Sunday, February 2, 2020

Great Expectations

No, I am not reading about Charles' Dickens' Pip and his conscience, but I have been doing some reading on the topic of expecting too much of myself and others.  I have to admit that I am having a hard time understanding let alone agreeing with most of the articles that I have read.   Here is a set of common  themes among my research and my thoughts to each one:

1.  Expect nothing from others, that way you'll never be disappointed.   Really?  Wait...... what if they have stated their intentions clearly and then didn't follow through?  Random example one:  Your lover says to you one Friday morning, "When we get home from our dinner date tonight, I am going to rock your world."  And then he/she sends you sweet nothings texts throughout the day, flirts with you during dinner, gets you naked once you get home, but then just stops for no apparent reason and decides to watch television in bed.  How is THAT not disappointing? (unless you're playing some kind of agreed upon denial game - no, thank you!)

Random example two:  You tell your hairdresser to cut 3 inches off and please highlight it blond, but you end up  with 7 inches cut off and blue hair.  And then you still have to pay the 200 dollar bill.  Anyone feel as frustrated as I do right now just thinking of this?

Final random example three:  Expect that the clerk who puts your groceries in the car to break all 12 eggs, then when you get home, only 3 of them are broken, so you're a bit pleasantly surprised.  Anyone actually happy about this?  And before you say, just make scrambled eggs, I will tell you that in this hypothetical example, I was supposed to make deviled eggs!!!  Hmph!

2.  Don't expect from others what you expect from yourself.   Huh?  Why the heck not?  I am not saying that life is all  50/50 with gave and take, but it sure as flip had better not to be 20/80! Laughing! GEEZE!   I'm not going to give someone a huge effort if they don't in some way return that or meet some of my needs.  And neither would I expect that they live that kind of imbalance with me if I'm not giving enough to them according to them.

I do expect a lot from myself and I disappoint myself just about every day in some way.  But, whose day is perfect and full of every single item  you wanted to accomplish, keeping a wonderful and patient attitude while doing so?  On the flip side, am I supposed to wake up every morning, expect little of myself and then just hope that the house will clean itself and make us dinner?  Nope, I have to have some reasonable expectations of myself ....... and others.

3.  People are not mind readers, so you often need to tell them how you feel even if you think they should know already.   Okay, I get this one  partially based on the differences between how men and women think.  I am okay with saying what I need (with Storm mostly, not so much with others ...... and how do you express your needs as a mother?  That is a slippery slope because Mom has to be the mature one in the relationship, the more forgiving one, the more giving one, no matter what the children's age, 4 or 40 !)   Excluding motherhood, if I express my needs to someone close to me, how many times do I have to keep saying it if they're not getting it? (The answer is A LOT if you're in a new and/or evolving ttwd relationship, or just marriage in general! )  And what about the opposite of all of this......... when you DON'T want to talk about whatever, hear about whatever, and you set this as a boundary for yourself, but the person keeps crossing it?  Am I wrong to expect someone to not cross my boundaries and then I'm just happy when they don't and I ignore it when they do?  I call bull.

Our little family has had recent discussions on this topic of expectations while Storm and I have been having this conversation off and on for years.  Amazingly, Storm really does live statement # 1. For those that have met him and gotten to know him or are related to him, they see that he is one of the most chill persons ever.  It is one of the things that I find most  endearing about him in my life.  He helps me so much.  However, it is also the very thing that drives me up the dang wall and why I sometimes end up clinging to the ceiling in the first place.  Laughing.  He peels me off the ceiling and I pick him up off the floor......... meaning, I think to live statement #1 is a very depressing way to live.  I just don't see how he functions like that.  He says he's happy.  I say that he seems content, but that is not always the same as being happy, in my opinion.  He sees it as the opposite of depression.  He likes to be pleasantly surprised by expecting things to not work out, then when they do........voila!  I, on the other hand, expect things to work out pretty close to the ideal situation and when they don't, I get frustrated or feel hurt.  What fun!

If these 3 ideas is what it means to have peaceful relationships, peace of mind, and an advanced degree in the field of Psychology, then count me out!  Maybe the answer for me lies somewhere in not erasing my expectations, but lowering them.  Although, I do want to clarify that that is not the same thing as lowering my standards.  I won't do that for anyone, but I will lower my drawers.... for Storm!

What do you expect of yourself and/or others?

10 comments:

  1. Hi Windy,

    Hmm,another thinking post. I love your examples and was nodding in agreement with these. While it's nice to be pleasantly surprised by things working out and not expecting them to I think it is reasonable to have expectations of both ourselves and others. I admit however, I tend to work on an I'll believe it policy, but that's more the pesimist in me.

