One of the best decisions you can make is to release expectations of other people and their responsibility to make you happy.
Whether it was a simple thing like expecting someone at the office to say “Hi” when I came in or something more “serious” like expecting a call from my best friend on my birthday (“Whoever calls me first at midnight loves me the most”), people’s failure to reach my expectations the way I wanted would ruin my day, as stupid as they may sound when written down. Sound familiar?
While the release is an ongoing process, understanding the idea of releasing expectations can help you have a happier relationship with other people, and ultimately with yourself.
It all boils down to releasing this idea in some form:
“If you really loved me you would ______” or “If they really care about me, they will ____”
Often times, we don’t even communicate these expectations with the person we are placing them on, they fall short, and we end up disappointed.
Instead, think of it this way: “If I really love you, I will let you be exactly who you are, all the time.”
Read that again: “If I really love you, I will let you be exactly who you are, all the time.”
It kind of feels good, doesn’t it?
We, as a collective, need to stop believing that love is give-and-take. And I mean infinite love for all things, not just a boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, partner, or wife. This applies to everyone. Love is all give, always. Humans want to be loved unconditionally, no matter how we act. So why are we “expecting” anyone to be anything other than what they are or do anything other than what they want to do?
Does this mean I’m suggesting you stay with your verbally or physically abusive significant other because you really love them? No. What I’m suggesting is that you love them for being the only thing that they know how to be in this moment, and then love yourself more. Your decision on what to do next is up to you.
When the people your life feel love from you rather than anger from unmet expectations, they will start meeting them on their own, or you won’t care anymore. Trust me.