Here is a idea that most of you have not likely pondered. The only rational or reasonable expectations we can have are ones we can have a direct influence on or ones based on scientific principles. This means that the only rational or reasonable expectations are one we place on ourselves or concern laws of nature. I can have a rational expectation that I will not murder tomorrow. I can rationally expect that I will love my kids and treat them with kindness tomorrow. I can reasonably expect the sun will rise tomorrow or that if I let go of a ball it will head toward earth.
All our other expectations are unreasonable. It’s a hard pill to swallow.
So what does this have to do with relationships or life? Because we love to expect things. We love to expect our partners will behave how we think they should. We love to expect our friends will react how we think they should. We love to expect that our coworkers have the same value systems we do. Guess what? All those people are going to let you down and it’s not their fault.
A huge portion of what I will talk about in my next series “Relationships 301” is going to be centered on ways we can prevent resentment in our relationships. Resentment and it’s build up are the big killer so if we want to have a happy and healthy relationship, we simply must do all we can to not grow resentful.
One of the biggest ways is to not have expectations of your partner. Remember that, like you, he or she is an autonomous human with their own ideas about how they should interact with others. When you place your own expectations on them, you are asking to be let down. Then once you are let down, you will blame. Blame then leads to resentment.
I chose my two life partners after asking them a ton of questions about whom they are and how they think. I took my time and didn’t rush into anything. Because I first fundamentally understood where they stood on almost any subject, I was able to reasonably guess how they will react in any given situation and be right most always. However, most always is not always.
Just because I know them very well does not mean that I expect them behave as I think they normally would and how I think they should. I make sure to not fall into this trap. This allows them to have bad days, react in surprising ways, and do thinks I don’t expect without me being resentful of that.
Remember that there is no cosmic law that says that your partner has to always be loving. There is no cosmic law saying your friend must always be there for you when you think they should. There is no cosmic law that says coworkers must treat you in a specific manner. When you demand that they behave as you should you only hurt you and your goal to be a happy and healthy person.