Have you ever come across a situation in your life where someone expects something from you, you do it and you later regret it?
We humans are always influenced to behave according to other’s expectations because we like their approval. Saying no and disappointing them is difficult because we are social animals. But more often than not, its not what we want and we regret doing it.
We have to stand for what we want. If we don’t, no one else will; including our loved ones.
Our parents want us to behave in a certain way because it is what they want for us to have, do or be. It is hard to say no, we give in and trade long term unhappiness to avoid temporary discomfort. But someday we are going to go back and blame them that we couldn’t get what we want because they expected something else from us. But the real problem is not with them expecting something. The real problem is that we did not stand strong enough for what we wanted.
Some of us are fortunate to learn this early in life. Some of us (including me) are not so fortunate and learned it only later in life but by that time a lot of irreversible decisions have already been made. Some people are so unlucky that they don’t learn to stand for themselves for their whole life and they end up living someone else’s version of the ideal life. Their entire life gets hacked by other’s expectations.
Whatever we do, have or whoever we are today are either because we wanted it or because someone else wanted it for us. We definitely do not want to be on the latter side. Standing for what we want takes will power, courage and determination to disappoint the people whom we are very close with. Parents, Spouse, Children, Friends and so on.
As long as your decisions of who you want to be, do or have doesn’t affect them to a large extent, time will cure the cracks in the relationship. The real damage occurs when you temporarily satisfy them with your Yes and then later go back and blame them for your present situation in life. It leads to life long regret for both the parties involved.
Accepting to behave according to other’s expectations is like slowing down the sinking ship. The better decision would be to take the lifeboat and run for your life.
By the time you read this article you would realize that a lot of irreversible decisions in your life have already been made. None of us are strong enough to stand for everything we ever wanted. We may have stood for certain things but many decisions would have been shoved down our throat.
Decisions about what you want to study in college, where you want to live, what you want to do for a living, when & whom you want to marry and so on are the kind of decisions I am talking about here. Some of these decisions were made by us not because we wanted it but because our others wanted it for us.
But the harsh truth here is that they are not the ones to blame. People expect things from people all the time. Sometimes they may even force it on others. Sometimes they use the relationship to an advantage. Sometimes it could be for their own selfish needs and sometimes it could be because they think they know better than us about what we want for ourselves.
Bottom-line, If we do not have what we want it is because we did not stand strong enough for it. And as a result of that weakness we suffer.
The only thing we can do going forward is to accept whatever happened to us as fate because we did not know any better and then be strong for what we want in the future. Blaming others for expecting things from us will not take us anywhere. In fact we shouldn’t blame because we also expect things from our loved ones. But in the bigger scheme of things, it is always better that our loved ones stand strong for what they want because we don’t want them to come back and blame us in the future for expecting something from them.
Though I have realized; 1) That getting what we want completely depends on our strength to stand strong and 2) The fact that we shouldn’t blame others for expecting, one question still remains… if we are not strong enough the way we are supposed to be, then who is to blame? Ourselves or the way we were raised?