Expectations

According to my ever reliable Apple dictionary, expectation is defined as “a strong belief that something will happen or be the case in the future.”

There’s the famous quote of Woody Allen that goes, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.” Well said, Woody, well said.

We can plan and plan and do our absolute best to control what is in our control, but you never know what’s going to happen the next minute no matter how hard you plan. And yes, while I think it’s best to continue planning in hopes that forces beyond your control will be in sync with you, it’s probably good for the mind and body to understand that is not a given.

But what about when OTHERS have expectations for YOU? Now, that’s a whole other ballgame. And I’ve come to the conclusion that while it’s natural to expect things from other people, it is not natural to impose those expectations on them. If they fail to meet your expectations, that’s your problem, not theirs. And vice versus. If you fail to meet their expectations, that’s their problem, and not yours. Sure, consequences will likely come. For example, if you expect your significant other to remain faithful and they do not, you may likely give them the boot but then if you expect someone to call at 10 and they call at 10:15, you probably won’t care. But the point is, expectations are personal and if they are IMPOSED (in other words, forced) on others, they become a means of controlling and that is likely going to hurt any relationship.

As someone who values her independence, I also value that of others, but unfortunately, there are people in this world who believe they are owed something by you, entitled to something from you or believe you are supposed to do things for them because of x, y and z. Not so, says I. Shouldn’t favors be done by one’s own choice, not by expectations or imposition? And when someone chooses to impose upon another, isn’t that really displaying how much they value you and what their priorities are?

You may not like that I won’t do things out of obligation, but at least you’ll know that when I do something for you, it’s because I genuinely want to. I may not be jumping for joy to do the dishes after my mother has made her Italian Sunday feast, but while she never expects me to do them, I still do every time because my love for her outweighs my desire not to do them. The few times I’ve opted to do something for someone because they expected it but not because I wanted to has always bitten me in the ass and made me unhappy.  I’ve been learning the hard way but at least now, I understand that I can only expect myself to make choices for me and can’t worry about what others expect of me.

But don’t worry, if you don’t like it, I don’t expect anything from you.

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