One of my favourite sayings is: If you never have expectations, you’ll never be disappointed. I am not sure where this statement originated, if Dr. Phil said it or if it is just a common saying, either way I think it is true and for me, words to live by. This statement will often refresh in my mind if I am beginning to feel disappointed in one of my personal relationships or life situations. Time to sit back and check where I’m at.
If I begin to feel disappointed by someone’s behaviour or how they relate to me, let’s say, I will often try to analyze why I’m disappointed and if the other person is aware of my expectations. Should I adjust my expectations and move on, understanding that I do not know the perspective of the other person or do I need to communicate my expectations in order for change. If the other person is not aware of my expectations, it is my responsibility alone to let them know or I don’t have a right to hold on to my feelings. I cannot expect my priorities or values to be someone else’s too.
This comes to mind as we recently enjoyed the show Parenthood where a dad (Adam) and his daughter (Haddie) are having a disagreement. Adam and Haddie were on a road trip and while he was trying to communicate with his daughter, she was busy texting on her phone and giggling. He had imagined a road trip of conversation and bonding and it didn’t turn out like he had expected. Their interaction on the show is identifiable; from the outside looking in, you could see clearly why they each felt the way they did but it takes cooling off and communication between them to rectify their disagreement. I find the writers of this show seem to always get it just right accompanied by the exceptional acting almost every show will leave me with a tear or two (just the way I like it).
There are so many factors that are involved in relating to others whether it be personal expectations (by all parties), emotions (how much sleep your little one let you have – yes, that’s my excuse) or just how we default to only thinking of ourselves. It seems so easy to offend at times, even when your heart is in the right place or just to get busy in life and fail to call to do your part in maintaining a relationship. In the end, we need others or life would be very lonely so we work it out, don’t we. A quick summary and without having to expand on the complexities of life; I say “Relationships are funny”.
“Remember, we all stumble, every one of us. That’s why it’s a comfort to go hand in hand.” ~Emily Kimbrough (www.successories.com)
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