To expect or not to expect

Every day we encounter different personalities, moods, mannerism and characteristics. We place unreasonably expectations on loved ones; sometimes unintentionally and intentionally.

We forget that we all have different make-up, traits, strengths and weaknesses. Hence two people are not the same. With family, sometimes the huge expectations makes a person feel compelled to meet those expectations even though they hate every second of it.

We place expectations on friends and if they are not met, we feel dejected.

Do we place too high expectations on each other to always be smiling and happy or do we just want a person 90% of the time to be constant? Thus, we feel disappointed and frustrated with ourselves, and aggrieved or upset with others when they fail to satisfy our expectations.

I saw a sticker that said, “Don’t try to change me. Accept me as I am.” This is the simple rule of how we wish to be treated by others, then why do we complicate it for others.

I think if we understand “expectations” - we will be less angry when people don’t meet it.

I have a friend who always says “I don’t expect anything from anyone – I just don’t have any expectations in life!”

But there are certain things in life, which we cannot place expectations on and there are something we can.  We expect the moon, ice caps, trees, and plants will be there, unless there’s a huge catastrophe or a “Day After Tomorrow” scenario.

We expect our child to do well in his/her studies?
We expect our children to make the right choices and if they are committing mistakes, we then place an expectation on ourselves to teach, educate, and discipline them?
We expect our partners to be faithful?
We expect those closest to us, not to lie or deceive us?

Therefore how is it then possible not to expect anything?

The message is that one should accept the fact as it is.
If change is necessary, try to make that change, but not because some do not insist on it; because you want too.

With people – either spouses, children, family or friends, it may not always be possible to have no expectations at all.

So if a person says “I have no expectations of you” they actually haven’t thought it through. They will always have an expectation. As humans we tend to compromise if those expectations are reasonable, we willing to change and adapt to meet them.

When we build up expectations from people we should try and be reasonable, and should be based on knowledge, logic and wisdom.

When people tend to expect too much and insist that people around them conform to their way or no way. That’s when we fall short, or we cannot identify with that expectation. We need to understand that if a person does not meet “our expectations” there could be innumerable factors which could have contributed to them not meeting them.

When we place huge expectations on each other, we change a person; we are actually being destructive and deep seated.

We need to address each other with love and affection; together with freedom and space too allow them to meet their promise.

Two hands joined together leave a gap and can be easily separated. Similarly, we should give people space. Often we hear people say, “Give me some space please!”

If you love a bird, will you cage it and expect it to be happy? It is not possible to love someone and at the same time to also confine them in that love

Check out Saffiya's blog and follow her on Twitter

Follow Women24 on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Do you think it's important to get married in this day and age?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Yes, it's important in order to create a family unit and for companionship
24% - 5 votes
Not at all. Being single is far more liberating
5% - 1 votes
There is no general answer to this, it's each to their own
43% - 9 votes
Yes, society still frowns on unmarried people, especially women
0% - 0 votes
It depends on whether you are able to find a compatible partner
29% - 6 votes