. People have lives, I know I do and despite what many people think it is in fact a busy one also, and I am pretty much doing it on my own with no help. I don’t say that for pity, at all, I hate pity, I say it because if I can at times make an effort then I feel like some other people close to me can at least make a small effort at times in return. All anyone has to go on is someone else’s actions, if their actions do not coincide with their words, that they themselves tell you repeatedly , imagine how confusing that can be? You continue to make an effort with said person because you believe in your heart that they are a wonderful person, with a wonderful heart and knowing them and being a part of their life and them yours adds to your ” world” in a special, unique way, as each friend you have does. Different people fulfill and add to different parts of who you are as a person. If anyone I know, whether it be a family member, friend, lover, romantic friendship feels that I am not as a whole not worth their effort or that I do not bring or offer something to their life they find a joy or pleasure in, I would be sad and disappointed, yes…but I would not want to continue to make them unhappy in any way or cause them any undo stress, they are free to leave my life with a peace be with you attitude and a wish you well and all the best. In conclusion, my main and pretty much only expectations of ANYONE in my life are that they at least try to at times meet me half way when they are able, to in some way also contribute in their own unique way to whatever friendship or relationship we are in. To not feel like I am someone they have to hide my friendship from other people, to understand that not everything is solely on their terms, whether it be when we see do get to see or talk to each other, or that my opinion, feelings or concerns are not valid, that maybe sometimes their perceptions may be a little off or that something may have been a simple misunderstanding and that if we talk about openly and without feeling like we are going to lose the other person, instead of diverting the topic or ignoring it all together we can in fact have a healthy, supportive and life long friendship, and not end up disliking each other or losing that is in fact unique and rewarding. I have no delusions of what things are or are not concerning people or persons, or what they will or will not be in the future. I am in fact a very intelligent, insightful and perspective person, and I do expect to be treated that way. What I am about to say is in general and geared toward no one in specific, but I do not like to have people try and insult my intelligence. Just because I may not say anything, does not mean I do not know or am not aware of certain things. I expect people not to take me for granted like I will always be there. I expect of anyone, that if they have “problems” with certain things and areas in their life that cause them to not be so quite aware, to work on those things, just as I try my best to work on and in areas that may cause disharmony in any of my friendships or relationships in my life. Yes, we all are “who we are” to a certain degree and it is one of the many things I love about people, but I expect people in general, even those closest to me, to try, to work around their own obstacles, disabilities, and quirks that hinder them, not for my sake, but I want them to be happy for themselves and for everyone else to be able to see what I see in them.

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