Google says, “A strong belief that something will happen or be the case” is called expectation. Is this what constricts our thoughts to expectations or expecting from someone? No, for every human being, expectation is much more than a google definition, it’s a feeling. A feeling where you expect a lot from someone because you would do that much for them.
Expectations make us so desperate to be understood that we forget to be understanding. Let’s understand why do we expect something from someone. We select people over us and in return innocently expect them to admire this gesture. When we give too much importance, priority and too much of ourselves to someone, at some point we start looking up to them. Maybe just a little, but when they don’t stand on that expectation, we get hurt. Really bad.
We expect from almost everyone, from our family to our friends. As co-dependents, many of us expect our friends or family to fill needs that went unmet by either of them. We may expect them to be constantly present, to choose our needs over their own and be our primary source of soothing. These are unrealistic and unhealthy expectations to have from anyone making us a toxic person and increasing the complications in their lives, apart from what they already have.
Constant prioritization and constant attention are realistic expectations for a child but unhealthy for an adult. It might take you a long time to reframe these thoughts. The basic rule of surviving: “You yourselves are responsible for the condition you are in and only you can meet your needs.” People can support you, motivate you but cannot be you.
Not being able to rely on yourself and blaming others for the mess you created tanks your confidence. We believe that everyone we know or from whom we “expect” are there for us and will help us to overcome that phase, but the truth is we suffer alone and others just find it a source of gossip.
In order to get a glimpse of what we want as gesture in return, we start over sharing. But over sharing can never make up for the lack of vulnerability of the partner who is not willing to participate. This may cost you relationships, material possessions and sanity. Our dependency on people we care, start harming them when we take their every request of privacy and personal time as rejection and make them responsible for our happiness.
Apart from this, we ourselves are the biggest victim of our so called expectations. Unmet expectations often lead to the full range of negative emotions: anger, fear, mortification, jealousy, annoyance, harshness, resentment, discontent and insecurities. If you didn’t have expectations, you’d merely take things as they came and influence them. Your judgment of things would be a lot of objective.
Expectations are a powerful tool when we set life goals. We believe in ourselves to meet that boundary and it pushes and motivates us further. But when setting expectations from others, it involves a certain level of illusion and farce environment. People tend to predict the future and its events and make assumptions about it based on what is favorable for them. And when their goals are not met, disappointment sets in.
Let us deal with this uncertainty for once and all. Remain balanced and take control of your life. Face your fears and keep them from making you weak and vulnerable. Find solutions to your problems by yourselves and stop putting obligations on others. Don’t push people to do things for you. Let them do things for you willingly instead of being clingy. Expect from within, just YOU.