In what is probably the loudest episode we’ve ever recorded (yes even more than the construction going on below Kris’ apartment), today we have kind of an inception-style show going on. While we were talking about how having expectations can be realistic or unrealistic, with either negative or positive outcomes depending on one’s perspective, there was a gardener doing his job on the property next door, using a leaf-blower as he got closer and closer to us. Literally, as we discuss how important it is to roll with the punches, Kris was losing her ever-loving mind in pure frustration while the constant whine of his equipment neared. Based on previous recordings in the same spot the expectation was that there would be nice ambient noises in the background…birds chirping, dogs barking, an occasional car or airplane. Boy did we have our “walk the talk” tested!! In the end, in post production the noise level was brought way down and the content of the episode was saved.
All in all some good points were made along the way. The biggest takeaway from this week’s epidode:
- “Expectations are premeditated resentments.” Oooh. That’s a tough one to digest! But it’s so true!
- It’s inhumane to expect another human being to fulfill you. Another person can enhance your happiness, but if you’re not happy with yourself, that other person isn’t going to do it for you.
- Hope and expectation have a bit of a crowbar difference between the two, in our humble opinion. Hope seems to have a bit of a readiness to accept an outcome either way. Expectations seem more concrete. Which can leave room for disappointment.
- Basing our happiness on the outcome of an expectation is a tricky game to play. Realistic expectations are good – they are based on past experiences that help us believe Doing A = B (like turning on a lightswitch illuminates a room or having that morning cup of coffee brings a sense of ahhhhhhhhhhhhh).
- On the other hand, unrealistic expectations are based more in magical thinking, and can be quite damaging. Unreasonable expectations can cause low morale, low self-esteem, and damage relationships. Hey, we’re not citing any specific statement, article, or doctoral paper…we’re talking from personal experience! Trust us.
- If you spend time worrying about something, you’re putting yourself through it TWICE. HullOOOO.
- If someone says no, it’s because the request made of them does not fulfill their needs and wants at that time – it has nothing to do with the requestor, i.e., don’t take it personally.
- Humans are…human. Flawed. We need to give ourselves a break, chill out…forgive ourselves and others when the occasional “failure to comply” occurs. Because it will.
- And, in the words of our wonderful Kym, just because someone doesn’t text you back right away doesn’t mean they’re ignoring you…it could just mean they’re pooping. Or, you know, doing other things. Hey, she said it.
Overcoming negative thoughts with positive thinking is vital in maintaining a good, daily mindset. Positive thoughts coupled with action can have powerful results.
Next time someone or some situation doesn’t live up to your expectations, take a moment to reflect…step away – mentally – and try to take in the whole picture. Is it worth yelling, getting angry, frustrated, sad, or resentful? Is it something you can accept and move on from? Learn from? Self reflection and acceptance doesn’t make anyone a doormat. It helps us grow. It helps guide us in making decisions about the people or situation that we are coping with. It also helps prevent knee-jerk reactions that could make the outcome worse.
The Psychology Today article, The Psychology of Expectations by John A. Johnson, PhD., is located here.
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