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    Expectations




    I want to write this week about expectations. We live with many expectations. They may come from within ourselves or from others. They usually start on the day we are born. We are expected to reach certain levels of development at various stages in our childhood. There is a certain time in our infancy when we should sleep through the night, crawl and walk. Our parents are given these expectations by science and cautiously measure our development with other children ….it is just a yardstick to make sure we are healthy and developing the way we should. Some of us developed fast and are walking and talking while others came along slowly. We do these things without much self expectation, we the children, don’t really care…we just live and grow.

    I don’t know when exactly we start with our own expectations. Expectations of ourselves or of the people and the world around us. I remember when I was very little I grew to expect my Mom to always be there when I needed her to do things like fix me something to eat, help me get dressed, calm me when I was hurt or frightened or help me sound out the big words in my storybooks. I expected my Dad to fix my toys when the were broken, pick me up and carry me on his back when I was too tired to walk…or too little to keep up and come through the back door after a long day at work with a big booming voice…and kiss for mom and all of us…if we were good. Otherwise it was a trip to his "office" next to the garage....

    My father was the first one who didn’t “live up” to my expectations. As I was grew into my teenage years, he became moody and drank a bit…oh hell…he drank a lot. I expected him to be like the dads on TV, strong, nurturing…and calm…my dad was anything but calm. It never entered my mind that some adults are just not good at these things…these expectations. I guess, in some kind of effort to change him, I tried so hard to please him. It never seemed to work because he did not change. When he behaved badly I became disappointed, maybe felt a little abandoned and blamed myself…feeling unlovable. I expected my behavior and love to do a miracle...

    I sometimes think, as I grew older, I expected my friends to provide the things that I didn’t get from him in my childhood. When my friends were unable to deliver, I would often become disenchanted and give up only after trying harder (as I did in childhood with my dad) to get approval. I mean if I impress, wouldn’t they just fill my emptiness? Sadly, the emptiness remained, and so did my expectation illusion.

    When I found myself in romantic relationships, we were usually oblivious to each others weaknesses at the beginning. I usually chose people who had qualities that I wish I had. Partners who, when I was younger and a little wild, were reliable and predictable or as I became more responsible and calm (well relatively calm), someone who was a free spirit and impulsive. Like using complementary colors in a painting…this would bring energy to the relationship at first. But, as the life together progressed, these differences would begin to become conflicts. Especially with the addition of children of our own to the mix. Expectations began to change.

    I find myself getting into the most trouble with expectations when I believed that others should treat me the way I wanted them to respond. I would put a relationship on a pedestal, expecting more than what could be delivered. When my partner at the time failed to meet my expectations, I felt frustrated, resentful and a little betrayed. Tell me though…where does it say that others should act the way we want them to? I mean, it may be preferable…but not necessary!

    So, do I think we should get rid of ALL expectations? I mean disappointments ONLY come when we have expectations and when we expect too much from others we are often self-critical as well.

    I guess I would have to say no. I don’t think any of us can go through life without expectations or having certain “wants”. We can’t get rid of expectation because it is, for many, a part of us. What keeps the fire in our souls. I have expectations of my own children…I want them to be responsible members of society. To quote one of my first heroes…Spock…Live Long and Prosper. Maybe we should just get rid of the expectations that have the highest potential to cause disappointment.

    I know it is probably semantics but, I don’t like the word expectation. Maybe we should look at the word “intention”. which looks at the action and not the burden that things HAVE to come true the way we expect them to. I mean…if someone was trying to please me but just went about it the wrong way…shouldn’t the trying itself please me and not necessarily the result? Wouldn’t valuing the intention make one want to try again for the intended result?

    Having realistic expectations for others involves realizing that all of us are less than perfect. Instead of looking to others to meet our needs, we should take responsibility for our own life and make necessary changes that are in our best interest. We need to leave our self-blame behind and find ways to untwist our thinking and behavior to make our lives more fulfilling. It is important to value and accept our partners and friends for who they are. It is in our best interest not to spend our energy trying to change them to fit an image of what we believe we need and what they can provide for us.

