Oh. I’ve sat on this post. For nearly six months to be honest. I’ve written it so deeply that one of my fellow coaches couldn’t understand it. I’ve added, deleted and re-worked it too much and I have started from scratch today.
I’ve been thinking about this subject for so long and am well aware that the only reason I haven’t published it yet is because I simply didn’t feel I had the energy to dive into a rabbit-hole with the subject, or rather, my opinion on the subject.
What do you expect in your relationships with other people?
My opinion on expectation seems to invoke super-fierce resistance, anger and war-like responses from the women around me. I understand why, because I used to think that it was totally OK to place my expectations on other people too. We are raised to believe that we deserve to expect from others, yet the way I look at expectation is a little different than what we have been programmed to believe our entire lives.
My life has changed for the better without expectation.
In the past I’ve placed huge expectation on others to do what I would do, or what people tell me they will do. I’d have a meeting with someone at work who would agree to a certain timeline and then not meet any of the points along the way they had originally agreed to. I would seethe with anger and frustration.
I would be utterly at loss as to how someone could say something and then not do it. I expected that because they said they would. They would. If they didn’t live up to my expectation I blamed them. It was all their fault and I scorned them duly, while I stomped around the office in a red, angry huff.
The same could be said for my personal relationships. I expected to be treated a certain way and I would become a jilted and hard-done-by Princess when someone would treat me poorly. Other things I expected? I expected to be treated fairly.
Loved, Held, Kissed, Hugged.
I don’t expect anyone to respect me anymore. I don’t expect anyone to love me anymore. When we place expectation on other people we give away our own power in life. Our message to the world is:
“I am not going to be the one to make decisions in my life about how I feel. I am going to place that into the hands of somebody else. I am powerless to my own emotions and to my own fulfilment”
Expectation is about fear.
Whether I expect from people or not, it doesn’t change the outcome. However, by placing expectation on somebody else it adds pressure to my life that I don’t need. Any frustration, anger or hurt that follows an expectation is all about me and has nothing to do with the other person.
All decisions in life come from a place of love or a place of fear. If you place limits, demands and expectation on other people this is a sign of your own fear in that same area. This is what first needs to be addressed by you. This is a call from the Universe that there is some type of self-healing you need to look at. My Mother used to say to me “If you point a finger at someone else, you have three pointing back at yourself”, I believe this also applies to expectation.
I have spoken with many women who feel indignant that I am advising that they stop expecting things from those close to them, whether it is love or respect. This resistance comes from Ego. We have come to identify ourselves to our expectations and to tie them to who we are. We feel like to give up expectation is to weaken ourselves and leave us open for being wounded.
Ego tells us that we need expectation to be strong, yet it is actually making us weaker and more prone to hurt. The more expectation we have on those around us, the more we are disappointed and the more we suffer. Our Ego creates mind thought that lies to us. What is going to happen will happen regardless of expectation.
It is much better to release yourself of expectation and act from a place of love when it comes to what happens in your life.
Though I have stopped expecting respect does not mean that I am disrespected. I am the one who chooses who to surround myself with and how I live my life. I am not afraid to move away from those that nourish my soul. I surround myself with the best people. I may be disrespected by somebody at some stage in my life, but I also know that I am strong and in control of what I do from this point.
I will not allow somebody else to bring me down.
Since releasing others of expectation I am more relaxed, more grounded and more self-aware. I am able to look rationally at a situation and ask myself whether there needs to be conflict. The answer is always, no.
This has strengthened the relationship I have with my husband and my immediate family.
I have fluid goals and one of those is to feel free. Letting go of expectation anchors me to the feeling of freedom. I cement within myself how infinitely powerful I am and how responsible for my own life I am. A lot of people shy from this responsibility because they are so afraid of actually being the one that controls their own life – afraid of failing at it. This is another reason that some resist releasing expectation on others. It means that they need to look at the role they play in their own fulfilment.
Releasing expectation is a practice in self-awareness and mindfulness and it isn’t easy to stop expecting of others straight away, though I recommend you begin to become aware of your expectations and how they may be negatively affecting your life.
Recently I had a very tiring and frustrating day. I’d spoken to my husband about it while he was at work. When he got home, I was exhausted. He walked in and I had this emotion of disappointment that he didn’t respond to me the way I expected of him. I actually had a go at him for not showering me with the behaviour I expected.
He offered to look after the kids while I went out for a dinner with my Dad so I could get a break and as I was bitching to my Dad in the car about the response I didn’t get from my husband, my Dad said to me “Why should he know how you expect him to react?”.
I had no right to blame my husband for not becoming the vision that existed solely within my mind and then to also blame him for the frustration I felt when he didn’t do exactly as I had expected.
I had a friend say to me; “Yeah BUT I expect to not get cheated on!”
If we are with someone who is unfaithful, then that person has lost their way from love and they have come from a place of fear during this time. Whether we place an expectation on someone not to do this it will not change whether or not it occurs. What placing this expectation on someone does is show fear in our own lives and decreases our own strength.
If we are with someone who chooses to behave in a way that doesn’t nourish our own selves then we need to be able to be strong enough to come from a place of love and not from a place of fear.
If the relationship is nourishing – then from love we can choose forgiveness and move past the behaviour that hurt us, or we can choose to love ourselves enough to walk away. Placing expectation in this situation is from fear. Fear of being abandoned, fear of feeling unworthy, fear of loss, fear of the unknown or many other fears.
This is also the same reason I no longer expect to be loved by my husband. I grow alongside him and with him every day that we’re together. I can’t imagine what it would be like to not have him in my life, but I do not expect to be the focus of his love forever. I won’t weaken my strength with a rule I can’t enforce. This is pointless.
What I can do, is love each moment exactly as it is right now.
What type of emotions does this bring up for you? Are you feeling resistant? If so, I would ask you to ask yourself “Why am I resisting this? Where is my fear”.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this as I do typically get quite a mix of emotions and responses to this subject. What do you think?