Expectation is a very natural human tendency or behavioral trait. If you ask me, I would say it’s rather healthy.
Yet, it’s not healthy if you let it ruin your relationships burdening your loved ones with the mammoth versions of your expectations or feelings. This is because, in most cases, anything in excessive amounts becomes unhealthy. (Thought it’s better to mention this in the beginning of this post.)
Anyway coming back to the healthy part –
Saints and sages, in their own ways, have preached us – expectation can cause unhappiness, and detachment can give us freedom.
I agree but I would like to add a basic human thought with this. When we expect something from someone in a good positive way, that can happen due to love, respect and even friendship. That’s a mere innocent and beautiful part of our emotions.
Therefore I don’t think our expectations can actually make us unhappy. The unhappiness is caused if the expectations are not met, ignored, or, taken for granted by our folks or others.
What great Saints, gurus and sages have taught us, can be considered as the ideal way of living – detachment and no expectations. However, reaching that state was not easy for them as well. They achieved their greatness and wisdom through years of sacrifices, hard work, serious meditation, and great mind control, self control and even penance.
People like regular office goers, homemakers, students, retired pensioners, etc, cannot even think about that. They have responsibilities and they choose to be ordinary humans, not saintly sages. Moreover, most of us don’t have time. Some people are busy living their lives and some are done with the busy part and now just want to rest and get some peace.
Such common people are very much in touch with their emotions, negative or positive. How can one expect such people to get detached from worldly things and get disconnected with their own feelings which make them human?
Oh did I just write “How can one expect…?” My bad, but the word ‘expect’ came very naturally here. ‘Expectation’ is a natural emotional phenomenon. And everything that nature has given us is usually good for us if not used for causing any harm.
Remember we don’t expect good things or actions from outsiders. It’s the actions of our friends and family that usually bother us, make us happy, or upset us.
So what do we need to do here? How to communicate such an emotion, ‘our expectations’ with the concerned individuals, our folks? If an expectation is taken for granted or not met, how should we handle our own selves? This is the main tough part.
I have managed to use my experiences to think and write about three points that can ease the discomforts caused due to our expectations:
1. First of all, we must understand and acknowledge our own emotions. We must be aware of what we really want. Often our vague yet bottled up emotions bother us. If you yourself are confused, how will you explain that to another individual? I sometimes talk to my own self to know what’s going on. And trust me, that works.
2. Once we are sure about what we are actually expecting, we need to communicate that to the right person, not to his/her relative or friend, to that particular person from whom we are expecting something. We can’t just want or imagine someone to understand something we didn’t even say.
3. I agree, there are times when our folks just know what’s bothering us. Yet, sometimes due to various issues (like ego issues) they pretend to be unaffected or unaware of our feelings. Also often we realize, they take our expectations and sentiments for granted. In such situations it’s hard to convey our feelings, because they already know. I still feel, here too we must try to sit and talk to them at least once, but only if our expectation or requirement, or that person is important enough. When it comes to one’s self-respect, any kind of compromise is unacceptable.
In most cases communicating directly with the concerned person helps a lot. This is because in any relationship where communication reduces with time, things become formal. The love part remains somewhere inside but in a dormant state. I think that’s the point from when people start taking each other for granted. And we all know that hurts.
If we can keep things simple and work on the communication part with our loved ones, any relationship will be full of life and understanding. In such emotionally satisfying relationships our expectations will be anyway met.
P. S. I think you will be able to relate to a few things in this blog, and hope the experiences that I share here will help someone in some positive way.