We have such high expectations each day, only to often be disappointed in the people, places and things that surround us. The question is, are we more annoyed with those persons or things, or, are we more upset with ourselves for desiring something out of reach? My guess is that it’s a bit of both.
Today’s perspective shift challenge is to stop. That’s right, just quit cold turkey! The reason why: people can only meet you as deeply as they have met themselves.
Now, that doesn’t mean we should not expect reasonable things, but quite frankly not everyone is up to the task of delivering anything more than the very basic kindness, concern, friendship and work ethic. If one can’t identify his/her own emotions, if they can’t apply them in their daily lives and they can’t manage or regulate their own emotions, they will never be able to meet our expectations and that’s okay.
The lack of emotional control may be due to medical issues, mental issues, how they were raised and other societal factors. Through diligent work and desire, a person could learn to identify, apply and control their emotions. On the flip side, one who learns to control their emotions so well, may become very good at disguising their true feelings; a.k.a walking around wearing those pesky masks or worse–become master manipulators of others causing them to act against their own best interests. Don’t forget that we can’t change people; individuals can only change themselves and to do so, they have to want it strongly enough.
So back to the challenge: quit having such high or unreasonable expectations. If we don’t have them, we can’t be disappointed. And with less disappointment, we may become less cynical and actually have more faith in humanity because we now have the knowledge that everyone is not at the same level of emotional understanding and some will never be capable of getting there. This doesn’t mean they are bad people in any way, they are just not the people that fit into our lives.
I still advocate for taking risks (throw away that box remember) to live life to the fullest, just do so without an abundance of expectations. Just go for it! Look for the good in people (contrary to all of the news media, I do believe good far outweighs the bad) but don’t assume everyone is emotionally capable of reaching their highest level.
Make the connection and/or fall in love with whom the person actually is rather than the highest potential of a person as we think they should be. Don’t place an expectation that a person will ascend to their own greatness–they may believe they are already there. Accept people as they are and perhaps be pleasantly surprised as to what they do bring to the table. If what they bring is not compatible with your life, walk away. But don’t walk away disappointed because you never had any other expectation of him or her.
Because of far-reaching, unattainable expectations, everyone has had disappointments and sadly, some choose to carry that baggage wherever they go. We can never completely eradicate said disappointments, but we do have a choice: carry it in our back pocket or on our back where it will weigh us down. The decision is really quite simple here, we mustn’t be afraid to make it: reduce our expectations, become more accepting, live a little less burdened!