    The same goes for this site. It was created with, at least admittedly for me, many expectations. Those of us involved in it’s inception, I think, had expectations of our own. For me, so far, only a few have come to be. Maybe the feeling of expectation could also be redefined with the word “Hope”. If “Expectation” could be replaced with “Hope” and we go through life, even if we fail at some things, we will not be overcome by the unhappiness of failure because will still have Hope and we will find other ways to succeed. So, I am going to change my thinking….I am going to stop having expectations and have Hope. Hope that we here, even if it is just a small number of us, can continue to come here for just a few minutes out of our busy lives…to share this place…make it what we Hope it can be…

    Peace and much Love I love you
    Mother
    surfer









    Last edited by Mother Ocean on Fri Nov 05, 2010 10:44 am; edited 1 time in total

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    Expectations :: Comments

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    Post on Fri Nov 05, 2010 3:14 am  paperinik

    WOW!!! But Mother Ocean what do you eat? lol!

    I think, in the life, would be important not have expectations, but simply living and do, above all, what we like.
    This life is unique, and everything we will live is unique and unrepeatable, for better or for worse.

    Come on!!! Maybe you need a little bit of eatout: lol!

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    Post on Fri Nov 05, 2010 12:55 pm  yellowsmileyfaces

    I agree with both of you. Why do we sit around thinking of what others should do? If we just enjoy life then others can either choose to enjoy it with us or not. I mean that in every aspect of life.

    I have been disappointed by many people in my life. I think I sometimes confuse Expectations with Potential. that has gotten me in a lot of trouble over the years. Now I relax a little. Sure it hurts when i see people not meeting their potential but i can still enjoy my life either way.

    I did want to bring up a small point from the other side though. I think sometimes we bring on our own expectations. We set the way we do things and then for reasons we decide to one day change it and just Expect the other person to understand. Maybe it is then that we should communicate with the other person why it is changing. Then, it is up to that person again to understand and still be a part of your life or not understand. I have seen this mostly in male and female relationships. the man wants to spend all his time with the girl at the beginning (i believe til he gets in her pants lol), then out of nowhere.....6 months to a year later wants to go hang out with his friends. the girl does not understand because he has already set the way.

    Does anything I say make sense? scratch

    Do I get to stand on this today? On a Soapbox

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    Post on Fri Nov 05, 2010 2:07 pm  Mother Ocean

    You can stand on On a Soapbox and be proud!!

    I think your last point is exactly why we should have some expectations. In your example of a relationship (and believe me it can be true in same sex relationship as well) where someone changes and with those changes put expectation on you to understand. If they did not have the expectation that you'll understand....they would be mindful to try to help you understand...or get kicked to the curb. We should know there is always two sets of expectations....what we have for ourselves and what others have for us. Some people are just pulled to conform to old tired stereotypical expectations that make them follow the crowd. We are a species who set goals...or expectations....I don't think we will ever get rid of them. I am just going to work on the expectations that are more likely to disappoint...not going to set myself up to fail as much.
    Do I make any sense?
    scratch

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    Post on Fri Nov 05, 2010 3:40 pm  minnie

    Expectations , good subject.
    If this were the section "A simple game" and someone had said "Expectations" , I would have said " Freedom"
    You can't have expectations .. because everyone is free. Nobody can expect me to be the person I am not or to do something if I don't want to do it. No one.
    I want to be free and, in the same way, I believe that people are free to act and live the way they wish. …unless their freedom is prejudicial for the others.
    So… as far as I am concerned and as a “member” of this life .. on this earth …. I have expectations.
    I expect people to be polite, to act civilly, in a few words, I expect people to respect the rules of a civil and peaceful coexistence between human beings.
    This all to say that I think that each form of human coexistence and each form of human relationship has its rules.
    I expect these rules to be respected.
    Loving someone, being friends or lovers, means to accept that someone the way he or she is .. yes you all are right .. But to me it means also meeting each other halfway, means giving up a part of ourselves, means giving and not only taking, means understanding.
    If you really feel like meeting and knowing that someone.. otherwise it is better “to cut the cable” and to change direction.


