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Friday, August 4, 2017

expectations = planned resentments

One source of frustration we seldom recognize is in expecting too much of others, or expecting too specifically what we feel they ought to be, say, give or do.
If I expect another person to react in a certain way to a given situation, and he or she fails to meet my expectation, have I the right to be disappointed or angry?
Every human being has his own individual drives and motivations, beyond my understanding and control. I may say: "But he knew what I expected," not realizing that it may have been precisely for this reason that he rebelled and acted otherwise.
My search for peace of mind will bear fruit much more readily if I stop expecting and relax into acceptance.
Today's Reminder
I will not set a pattern based on my own experience and wishes -- and expect someone else to live up to it.
This is interference of a subtle and damaging kind; it damages my peace of mind and dignity, and those I am smothering with my expectations.
"I, too, often fail to live up to the expectations of others."

This was a very big Al Anon revelation for me and still is.  A great life lesson..... that we are free to choose how to live our own life and others are free to do the same.  

So, in a relationship....... if I want to do something a certain way and the other person wants to do something a certain way.  We are both free to do our own.  If it impossible to do both, ex: Person wants to load the dishwasher way A and person 2 wants to load the dishwasher way B and both feel VERY strongly about it..  

Then, there are decisions to make, but they are our very own to make.  I do not want to manipulate, plead with, or make the other person do something they don't want to do, in any way or form.  And I don't want the other person to do that to me.  I don't want them to try to trick me into it, shame me into it, threaten me into it, argument me into it (unless I ask for reasons).  I want that decision to be my  own.

And as two reasonable people, we should both be aware that there is a problem.  We can't on the very same day load the dishwasher two different ways.  And that's when we get to be creative with problem solving.  That's when we evaluate within ourselves "How important is it?"  That's when we might take a few days to think on it for ourselves.  And then come together and be a team to figure out this problem.

Maybe one person decides the loading of the dishwasher isn't that important to them, when they come together.  If they both feel it is important, maybe they can switch off months or weeks.  Maybe they get two dishwashers (haha!).  But, the mutual respect is what I want to give and get.  

That's what I desire from a relationship, no matter how silly or serious the matter.