DO YOU HAVE EXPECTATIONS?

 This post was originally posted in 2014, but I have thought more intently on this subject and enhanced this message worthy of repetition. Enjoy the enhancements and live life with expectations of joy and happiness.
TODAY THE WORD is EXPECTATION. What is expected in life? We look forward with excitement and expectations of upcoming celebrations and holidays. The excitement builds as the event comes closer. We build up certain expectations; some are realistic and some are fantasy filled. I see peoples faces filled with pleasure and I see some people that are disappointed in what they receive as gifts. They may try to mask it but it somehow shows on their face.
Expectations in relationships; expectations in careers; expectations in child bearing; and expectations in friendships can all be wonderful or can be disappointing if either of these expectations fail. What is a realistic expectation? To me, and this may differ with some of you, a realistic expectation is one which all factors, good or bad, have been thoroughly thought and a willingness to accept its acceptance whether it comes to succession or unable to manifest itself. In other words, can you live with or without this desire or expectation? We sometimes build our expectations up only to have them shot down by outside factors and not anything we could have done to make it happen. This is what I wanted to talk with you about. I don’t need to write about fulfilled expectations; you accept those with excitement and the adrenalin is flowing. It is the unfulfilled expectations which are the hardest to accept. You were expecting a raise or promotion or you were expecting to get the new job; it doesn’t happen. You were hoping the man or woman of your dreams would ask you out for a date; he or she doesn’t. You were expecting your marriage to last forever; it doesn’t. You feel you have a great friend; you find out he or she wasn’t your friend at all.
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What is a person to do when expected expectations do not occur? Your life can either accept disappointment and move past the adverse situation. If you do; usually something better comes along. I don’t understand this rationality; but it is true. If you don’t accept it and if you don’t move past; you bury yourself in depressive thoughts. “Nothing produces Nothing” so there you sit having a pity party. Anyone who shows up at your pity party only want to wallow with you. A true friend tells you to get up and get moving. Expect and get excited; if it changes; change with it. Life is an interesting expectation but is full of changes.
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The Expectations Trap

Why we’re conditioned to blame our partners for our unhappiness.

By Hara Estroff Marano, published March 1, 2010 – last reviewed on April 10, 2017

The Expectations Trap: Perfection, Please

If there’s one thing that most explicitly detracts from the enjoyment of relationships today, it’s an abundance of choice. Psychologist Barry Schwartz would call it an excess of choice—the tyranny of abundance. We see it as a measure of our autonomy and we firmly believe that freedom of choice will lead to fulfillment. Our antennae are always up for better opportunities, finds Schwartz, professor of psychology at Swarthmore College.

Just as only the best pair of jeans will do, so will only the best partner—whatever that is. “People walk starry-eyed looking not into the eyes of their romantic partner but over their romantic partner’s shoulder, in case there might be somebody better walking by. This is not the road to successful long-term relationships.” It does not stop with marriage. And it undermines commitment by encouraging people to keep their options open.

Like Doherty, Schwartz sees it as a consequence of a consumer society. He also sees it as a self-fulfilling phenomenon. “If you think there might be something better around the next corner, then there will be, because you’re not fully committed to the relationship you’ve got.”

It’s naive to expect relationships to feel good every minute. Every relationship has its bumps. How big a bump does it have to be before you do something about it? As Hopkins’s Cherlin says, if you’re constantly asking yourself whether you should leave, “there may be a day when the answer is yes. In any marriage there may be a day when the answer is yes.”

One of the problems with unrestrained choice, explains Schwartz, is that it raises expectations to the breaking point. A sense of multiple alternatives, of unlimited possibility, breeds in us the illusion that perfection exists out there, somewhere, if only we could find it. This one’s sense of humor, that one’s looks, another one’s charisma—we come to imagine that there will be a package in which all these desirable features coexist. We search for perfection because we believe we are entitled to the best—even if perfection is an illusion foisted on us by an abundance of possibilities.

If perfection is what you expect, you will always be disappointed, says Schwartz. We become picky and unhappy. The cruel joke our psychology plays on us, of course, is that we are terrible at knowing what will satisfy us or at knowing how any experience will make us feel.

