I'm going to get away from the expectations we have for family for a bit and focus on other expectations we may have in our lives. Sometimes by starting off with the smaller things we can learn to begin to deal with such an issue in a less threatening way.
So what are some unrealistic expectations that are seemingly little things? Personally I think it's easier to spot them in my own life if I have some examples in the first place. I'm going to include what I seen recently as unrealistic expectations and then a more realistic approach.
At this time of the year it's so easy to see those people with their unrealistic expectations. They are everywhere stressed out because of the approaching holidays and their expectations of how it all should go.
In line at the post office, they are pissed off because they're still there and outspoken about how poorly the post office is run. In general they are making everyone else in the room uncomfortable because of their mini temper tantrums.
All of this happens because they expect to never wait in line at the post office. Well, when I go to the post office (which is a lot because I sell on ebay) I never expect to go without seeing one of the impatient types, and I am rarely disappointed. Lines are a fact of life at the post office during the holidays and peak times during the regular days, I always allow enough time for those lines so that they don't throw my schedule off thus adding to my stress.
The same can be said of shoppers in the mall or grocery store. Everything from no convenient parking spaces, to not being able to find that perfect gift can set some people off into a tyrade. Others will internalize their feelings and take it home to take out on the loved ones that they're shopping for in the first place. Somehow I don't think that's what the spirit of the season is supposed to be about.
My youngest daughter has brain damage from having had brain cancer. It is difficult for her to learn things that are conceptual. Of course, all relationship things like this are conceptual so teaching LJ that lowering her expectations of life will actually make her happier is difficult. She struggles with the concept and is quite often disturbed by something very little.
I laughed at her today as she went to the pantry to check the back of the rice crispies box for the recipe for rice crispy treats. Since we've been doing lots of preparations for this holiday, things in that pantry are constantly getting moved around to find ingredients.
But LJ went to the pantry expecting to find the rice crispy box right where she had left it several hours before. The result was actually an audible growl from LJ because she couldn't locate the box. The longer it took, the more impatient she got and she even stomped her foot on the floor in frustration.
I couldn't help but laugh (fortunately LJ is used to me and wasn't offended). I mean, after all, it's a darn cereal box in a cupboard. Wanting it exactly in its place is a bit OCD and certainly not likely to happen with several people living in this house. So why bother expecting it to be that way. All she was doing was setting herself up for disappointment. It was nothing more than wasted effort and caused her nothing but upset.
And that really is the point, when our expectations are unreasonable the odds are they are never going to be met. By expecting them to happen any way, we are setting ourselves up for disappointment. Doing this over and over affects our self esteem. We end up feeling unimportant and uncared for and sometimes even out of control, all over expectations that we would never attain in the first place.
multiple personality disorder MPD dissociative Identity disorder did expectations