Thursday, February 25, 2010

A Follow-Up

I'm relatively new to blogging as true social interaction, so I'm not quite sure the best way to respond to your comments so you can read my follow-up thoughts. I stalk my followers, so I know that the lovely people who commented on my last post should get my updates, so I figured another post might be the best way to respond/continue the conversation. Plus, Meredith brought up an excellent point that I definitely think is worth discussing! (If there is a better way, beyond commenting on each of your blogs, please let me know.)

First, thank you so much for your comments on my Great Expectations post. It truly warms my heart to hear from you!

Second, I wanted to acknowledge Meredith's comments about expectations that are simultaneously high and realistic. As I was composing that post, both in my head and on my keyboard, the distinction between great expectations and high standards kept coming back to me. I didn't address this in my original post because, let's face it, it was a bit wordy already!

But, Meredith makes an excellent point: Settling is no good either. It isn't healthy to have low expectations simply out of fear of disappointment. If I walk through life expecting everyone around me to behave like a jerk, sure, I may not be disappointed when someone acts like a jerk, but chances are, I won't be very happy either. Similarly, as I said in my original post, no one should ever expect to be cheated on. We should not expect our friends to stab us in the back out of fear that maybe one day they will. If we harbor any of these expectations, we run the distinct risk of ending up bitter, untrusting, and incredibly unhappy. Such expectations destroy our self-esteem because we come to deem ourselves unworthy of better treatment

We should have high standards for the way those closest to us treat us. We should have high standards for ourselves in terms of our work and our commitment to our health and our friends and family.

But I have recently come to believe that we should always be examining our expectations. We should uncover those hidden expectations that can end up poisonous--to ourselves and to our relationships. We should abandon those.

And when our expectations are realistic and healthy, we should stick to them.

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PS Again, I can't thank you enough for commenting. It absolutely made my day!


Anonymous said...

I think you were right on in your original post about communicating your expectations. I think it is good to have high standards, and it is ok to have high expectations. Where things fall apart is when the other person doesn't know what your expectations are. If they fall short because you haven't told them what you expect, who's fault is that really? (For things like unloading the dishwasher, not cheating! That one's a no brainer!)

I struggle with the best way to respond to comments, too. I always comment to people right on my comment page, but I often wonder if anyone ever returns to read them or not.

anonymous prep said...

I really enjoyed your expectations post, especially when I thought back over recent situations in my life when I've felt frustrated or let down by other people. For me I notice it more in my professional life than personal because there are certain work-related expectations I make that I need to communicate better. Your post really made me think about why I had these expectations and also made me think about whether these expectations are necessarily a good thing. It's so important to examine the motivation behind them, and your post was a great reminder of that. :)