    I do think we tend to place more expectations on ourselves, including to meet others expectations than we do on others.

    Hugs
    Roz

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    1. Hi, Roz! Yes, think, think! I'm sharing some of what my brain does to me and asking y'all to join in. HA! I am laughing at your "I'll believe it" strategy! I get it! Thanks for thinking here with me, Roz! Hugs, Windy

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  2. Hey Windy,

    Ok, I gotta say, thinking at 5:30 in the morning isn't easy! However, let me give it a shot. Expectations are important. I set my expectations of myself and others very high, not because I expect them or myself to achieve those standards each and every time, but because I expect people to try. The higher the standard, the more you can achieve. It is the trying to me that is important, not actually achieving said goal/standard.

    Hugs
    Boo

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    1. Hi, Boo! Good grief, 5:30 a.m??? I hope you go to bed by like 8 pm! Ha! Ah, so you are a very high expectations setter, but one who doesn't get mad if they aren't exactly met. Interesting. Good for you. My expectations drive me nuts! Thanks for the conversation! Hugs, Windy

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  3. oh lordie - I struggle with expectations all the time -- ALL THE TIME! always have and I am guessing I always will. I think now - with maturity translated being OLD - I have learned some coping skills when things seem to be unbalanced...... mostly I just withdraw - keep to myself more... that is easier with folks outside my primary relationships...

    With family and especially Sir Steve I am trying to calmly express my needs/wants OR my disappointment.

    Truthfully though - some days I fantasize about living on an island by myself and think how much easier life would be (grinning) lonely but easier.

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    1. Hello, MorningStar! All the time? Grin..... I hear ya, sister! Oh that withdrawing thing... I think many of us do that young and old and I don't think it's healthy. At least for me it isn't, but, yes, I do it anyway! It's good you can stay calm. I'm working on that one. Grrr. Laughing! Your island sounds lovely! :) Hugs, Windy

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  4. I have a small group of friends that I count on, both in real life and in blogland. I have great expectations of them and I've rarely been disappointed. A little when a few people who vanished years ago. But outside that group I'm like Storm and have few expectations. That blend seems to work for me but I'm still disappointed that Nick can't read my mind. I wish he'd work on that.

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    1. Hi, PK! Sounds like you have an exemplary set of friends! Wow! You're so kind and easy to get along with, so they all love ya to death. I almost called you recently to ask you to help "hide a body." HA! Let us know if you figure out a way for Nick to read your mind! Although that might get me into more trouble with my hubby.... or is that the point? wink Hugs, Windy

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  5. I am a high anxiety gal but those who do not know me well would not know that about me. Apparently I hide it well, as I am outwardly calm. I do not expect much from others, nor do I expect from others what I expect from myself. That's just too much...expecting. I do not live anyone else's life but my own and from past experience I know have felt disappointed but somebody only to find out the full story of why my personal expectations weren't met - and it was often because my expectations were actually reasonable given circumstances I didn't know.

    Instead, I carefully choose the people I hang out with and have done a decent job of keeping sane, reasonable people in my circle. That way, when they mess up I am able to forgive and move on, and I know that when I mess up, I will be forgiven and we can move on. I truly cannot handle drama. I have enough on my plate as is, thank you very much! Lol! Add in the anxiety and I really really do not need added stress/drama.

    The third one - tell 'em how you feel? Admittedly I think that is an ideal but I still stink at that one. Certainly ttwd has improved our marital communication in ways we never expected. It's been amazing. Still, with friends, and even very close friends, I am hesitant to share certain thoughts or feelings. I truly do not believe everything needs to be said or shared. Definitely not in the heat of the moment. Positive thoughts? Share away! Negative thoughts? Give it some time and be sure it's not just an emotional reaction, but a truly logical one that needs sharing to improve the relationship. That would be my general thought, anyway.

    I hope all is well and that you and your hubby are communicating effectively ;)

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    1. Hi, Deena! I love your phrase, "too much expecting!" I think you're right.

      I don't know that I am good at choosing reasonable people to hang out with initially, but I do eventually figure that out and rectify my friends list. LOL Unfortunately, some of the most unreasonable and dramatic people can be our relatives, and we didn't get to choose them!

      You do seem like a calm person here in blog land and I would not have guessed that you have to deal with anxiety. I don't think everything needs to be shared with close friends either..... sometimes I share things with one friend but not another and then reverse it the next time so as not to put too much on one friend at a time. I tell Storm how I feel for the most part, but maybe I shouldn't. LOL! I like your "give it some time" process before sharing a negative thought.

      Thank you for your interesting and helpful input here, Deena! Hugs, Windy

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