Expectations the Relationship Killer

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Expectations can be like insect repellant, sprayed at a moment’s notice without any forewarning.

To be clear, I am not talking about expectations, such as: loving one another, loyalty, respect, or any of the basic ways we human beings get along in our relationships.

I’m not just limiting this to “romantic relationships,” I’m talking about ALL relationships.

I’m a recovering people pleaser. It takes a lot of awareness and detachment to see where my motivation starts, when I do a kindness or reciprocate to others.

So, any time someone tells me I possess any sort of negative characteristic, my initial reaction is to start to “go there.” Meaning, it must be my fault–I didn’t please them. And then, thankfully, within moments….I realize I’m personalizing someone else’s stuff.

I’m not perfect, live on a pedestal or claim superiority in anyway, just the opposite–I’m human.

I can’t control someone else’s thoughts or feelings and therefore it’s not my responsibility to put them under my magic spell of pleasing them, at the detriment to my own feelings.

Unfortunately, if the other person has limited or no self-awareness, it may actually end the relationship, when I don’t show up how I’m supposed to fit their picture.

Why? If we actually own our feelings and of what works for ourselves and what doesn’t, we also know we cannot possibly make someone else happy….

I’ve come to find that in relationships, people often have unspoken expectations…they believe others should think like them and therefore know their thoughts too. 

We’re expected to KNOW what triggers the other person’s insecurities, because this person isn’t communicating their issues, they’re just busy reacting to them.

If the other person sees themselves as martyr/victim (I do everything for everyone and they just crap on me), is a complainer, or a fixer or just plain has outrageous expectations that they never share…or perhaps they say nasty things in a text, but in person are as sweet as can be…can leave us wondering, because we can’t figure out if they’re mad or we just don’t know how to read!

That is of course, until the bug repellant spray is spewed–making it a difficult relationship road to navigate.It’s also a form of passive-aggressiveness.

Relationships take two to tango, both parties are responsible for what they bring to the plate, no one has a right to dump their crap on someone else. The more we own our stuff, the more confident we are and the more we stand in our own truth.

The more we blame others, look outside and don’t look inside…the more pain we’ll live in as nothing outside of us has the power to change our internal beliefs about ourselves and the world.

I had a friend at one point, who I asked to write a piece for my blog, it was to be inspirational and motivating…

What she sent me was a piece on how she had a horrible childhood, everyone around her was responsible for it and how she was an innocent. Makes sense, right?

Well, it continued with her stating how she grew up and was still wide-eyed with innocence, but didn’t trust anyone, everyone screwed her over. She felt people would always disappoint her and yet, she would persevere, by being a martyr.

Needless to say, I couldn’t use the post on here, because there was no place where someone could connect positively to her story. It didn’t serve to help anyone, it just told her woeful tale and one, in which she took no responsibility for her life or relationships.

We had a parting of the ways not long after that over something that had to do with this exact topic, unspoken expectations and triggering those EXACT insecurities. I came to a point where I could no longer have people like this in my close circle of friends. Someone who took no responsibility for their feelings, beliefs and emotions, but instead threw them at everyone around her.

I illustrate this picture, because if you’re in a relationship with anyone who doesn’t communicate their expectations, there is a way to navigate these waters; as long as both parties are interested in investing in a true relationship.

First, both parties have to commit to honesty. This doesn’t mean blaming the other party for our feelings, it means talking about triggers, expectations and creating an understanding. It doesn’t mean we’ll never be disappointed; it means two mature adults should be able to discuss it.

Second, never use words to put someone else down to make ourselves feel superior. All this does is escalate the drama, put the other person on the defense and highlight how insecure one feels about themselves when they feel the need to put someone else down.

Third, share personal boundaries. Create an awareness, don’t use ESP or passive/aggressiveness as an escape from setting boundaries. Assuming is never a happy outcome.

Fourth, be responsible. OWN YOUR SHIT. If we feel something…it’s ours. If we perceive something…it’s ours. If we want to force the other person to change or accommodate our STUFF, forget it! When we own it, we get the gift of clarity, confidence, healthy and happy relationships too.

Inspiration Points

Where do you find inspiration in your daily life?

What are the sources you have come across which keep you motivated or make you feel alive?

I would love to hear from readers of my blog, as to what is inspirational to you!

I find inspiration in the big and small moments.

When I walk each day, I look down from a bridge at the LA River (Not a real river, really.) And the duck families have gathered there in droves, quacking at each other, swimming gracefully over the small current; I feel the breeze, hear the birds and feel simply…alive. It is inspirational and calming to me. When I feel stuck, I go on a walk. It always clears my head and gets me in touch with inspiration.

I am also inspired when I work out on the elliptical machine in the morning at the gym. I tend to write pieces and parts for my book onto my phone and email it to myself for editing later on. It is a great tool for me, because I am inspired by the easy flow of my words and that I have accomplished this while getting a work out done.

I find other people inspirational. Old friends, new friends, acquaintances and strangers. The guy who was sitting outside Trader Joes the other night with his guitar, singing his heart out! I don’t know who was having the better time, him, or the people listening to his tunes.

I find people inspiring on a regular basis, the best inspiration is when you believe you know someone very well and they surprise you in some fantastical way! I love thinking, “Wow, I never thought so and so would do something like that, or think from that perspective or apologize and so on…” I hope I inspire people in that way too. Surprises that are happy are always welcome, surprises that bring dread or bad news; definitely not as welcome, but there seems to be an inspiring gift if you are willing to admit it to yourself.

Everyone has a story; I like listening to people talk who have found a way out of their story or are still finding a way to create a new story. We all have our struggles and roller coaster moments, but inside of every moment is a gift.

I find many inspiration points and surprise myself when I actually have received news I am less than thrilled to have received. Yet I surprise myself by digging a little deeper and asking the apparent benefit. When I find the benefit, I seem to allow myself some relief or happiness, knowing that things are definitely changing and probably for the better.

I am currently motivated to move my life forward, instead of further pondering or waiting for some sign that I finally arrived at the diving board and it was time to jump. Nothing that dramatic happened, it was a decision. The decision came as a realization for me that my life may never have that perfect moment, so why not make “now” a perfect moment?

And with my heart in the driver’s seat; I am like dandelion seeds, sprouting up and continuing to spread my joy!