Sup, other Vis!!
Holy Crap!! Where have you been?? Who’s the President?? Did the Cubs win the World Series???! AAaah!!!
Relax. I know it’s been a while, I’m sorry about that. I went through this phase where I turned to friends when I needed to vent, so I didn’t need to post so much; plus, you know, facebook and twitter filled in here and there.
Oh. I see how it is. What brought you crawling back to me then?
Well, I was doing some thinking, and well, I just couldn’t think of where to put it down, so I thought of you.
Aren’t I a lucky gal.
You sure are… you sure are.
Alright then.. welcome back. You may proceed.
Ok, so.. I was thinking about expectations.
Yes, well.. a lot has been said about expectations and how having them is a quick path to misery,
“If you expect nothing from somebody you are never disappointed.”
— Sylvia Plath
“Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.”
— Alexander Pope
“I find my life is a lot easier the lower I keep my expectations.”
— Bill Watterson
“My expectations were reduced to zero when I was 21. Everything since then has been a bonus.”
— Stephen W. Hawking
… I could go on.
Anyway, so clearly it would be safe to assume that one would find life easier or more pleasant in removing expectations of others. That’s my assumption anyway; correct me if I’m wrong.
I’m sure you are, but I don’t know enough on the matter.
My question, or thought, then becomes.. How is a society expected to function without setting expectations?
I mean, is it reasonable to have no expectations??
I mean, I would expect my friends to not hit on my significant other. Strangers, sure, but not my friends!
I would expect my employer, if we’re friends anyway, to let me know when I’m under-performing or otherwise putting my employment at risk. A faceless corporation, of course not, but someone you have beers with? Is that not reasonable?
I mean, civilization is based on expectations. We expect a fire truck to show up when there’s a fire. We expect a traffic light to be red for others when it’s green for us. It’s impossible to live without expectations.
So which expectations are we supposed to hold and which should we release? Keep societal expectations while releasing individuals of any? Should I not expect my mom to call me on my birthday? Should I be pleased if she doesn’t? Should I expect my significant other to have my best interest at heart as I am expected to have hers? Or do I treat even my significant other as I would a stranger, expecting nothing ever?
I dunno, man. What do you expect from me?
Well, sorry to disappoint. The cool-headed Epictetus said,
” There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond our power or our will.”
I take that to mean that if you possess some level of control over the situation, then you should have some expectations.
Can you control your friends? No. So maybe don’t expect them to be decent human beings.
Can you control whether you are friends with someone who proves they can’t be a decent human being? Yuppers. Do that then.
Significant Others are trickier.
Wow you get chattier after a few years.
AS I WAS SAYING. Relationships, the intimate kind, are a special beast. I mean, these are two human beings who can truly say, “I am for you and I know you are for me,” and that’s just basically a gamble, isn’t it?
People change, they grow, their wants and needs evolve. Can you control that? I think not.
Sure, but not having expectations in a relationship is basically just two single people pretending to have a relationship, isn’t it? Isn’t expectation the whole fricking point? Having someone you can rely on when the world is against you??
That’s the word around town, yes. That’s also why being betrayed in a relationship hurts so dang much, too! It’s a trade-off. You choose to gamble future happiness by setting expectations which will yield you immediate happiness. *There’s nothing wrong with that.
Did you just speak out of your asterisk?
Who me? no way. There’s nothing wrong with that™ because you’re prepared for the potential unhappiness. You know, going into it, that the risk exists that you will be let down or betrayed; and you’re totally allowed to feel all the pain that comes along with that. The key is to make sure you’re appreciative and not complacent. Be happy every moment that you have it, and if it ends, be happy that it happened. Find the good in the experience; don’t fall for sunk-cost fallacies. It wasn’t time wasted, it was the best of times.
So basically, don’t gamble with the rent money. Don’t become dependent on the relationship, but enjoy the benefits of another human being giving a rat’s ass about you, albeit temporary.
That’s the idea!
Aren’t you just a ray of sunshine.
Hey, don’t shoot the messenger. You knew what you were getting into when you walked into my house.
“Don’t seek to have events happen as you wish, but wish them to happen as they do happen, and all will be well with you.”