To be honest, that is not a word I think about too often. However, the past couple of weeks, I certainly have contemplated it's meaning. Consequently, I discovered that while I am able to quickly find fault when this is applied to others or situations, likewise, when I looked closely, I found myself lacking as well.
Disclosure: I find that because of the nature of this topic, I may or may not point out what exact things in this post that may apply to me or someone else. Saying that, if you feel I am calling you out on my blog, know I am not......you have no idea the people I talk to on a daily basis, and well, this may be about them not you! Just let your conscious be your guide, not my words. I don't point fingers...only thoughts!
Sometimes, conversations trigger thoughts or words and their meanings for me. This is one of those times. More times than not, it can be a light bulb moment and while that is sometimes a positive experience, other times it has the opposite effect. I have discovered that expectation really does not have one meaning so easily sized up on Wiki....no, it has several meanings and circumstances play a big role.
According to Wikipedia, expectations is explained as; "In the case of uncertainty, expectation is what is considered the most likely to happen. An expectation, which is a belief that is centred on the future, may or may not be realistic. A less advantageous result gives rise to the emotion of disappointment. If something happens that is not at all expected it is a surprise. An expectation about the behavior or performance of another person, expressed to that person, may have the nature of a strong request, or an order.
Friendships and expectations are a tricky thing. Our friends are the ones who may or may not have "known" expectations in the relationship. Sometimes, months or years will pass and while all is going smoothly, you may not be aware of what is brewing underneath. It is almost like a silent code between friends has formed. It is the "expectation" of a friends' behavior, when not met that will send a once stable relationship on the brink of crashing. I think this is because somewhere during when the relationship was forming, one or both parties shaped their ideals of the relationship into what they expected from the other person. The lines were drawn in the sand and expectations were set up not to be crossed. Like I said, a silent code. A solid wall will tumble if the lines in the sand were crossed....and this became the thought process and the basis on which the worth of the friend was measured. If you find this bell rings true, think about the other person, do you think they might have built a wall very much like yours? What about their expectations?......hard to consider when you are hurt or feeling betrayed by your friend. But a good friend is not measured on how they live or not live up to your expectations. A good friend is measured on their ability to forgive our faults and build a stronger relationship and move forward. Important to remember.
The expectations that give people the most trouble in their lives are the unspoken expectations. I don't mean the expectations we have on our children or spouse, of course we expect certain things from them, sometimes we demand it. Those are really surface expectations and most of the time fall into the laws of nature and life. I am talking about things that are much deeper than that.
What about the expectations we have on others that just sit on the surface of our being? The one's that sit like a ticking time bomb. The one's that will come in the dark of the night and remind us that they or we don't measure up to our liking? Where do you think this comes from? Certainly not out of a sense of entitlement, at least for most of us I think it is much more.
Maybe it comes from a feeling we had during childhood, maybe a feeling of not being loved. Maybe it comes from a feeling of not being important enough and everyone always came before us on a scale of importance. Maybe it comes from the uncertainties we have about our own selves that we measure everyone by that same ruler. Or perhaps it is something much deeper than that. I know I don't have the answers. All I know is that whatever the reasons are....sometimes, for some people the hurt is so deep from expectations falling short in others or themselves that it becomes a driven force in their lives. A force to protect oneself from continued hurt. A driven force to over compensate for the hurt. Is that a healthy thing to do? I'm not sure, all I do know we can't change others, if we could, (I for one) would most likely always question their motives and wonder if they were true. You see, I know myself....I'd still be looking back. Think about that one.
I have discovered more and more lately, that people are living their lives by a code of expectations. It festers in their relationships with family, coworkers, friends and strangers. It is a unspoken fact that this exist, and sometimes only a piece of this will show up in a conversation or a random act. Sometimes, it is hard not to say,"stop, think about what you just said." Where did that thought come from......how can it be changed.
It is however, the things that have no expectations on them at all that become the sweet spots in life. Sadly, that usually does not involve humans or interactions with them.
Have you ever wondered why dogs live such easy lives? They have no expectations on their owners at all. They live their lives expectation free. In fact, no matter what the owner does, it is quickly forgotten and forgiven, and all is right with the world. I don't even think my own dogs expect me to even feed them, they just know it will be. They have no expectations of me getting up on time to do so, no expectations of me to get home from a shopping trip to do so, no expectation of me getting off the computer to do so, they just know it will be. And well, if I fall short and run a little late, all is forgotten and forgiven....I had no expectation put on me in the first place.
I say what a life....I wish more of us could live our lives like that....lose the expectations and hurt that seems to surface at inopportune times and enjoy life to the fullest. I find more and more that true life lessons come from my dogs not people I know.....think about that.
I had someone say to me the other day, (when I tried to talk about this very thing with them), that if someone has no expectations then they will get nothing out of life. Certainly, this is true in some things, but they did not get what I was really meaning....the unspoken expectations, the ones that will most likely never be met, the ones that cause the most grief and hurt....the one's that are the hardest to move forward from and seem to only keep us looking back. I never reached them, they did not get what I was saying. Maybe because I had no answers they wanted to hear.
Problem is, I don't have any answers, not ones that is universal to everyone...each person carries their own set of struggles, thoughts and motives and how do you say one thing is the cause for everyone? I certainly can not. All I can do is recognize that these types of expectations are unrealistic in every form, they will never measure up to your standards, they will never be met......and maybe just maybe....it is time to work on a new set of expectations or trying to live without them at all. Something to think about...actually for me, a lot to think about. I am not saying I have mastered this way of living...but I recognize I need to move in that direction.
Everyday is a life's lesson......take that knowledge or thought, make a change, life will be a little richer!