03 May 2007

Great Expectations !

I know you're thinking 'Charles Dickens'. But not this time. This is different.

We go through life and cross paths with multitudes of people. People we're related to, neighbours, friends from school/college, colleagues/friends from our work place, etc. But surprisingly, only some of these make a meaningful impact on us.

We are, more often than not, drawn to people for a couple of reasons: one being that they make us feel good about ourselves, cared for and/or protected; and two because they have something which we admire or appreciate or want to emulate.

When it comes to having expectations from people in our life, we generally think of attention and affection (which easily come to mind) and respect (which is more subtle and non-explict).

Many times we are upset because people don't live upto our expectations. But the first thing to understand is that in any relationship or rather in most relationships expectations are never really formalized or documented. And its not like the expectations you have are being broadcast on national television for people you know to watch and note down.

Many times people fall short of meeting our expectations because what we expect of them is against their very nature. And we may not really want people to change just to meet our expectations because its probably their individuality that could have drawn us to them in the first place. This is a really tricky tight rope walk.

Another thing is that just like people don't meet our expectations, we also don't live upto all the expectations people have from us. Its a two-way street so to speak but much more complicated than it sounds.

Even though someone doesn't meet all my expectations, I might still do everything I can to meet this someone's expectations from me. And another maybe giving me all that I want and more but I'm still not able to give back the least which is expected of me.

All this is a like a complicated web of a supply v/s demand mechanisms with everyone interfacing with everyone else. And when you factor in "time" then everything changes. Just like in real life, what's hot today is not tomorrow. So expecting something today doesn't necessarily mean that you'll be happy if you get it tomorrow.

Continuing to think on these line can lead to certain paranoia. But most of us can shield ourselves from this "excessive worrying" most of the time. One thing we should learn is to tune in to what people expect from us. And try as sincerely as possible to meet those expectations. At least this way people won't have any complaints about you. And as far as your expectations from others, well, we can only hope that they are met.


CheerfulTulips said...

Nice one, Tejas :) you seem to have put quite some thought into this ! waiting for more posts :)

Rakhi said...

Actually, expectations is a very interesting topic to touch upon in terms of spirituality. On the other end of the spectrum of life,
social life per se, is self - who enters and leaves this world alone. Majority of the population is immersed in the illusion of life for good (or for bad) that varies from person to person but dictated by fate mostly. The plane of expectations really fades away when one*self* realises its existence as a part of a higher power that rules this world. This realisation awards the quality of being self-sustaining. But again, somethings are easier said than done. As humans not all days can be lived similarly, so comes a time when one becomes a part of this social world and experiences the curses and boons of "Expectations". Just learnt one thing - world was created for happiness and those who live life the right way are happy most of the time, the rest are just victims of their weaknesses. Just as much as how positive an effect one might have on the other by being there as a good friend, expectations can ruin this effect cause no one can be there for anyone all the time. Those moments when others are not available for the self, is when the power of self-sustainability helps you get through.

Aditi said...

So your back to writing :). Its quite a heavy one to start with nonetheless very good stuff. I remember the time when we were in school/college and you had written many such pages...its time u put them on ur blog..happy writing :)

Sonia said...

Well what you say is very true, but the question that comes to my mind is how do we know what all does the other person expect from us??? We never ask that person, nor would he or she tell us explicitly...So how do we get to know that and behave accordingly???

Sachin Doshi said...

I guess expectations lead to differences and fights. So ideal relationship will be one where we accept person as he/she is without any expectataions. This might sound very impracticle and it is. But we may want to try towards this.


pallavi said...

Hey...great writing. What you write is so true! i believe in one thing....that life is not perfect. Happiness comes when we choose to see beyond the imperfection... And of course not to mention an unconditional acceptance of life and what it brings with it!!
Awaiting for a few more posts from you!!

Ravi Karandeekar said...

Oh my god! Tejas, you are a 'thinker'!! Generally, i do not read this kind of a stuff but i read yours. I read your friends' comments too. I enjoyed reading it all! I had never expected this from me.