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    Post on Fri Nov 05, 2010 6:11 pm  Mother Ocean

    I agree with you for the most part. I totally agree that people should respect each other...and there are rules to relationships...we are human we need guidelines. My thought was that if we fail to meet an expectation or someone fails to meet ours...should that be treated as a fatal flaw or reason to stop relating? Yes, in relationships, we should meet in the middle...but we often do not because ones perception of the middle is often different than the others or the middle ground is never defined. Setting some point where one has to meet is not freedom it sounds to me as a expectation one can easily fail. Humans relationships ebb and flow like the tides. I have never been in a relationship where we met exactly in the middle. As long as I know the other party is doing their best to do so....but falling short not by lack of effort....then I go a little farther than half way...or they to me. To me life changes like the tides. If I truly want to try to understand that person or care for that person should it matter whether they meet me in the middle or 1/3 of the way? Or should it matter more how much positive effort is put into play? Shouldn't it be only when effort ceases that a relationship ends and each go their separate ways and not just when they disappoint us?

    When we have expectations of someone, should intent be used in measuring if someone fails to meet that expectation that they had nothing to do with setting? Are we all not flawed and sometimes don't always see exactly what the expectations are let alone how to reach them? When we are genuinely trying our best to do so not knowing we are falling short....effort should be encouraged. One can only be told so many times that they did not meet expectation even when they tried their best...before they just give up trying. As a Teacher I set goals for my students...expectations...but I always use my observations of the effort they put into their studies in forming my final evaluation. The goals are not set by me...nor are they set with the individual in mind, but, thankfully, It is left to my discretion how rigidly I determine the attaining of these goals. In teaching I believe that rewarding effort can work wonders to help the student meet these preset cookie cutter expectations. I have failed in many relationships but they never ended when the intention or the effort into making them work was larger then the failure to meet expectations.

    My only point of this musings is pretty much what YSF said....For me personally....because I never seem to know what is expected of me...I am going to try to not put expectations on others and life and just make sure I am doing things up to my potential by setting small realistic goals and be happy others put the effort into being in my life. Maybe others will see their own potentials. No judging...no pointing out failures...maybe by being more of an example.

    Or are my self expectations too high?

    There is no right or wrong in musings...only perspectives.

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    Post on Sat Nov 06, 2010 10:21 am  minnie

    Wow... it is getting more and more difficult...
    Anyway .. just a few points, I hope everyone can understand me because I am trying to translate my reasoning from another language.

    I never measure the “ground” in a friendship or love relationship.
    The “middle” to me is not “a measure”, it is a state of mind.
    It is the mutual understanding, or better, it means to be willing to meet each other, to know each other deeply.
    Of course when you realize that it is worth it and when you feel that your state of mind is returned.
    When you really care for someone, when you are really interested in people, it comes natural, you don’t have to calculate the middle, 1/3, ¼, 1/8 ..
    You calculate only when you want that relationship to stay on the surface and then you fence your ground and you know where people can get.
    Then we are talking about ..acquaintance .. not about friendship and not even about love, of course.
    Friends and lovers have not to explain to each other their expectations, they know what to do, when and how to communicate and, for this reason, they never wonder what is expected of them.
    About “efforts” .. I agree with you.
    A friendship or love relationship ends when effort cease because I think that efforts and, above all, actions follow from feelings. When feelings end it is natural then that efforts and actions are reduced until they end for good.

