Are Expectations Keeping You From Being Happy?
I can look back and remember the time I expected my boyfriend to take me out for a romantic dinner to celebrate our anniversary. Or the time I thought my closest friend in the whole wide world would come running over when he broke my heart again. Or the time my brother would just call and say I’m sorry. I was wrong. I was wrong about it all.
I can remember all of my expectations I’ve placed on others and here’s why, they still leave scars on my heart. But expectations are just that, expectations. They are thoughts made up in our mind and not actual real life experiences. And more often then not, these unrealistic expectations lead to feelings of disappointment and resentment.
But the truth is expectations have been ingrained in our minds since childhood. We must graduate high school and then move onto college. After college we should get a job, get married, buy a house and have children of our own. But this is the perfect life, right? This is the EXACT problem with expectations they hold us to impossible standards of perfection and just like us life is not perfect.
With time our expectations change and we begin to develop inner manuals for others. These inner manuals act us guidelines or rulebooks and they dictate how others should act, feel, look and even treat us. But we keep these rulebooks hidden and we never share them. We presume that others will understand them without ever communicating the details of what’s inside.
How do we expect others to play by our rules when they don’t even know the rules? Better yet, we must ask ourselves why we believe it is acceptable to create rules for how other people should live their life?
Go back and think of all of the times your expectations of another failed you.
-You expected your husband to make dinner but you never told him.
-You expected your friend to call and know you were sad but you never told them.
-You expected your boyfriend to know that you wanted to move in together but you never told him.
-You expected your neighbor to know that you could hear them at all hours of the night.
Could you imagine what life would have been like if you did tell them? The outcome may or may not have been different but it would have led to a conversation and a deeper understanding of one another.
Expectations are the enemy of happiness as what we expect is perfection and perfection does not exist. In order to stop the expectation hangover before it begins we need to release our desire to manipulate situations for our own greater good.
At the very least if we didn’t expect our husbands to have dinner on the table when we got home then we would have no reason to be upset. But if this is something you truly desire then do yourself a favor and ask. What happens next is in their hands.
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