Great Expectations ( Stop Expecting)

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Stop Expecting as it will hurt you more….”

My one and only sister gave me the discourse over the phone. No, she is not the elder one rather younger to me by four and a half years. But sisters are sisters…..your partner-in-crime, your free of cost shrink and when in need your lawyer too. I know for sure she wants me to stay happy but somehow I have a different view on this.
How can I not expect in a relationship! To me, ‘Stop Expecting’ is like stop breathing.
My life starts at the morning expecting the milkman to provide me a milk pack, then I expect my six year old to be little more accommodating while preparing him for the day and he in turn expects me to entertain him with five more minutes of ‘Oggy and the cockroaches time’; to be specific his cartoon time. Then I want my husband to wake up on time and start his day without me pestering him incessantly and in lieu he expects from me to allow him ten more minutes of napping and be his snooze timer. The list is endless as the day moves on.
In fact few days back I read somewhere which I call ‘Happiness Formula’ and that do not require a mathematical genius to resolve:

“Happiness is inversely proportional to expectation”.

I rather liked this formula which states the more you expect the lesser happy you are. What I liked about the formula is the relative association. But is life that straight a road that I reach my destination of happiness without any twists and turns just by controlling my expectation gear! I doubt! But then i hear mostly this ‘Stop Expecting’ term and that in turn will make you happy.
One thing which strikes my mind when I ponder over the matter a bit deeper is that when I expect my milkman to provide me with some milk, I am asking for a milk pack, something visible or my maid to clean household properly – a thing which can be supervised from the end result. But when I expect my husband to be more diligent to me, my friends to be more accessible or may be my in laws to be more understanding, it’s something invisible and abstruse. So, is it the tangible vs intangible/visible vs invisible? Anything which is subjective pursuing obscure trail makes us quiver or take one step back.

So I muse it’s not about the expectations. It’s about the nature or the subject of the expectations. There is nothing wrong in expecting. For me expecting is like having a hope, which may or may not get fulfilled. If you ask me, having expectations is better than being hopeless in a relation. As long as I live I expect but I do affirm that balancing and modulating on what to, how much to, when to and from whom to might give me a happy feet.
This somewhere requires a more of an integrated approach. We just cannot wake up one fine morning to be expecting less from others or vice versa. Rather, If we try to uplift our spirit or attitude to be more compassionate, mature, empathetic and sensible, yes indeed that might help us in fine tuning our expectation mode and which in turn will give us lesser ache. So I understand whoever says ‘Stop Expecting’ to me that you care for me but kindly don’t ask me to stop expecting, rather tell me don’t over-expect or have realistic sensible expectations’. Suddenly my phone rings as I am finishing this article. I pick it up and on the other side someone says,

“Why the hell you did not call me from morning….?”

I said, “Sweetheart, don’t over-expect as I was busy”….it was my one and only sister, my bestie.

19 thoughts on “Great Expectations ( Stop Expecting)

    • Thanks Salva….I have been hearing this rhetoric ‘stop expecting’ from time immemorial…thought of penning it down and make it clear that there’s a other side of the coin too..which is to be natural, honest and have sound reasonable expectations as we are not inanimate creatures.

      • Its interesting to see that this “advice” seems to pe present in many a culture of the world. Which would make it some kind of a very deep reflex stemming from time immemorial, I would guess. Very interesting, indeed.

  1. I had a similar reaction when people (especially Buddhist types) instructed me to stop having expectations in relationships..

    What I’ve learned is that standards and boundaries in a relationship are important. These aren’t really expectations though — these are rules of acceptable and unacceptable behavior — a vision of what you do and do not want in a healthy relationship. These are the building blocks of commitment.

    Expectations and desires are a little different. These are things that we want (consciously or unconsciously) but are not necessarily deal-breakers. there can be compromises on these desires, in a way that you can’t really compromise on your boundaries ..

    For me, what’s important about expectations/desires in a relationship is not letting them go — it’s being AWARE of what exactly they are and HONEST with yourself and others.

  2. What you said crystal….no doubt about it..every single word resounds what I think of…..that’s what I meant to say when I wrote this small piece. Here in India I live in a somehow progressive society but somewhere especially a woman is asked to cut down on her expectations totally to live a happy peaceful life. I question that. As I can be peaceful and contented only if I am true to myself and others too. In one side we are expected to be more loving, caring, and committed and that creates attachment but when it comes to deliverables, we are preached not to expect and stay detached. Ambiguous or hypocritical you decide it! But that’s how life is….Stay truthful, stay sincere…that’s what is the mantra I believe in. Thanks for liking my blog my friend ( hope I have the liberty to say this).

  3. Say as much as you can, but it is difficult, almost impossible, not to expect anything from anyone. If anyone attains that state, he has achieved Nirvana. The best we can do is to reduce our expectations, constantly and hope someday we achieve it. As such we are not here long enough to see all our wishes fulfilled.

    • That’s what I implied in the article being alive and animate it’s difficult to have zero expectations…yes we need to channelise our energy to have reasonable one though…I always believed that stay true to inner self and empathise….these are attributes which might help in handling situations sensibly in some way

  4. A thoughtful post! The moment we name a relationship, expectations are bound to enter. Surely we will be happier and more content if we can get rid of all expectations, but it is a process that happens over time, can’t just throw them all out like that. In some sense, expectations give a certain substantive quality to a relationship. Just a thought. Thanks for writing this piece.

  5. Nice article. We cannot stop expecting even if we try. That is the nature of inter dependent state of relationship in the society where we live in. We can only control if we are going to be disappointed or not if results do not turn out as per our expectation. What we expect decides how disappointed we are going to be.

    • Thank you sir….I am glad you liked it…perfectly said that’s what it is we cannot totally stop expecting being human but yes we can have realistic expectations and be empathetic towards other to control our expectation gear.

  6. The most complex form of expectation, between parents and children. My cousin wanted to be a dentist, ended up being IT engineer. I was better off. Got what I wanted to be thanks to the support of my parents.

  7. I did a post on this very thing last year, The Secret to Happiness. But you’re right. We need to qualify and expand on aphorisms – or we just get mired in cynicism. It is not easy to expect little from those closest to you, esp your spouse. We probably do well to expect less (while hoping might be a different matter) of others and more from ourselves.

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