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    Post on Sat Nov 06, 2010 1:01 pm  Mother Ocean

    Thank you for your frank discussion minnie. Your are very articulate. I was not trying to make anything difficult...just maybe trying to clear up my own confusion....and make myself a better person. Was not trying to change anyone's way of thinking or state my own really....because right now...I couldn't be more confused. Only thing I am sure of with this "Musing" is that I am NOT sure that I know how to identify what is expected of me and I am NOT even sure what I seek in anyone else at this particular point of time in my life. The questions that brought me to these musings were: Am I setting others up to fail with my expectations and are other pushing me towards those same failures time and time again? Perhaps that is why I have few relationships right now and the ones I count on know of my struggle with this very issue.

    I am going to, however, continue to try to find my way. Hopefully with the help of that gentle guiding hand that has shown patience when I fall short of expectations...

    As I understand the definition of "Musing" to be: contemplation; reflection. That is all I was doing. Perhaps I need to do a little more of it...only in silence

    Thank you for allowing me to use this forum for a somewhat selfish purpose.
    Mother

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    Post on Sun Nov 07, 2010 4:46 pm  yellowsmileyfaces

    I think you are both saying the same thing. The only expectation there should be is understanding and understanding goes both ways. I think Minnie you are correct about a friendship or lover should want to find out things about each other, however we are all selfish human beings and sometimes forget to ask. Also, shouldnt that mean that the other should want the person to know, so questions don't even need to be asked?

    The truth is, I expect one thing and one thing only from friends: No matter what happens, no matter what stupid thing I do, they will always be there and I will be there for them. However, I have been failed and failed many on this. Thanks for the open discussion guys. It made me stop and think on how I look at my relationships. It makes me focus on how much I focus on other people rather than on myself because I know with all of my heart I do care.

    Have a great week!

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    Post on Mon Nov 08, 2010 2:41 am  paperinik

    ok girls. I read all what you wrote and I will try to explain my thought.
    First all, talk about feelings is very hard, because , sometimes, can be a risk of trivialize.
    When in my route, I meet a true friend, is why we go in the same direction, in the same train.
    When a my friend changes his/her direction, or I change it, and I can't understand what is the true reason I ask him/her why. My true friend can answer me or not, but I ask and I would like to have an answering, but if she/he doesn't want to answer I will respect her/him and I wait when she/he talk about that.

    Have a great week.. Very Happy

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    Post on Mon Nov 08, 2010 8:58 pm  yellowsmileyfaces

    you too my friend!

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    Post on Tue Nov 09, 2010 6:49 am  minnie

    Thank you for your replies, I appreciated them all and they make me reflect upon myself and upon my severity.
    I will smooth the rough edges off.

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    Post on Tue Nov 09, 2010 7:22 am  paperinik

    I think you haven't to smooth the rough edges off, you are simply so. Lez Kiss

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    Post on Wed Nov 10, 2010 2:47 am  minnie

    Oh I should ..especially where I am ...convex... and I should be ..concave.
    You know what I mean..

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    Post on Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am  paperinik

    lol! you are right!!! Very Happy

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    Post on Thu Nov 11, 2010 4:14 am  minnie

    Oh thank you !! .. I don't think it is the answer I wanted to hear... scratch

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    Post on Thu Nov 11, 2010 7:04 am  paperinik

    Sorry, but I lost something?

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    Post on Thu Nov 11, 2010 7:54 am  paperinik

    I make a big mistake.... lol! I kick my ass Kick Butt

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    Post on Thu Nov 11, 2010 10:35 am  minnie

    You are so sweet .. you deserve a Lez Kiss

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    Post on Thu Nov 11, 2010 11:56 am  paperinik

    I'm so happy.. thanks so much in love

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    Post on Thu Nov 11, 2010 3:02 pm  Mother Ocean

    just for the record.....I like convex sometimes better than concave.... flasher Kiss my ass

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    Post on Fri Nov 12, 2010 3:37 am  minnie

    Convex .. concave ... it is alwys about CURVES to explore ..
    God bless geometry ! lol!

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    Post on Fri Nov 12, 2010 3:49 am  paperinik

    lol! I always loved geometry, math, ... study

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    Post on Fri Nov 12, 2010 11:04 am  yellowsmileyfaces

    scratch

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