If the search through all possibilities weren’t exhausting (and futile) enough, thinking about attractive features of the alternatives not chosen—what economists call opportunity costs—reduces the potential pleasure in whatever choice we finally do make. The more possibilities, the more opportunity costs—and the more we think about them, the more we come to regret any choice. “So, once again,” says Schwartz, “a greater variety of choices actually makes us feel worse.”

Ultimately, our excess of choice leads to lack of intimacy. “How is anyone going to stack up against this perfect person who’s out there somewhere just waiting to be found?” asks Schwartz. “It creates doubt about this person, who seems like a good person, someone I might even be in love with—but who knows what’s possible out there? Intimacy takes time to develop. You need to have some reason to put in the time. If you’re full of doubt at the start, you’re not going to put in the time.”

Moreover, a focus on one’s own preferences can come at the expense of those of others. As Schwartz said in his 2004 book, The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less, “most people find it extremely challenging to balance the conflicting impulses of freedom of choice on the one hand and loyalty and commitment on the other.”

And yet, throughout, we are focused on the partner we want to have, not on the one we want—or need—to be. That may be the worst choice of all.

Disappointment—or Tragedy?

The heightened sensitivity to relationship problems that follows from constantly appraising our happiness encourages couples to turn disappointment into tragedy, Doherty contends.

Inevitably, images of the perfect relationship dancing in our heads collide with our sense of entitlement: “I’m entitled to the best possible marriage.” The reality of disappointment becomes intolerable. “It’s part of a cultural belief system that says we are entitled to everything we feel we need.”

Through the alchemy of desire, wants become needs, and unfulfilled needs become personal tragedies. “A husband who isn’t very expressive of his feelings can be a disappointment or a tragedy, depending on whether it’s an entitlement,” says Doherty. “And that’s very much a cultural phenomenon.” We take the everyday disappointments of relationships and treat them as intolerable, see them as demeaning—the equivalent of alcoholism, say, or abuse. “People work their way into ‘I’m a tragic figure’ around the ordinary problems of marriage.” Such stories are so widespread, Doherty is no longer inclined to see them as reflecting an individual psychological problem, although that is how he was trained—and how he practiced for many years as an eminent family therapist. “I see it first now as a cultural phenomenon.”

First Lady Michelle Obama is no stranger to the disappointment that pervades relationships today. In Barack and Michelle: Portrait of an American Marriage, by Christopher Anderson, she confides how she reached a “state of desperation” while working full-time, bringing in the majority of the family income, raising two daughters, and rarely seeing her husband, who was then spending most of his week away from their Chicago home as an Illinois state senator, a job she thought would lead nowhere while it paid little. “She’s killing me with this constant criticism,” Barack complained. “She just seems so bitter, so angry all the time.” She was annoyed that he “seems to think he can just go out there and pursue his dream and leave all the heavy lifting to me.”

But then she had an epiphany: She remembered the guy she fell in love with. ” I figured out that I was pushing to make Barack be something I wanted him to be for me. I was depending on him to make me happy. Except it didn’t have anything to do with him. I needed support. I didn’t necessarily need it from Barack.”

Certainly, commitment narrows choice. But it is the ability to remember you really do love someone—even though you may not be feeling it at the moment.

Commitment is the ability to sustain an investment, to honor values over momentary feelings. The irony, of course, is that while we want happiness, it isn’t a moment-by-moment experience; the deepest, most enduring form of happiness is the result of sustained emotional investments in other people.

 

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This excerpt from the mentioned article is reflective of the trap of expectation and you might take the time to read the entire article by clicking on the title link. Interesting read. 

Bloggers note: My thought is live by expectation of adaptation and flexibility. Whatever happens today, expect to be surprised by the unexpected. Bend, shape, and mold yourself into a workable art form. Try to use materials (thoughts and knowledge) that will conform to the environment and current life standards.

LIVE LIFE, LOVE LIFE, AND LIFE LIFE TO THE FULLEST by expecting changes and welcoming the newness of those changes.

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FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:
Acts 3:5 ESV 
And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them
 
(C) copyright 2012-2018 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission. Third party material if known is sourced to original location for credit source.
 

Author: sippingcupsofinspiration

A blogger since 2012, a published author of two Five Star romance novels, A MISTRESS, A WIFE and TELL ME LIES; LOVE ME STILL and RIDDLE ME THIS, LOVE OR BLISS. Still a small town girl with a lot of experience of people watching.

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