Expectations on others can put lots of pressure both on ourselves and the ones we expect from. Even the expectations backed up by good intentions, such as “I am sure you’ll pass the exam.”, can cause more stress than calm to the person we want to support. Have you ever wondered how the lack of any expectations – implicit or explicit – can influence our relationships?
Expectations since early childhood
I don’t remember having any expectations as a child but my parents do. My aunt was one of the persons from whom, I was told, I expected gifts.
They fondly relate that I used to fumble in her bag for bars of chocolate. I don’t have any such recollection but what I do remember is the anticipation of the 18-year old girl who was about to start her student life.
Sixteen years later, I became aware of how much anguish, stress and frustrations originated from expectations on family members, friends, acquaintances and even strangers!
After turning 30, epiphany stroke – something must be done about expectations on others
It was high time to let people be as they want to be. For example, have you felt how enriching it is to pay attention to the true nature of those who are present in our lives? Setting them free from our expectations is an invitation to harmony in the relationships with our husbands, wives, parents, siblings etc.
It was high time for changing the way of communicating with others. Being in touch with our own emotions, clearing our head and speaking with the heart brings more authenticity in the relationships.
It’s true that for most of us, interacting with others without expecting anything from them is a goal which is hard, if not impossible to reach. Yet, even those of us who are overly stubborn and addicted to micromanagement can develop the habit of becoming aware of our expectations and ignore them.
Cultivate the joy of interacting with others
We can replace expectations with joy. The joy of communicating freely with another person without any constraints of the mind. For example, greeting our new neighbour cheerfully and ignoring the expectation that he/she invites us to their home warming party.
Joyous attitude brings along wonderful changes in our inner lives. Joy can transform us from being a fortress of expectations into an explorer of people, with their good and bad sides.
How about you? What’s your take on expectations on others? Feel free to express your point of view in the comments below the post.