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?