Friday, March 23, 2018

Don't let expectations hook you

Have you heard it said that, "Every expectation is a resentment waiting to happen"?

Think about it for a minute. I don't know whether you're like I am—but I often have an expectation of how a situation will unfold, how a conversation might go, what an event will be like or what an experience will be from start to finish. And just how often is the real thing even close to how I'd imagined or hoped it would be? Not often, I fear.

I can too easily get hooked by this. I am disappointed when things went south in a way I hadn't foreseen, when someone reacted so differently from what I'd expected, when a given conversation took a nasty turn. And, yes, that's when resentment settles in for a nice, long visit. I hate when that happens!

Does that ever happen to you? Have you found a good way to deal with it? A way to avoid it?

We can surely deal with the resentments on the back end. But it would be far more effective to avoid feeling resentful in the first place—much better to avoid unrealistic expectations or even avoid expectations at all. I'm trying to practice staying at a remove from outcomes, difficult as that is. I would love to be a little less attached to the outcome of either a given situation or a conversation—to just stay open to whatever unfolds. It's not easy as I've had years of practice creating expectations! But it's worth staying alert to this and trying to avoid attachment to outcomes.

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