By Kasey Pipitt
One of the most difficult challenges of being a human is living without expectation. Not only by others’, but trying not to develop your own as well. I talk about expectations a lot in different ways. It’s such a broad aspect of the mind, society, and culture that I’m constantly learning everyday just how prevalent they are. Family, friends, and relationships are the most saturated areas of our lives where expectations exist. It’s a continuous internal battle of whether or not what we expect from others is unrealistic, wrong, right, or even necessary. That coupled with the emotional damage that occurs when our expectations are not met.
So, what do we do? Do we just not expect anything of people so that we aren’t let down? Or is it ok to expect SOME things from others? Do we continue to expect our children to be just like us? To end up with normal steady, society contributing jobs? Do we expect them to go to college regardless of taking into account what they want to do? Or, do we expect our parents to continuously be supportive in everything that we do? To entirely understand everything about us as their kids? Do we expect every partner that we are with to be as honest and faithful as we are? I could go on, but you get the point. There are so many factors, but I think massive take away is not to not have expectations, but rather to manage how we react if our expectations are not meant. Also, if they are met. We should be grateful when others do the right thing. I’ve seen a lot of instances where expectations were met and the holder of said expectations wasn’t satisfied. I think we can chock that up to them having their own internal struggle with themselves.
I generally hate people, but I know how to maintain a functional relationship with those that are in my life. With that said, I think if we want to have healthy relationships with others, the best thing we can do is to not have an emotional reaction to everything they do that disappoints or upsets us. Perhaps, some of the things that we are disappointed by might be more important to us than them. What we deem as important to us probably isn’t on that same level of importance to others in the world. There’s no sense in belittling someone else when they unintentionally upset us because we expected them to be a certain way. That’s more our fault than it is theirs.
I think we must also manage how we react to the expectations we hold on ourselves. I think if we’re going to expect anything of anyone, it should be over ourselves before anyone else. We are in control of ourselves. We can’t control others. So, if we let ourselves down, do we belittle ourselves? “You fucking moron why did you do that?!” Nah... self talk is a real thing. We’ve got to be vigilant with how we treat ourselves. If we fuck up, we take the L and change it. Not making the same mistake again. It’s really so damn easy to control how act. Why we make it seem harder than it is, I’ll never know. We’re human. We aren’t perfect. We never will be. But we can try.