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The Burden of Unfulfilled Expectations…

Relationships. A fundamental unit of the societal survival. But also for one’s emotional growth. Now, I am not a huge fan of society given how we are, relatively, afraid of ourselves at the end of the day, but I do believe in the growth of a being be it physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually. But, over the years we have grown to be so afraid to be alone/lonely that we constantly want someone else to either fill up a void or to quiten the chaos within. In both cases, we are not looking for someone to share a peaceful existence but to compensate something.

I am 26 years old, which is pretty young in terms of worldly knowledge and to be able to use the phrase “been there, done that all” but I can safely say that over these 26 yrs I did accumulate a ton of wisdom and will continue to do so, but that story is for some other time :). 2016 was, like for a majority of the world’s population, a year of losses and pain and some insight. Actually , loads of learning and growing up, so I being the ever realistically optimist decided to focus of all that those failures taught me. What was most prominent was, the expectations one inadvertently links up with relationships.

I had a falling with my bestfriend cause I could not make it to her surprise birthday party even though I did plan it with her elder sister. Reason? My maternal grandfather broke his ribs and my dad had to go to work and my mom could not make it in time for me to go to her birthday party. My mistake? I honestly related my predicament to the sister who in turn thought I was making excuses and I could manage, like always, if I wanted to. I was just hurting my bestfriend on her birthday. I was made the villian. Yes, it did shatter me seeing how they both took a 9 year friendship and trashed it, and how easily they both moved on since they had other ‘bestfriends’ but for me she was only one. See, I have a problem. I am too honest with people I love and I cannot have multiple people filling up the same role in my life. If I have a bestfriend then its just one, and once I gave a certain place to someone in my life, even if they no longer are in my life I cannot fill up that space. And I do not feel the need to. What that fallout taught me was, of all the various times I made to their world, being there for them through their ups and downs, I did that because I could. It did not interfere with my other priorities. But in that case, my grandfather came first and I could not see how that situation could have been ‘managed’. Yes, they too were there to support me through my highs and lows but that was the difference. I did not expect them to manage everything cause I knew the importance of a priority list. They expected me to be able to be there for them at all time they needed. They expected, and that was the crux.

We expect the people we are in a relationship with, be it familial or friendly or romantic, to be a certain way cause they have been like that through a major part of the bond. I have seen two peole, my idols, to love and care without expecting anything in return. My dad and my late maternal grandma. And that made them a happier person. I grew up watching them and so I did the same. I never expect anything from anyone.I do not have a boyfriend, but I would not want him to put me above everything. I know and appreciate the importance of space and having our own time. But, somehow even knowing that I do what I think is right, by ex-bestfriend thought that because I could manage certain situations, I would always be able to. Not considering the fact that in that instance it was my grandpa who needed me then. It was so easy for them to blame me to hurt them and I took in the blame. Which was my mistake. It made me go into my darkness again and start with my self-hate and hurt. Again. All my work on self-respect and self-improvement was about to down the drain. But then I realised that why? Why should I take any blame? I did not tell them to expect anything from me. They did, their fault. And that made my turning back on my darkess again easier.

Its easy, to take someone for granted, and attach a list of expectations to them cause we have seen them be a certain way. We fail to acknowledge that if a person is a certain way its not always cause its their nature or its easy for them, its because they want to. And we also fail to acknowledge the fact that people change. Personalities change cause we face challenges everyday. Some break us, some make us, but we are always evolving. Some becomes the carrot, some the egg and a rare few can be the coffee. The person I was born as, and the person I am today are totally different people! And we know that change is inevitable, but rarely we seem to accept that. When that person does not behave the way we expected them to, we are disappointed and we hurt them then, by blaming them and using their trust and vulnerabilities against them. One can say, ander makes people do such things, but is that justified? Can we, in a fit of passionate anger, ruin someone just because they did not meet our expectaions? They did not ask us to categorise them in a certain mould, in fact they never led us to believe that they are a certain way, then why do we hurt them and ourselves but tagging expectations and then exercise our taken-for-granted nature to hurt them and then again expect them to hang around?

The girl and her sister were an important part of my life. We both complimented each other so well. I was the brain and she was the heart. I was always the practical one whereas she was the emotional one. Over the span of our friendship, we helped each other grow up and take the stroll out of our comfort zones. I can never hate her but yes this taught me a lot. The burden of unfulfilled expectaions is too heavy to carry, for both the person. When you are in any relationship, you adjust but that is because you want to, it should not be because you are expected to. If someone is doing something nice for me, doesn’t mean I expect them to do that everyday and if they don’t I get sad and then angry and take it out on them. Its wrong for both of us. Being a metacognitive species who loves to claim themselves as the superior race (trust me I would prefer being a wild hog any day!) this simple acceptance seems like a huge task for us. We keep failing at it.

Lets not expect too much from anyone. I agree, being in a relationship, some form of expectations are there but what is in our control is understanding if someone do not meet up to that expectation and not lash out at them. To not take someone for granted because we mean a lot to them. Is our disappointments more important than the bond? Is the blame game worth it? I too blamed them from expectin too much as they blamed me for their disappointments, but in the end, we lost a friendship. The hurts inflictedwas toomuch to overcome cause they shattered my trust. I will always wish them well, but never be friends with them. And though it will forever hurt, but I also know that I did learn to reign in my temper and not repeat these mistakes. To always clarify that I am not always going to move mountains for you, for I have other important people in my life too.

“Hope for the Best. Expect the worst. Life is a play. We’re unrehearsed.”  – Mel Brooks.

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