Let’s not beat around the bush, let’s just get straight to the matter. In life, people tend to be disappointed because of their expectations, whether that is the fulfillment of said expectation by self, or the desire for someone else to fulfill the expectation, there is room provided for disappointment with expectation, and often it is a set up for letdown. This in turn can cause us to go down a path in life to constantly have unrealistic expectations and it will leave us feeling very unfulfilled, sad, angry, disappointed, despondent, or perhaps worse, looking for something, or anything to fill us up.
I am big on being realistic with my kids, and discussing the realistic points of a subject. This includes open dialogue where, if I am neutral, it can open the door for them to objectively discuss and observe their own feelings about the subject, thus not swaying them one way or another, but allowing them to develop their own feelings and opinions about it. I would love to say this is like, some original thing I thought up on my own, but it isn’t. This is how my parents raised me, one of the things I appreciated most about them and my rearing, and so I felt it important and worthy to include in my own brand of parenting.
I myself have felt let down in many scenarios, some of those because I had expectations for others to fill me up in a way I didn’t realize I needed, or wanted, because there was something missing there…BUT, often times this is place where I have either expected the same thing of myself, and failed to meet my own expectation, I didn’t take the opportunity to fill that expectation for myself, or because someone legit let me down, which again, was an expectation.
I am not saying to have zero expectations of people or situations, but be aware of the why for the expectation. For example, I go to my hair stylist because he is amazing, if he does a subpar job that day, I give him a pass because he is off his game that day. I go the next time and he is subpar again, I then mention it to him, find out what is going on with him. Third time subpar, and odds are I may need to consider another stylist. Now, none of this has happened with my stylist because he is bomb, but this is a subtle way in which our expectation is not being met. I need to address why my expectation is not being met, I can say it is all his fault because he has changed techniques, became complacent etc..Okay, but I also need to see why I have the expectation for bomb hair. I like to feel great about my hair on my head, I like my hair to be healthy, I like the way the cut and color enhance my natural features, it makes people compliment me all the time.
Screech!! That last part, it makes people compliment me all the time…this would be your ego talking. This would be a place for you to look at why you have such a desire to be complimented, how is it filling you up? Were you always told you were pretty growing up? Maybe that set the tone for you to find validation in yourself through your looks? Maybe you were the “pretty” sister? This implies you had your looks going for you, and maybe nothing else-or that is how it makes you feel, that you are only worthy through your looks, not your mind, your kindness, your caring heart. Hmm.
Perhaps you only find your self worth through these compliments, therefore you put these expectations of perfection on your hairstylist, not realizing that he is not failing you, but that you are failing you. Yes you have every right to have a level of expectation when you pay for a service, but you do not have the right to place such expectations for compliments to fill you up, nor for the stylist or masses to fill you up. That is YOUR responsibility, and hopefully your parents are teaching you this, or taught you this.
What happens when our expectations go from acceptable(your stylist should meet a certain expectation, the purpose of the service), to bigger and bigger and bigger to where they are so great, they become irrational and even focus on the small things too? What qualifies as irrational? When you become petty for not having your expectation met, you are irrational and immature. When something small causes you to be “hurt” by someone’s lack of meeting your expectation, this qualifies too. When you start projecting your negative emotions because people should be pitying you, sympathizing, or filling up your well, then you have crossed over in to even more dangerous territory. You have now victimized yourself, and the question is why?
Perhaps you had a parent that victimized you as way for them to gain attention. Perhaps this was their MO for gaining attention too. Perhaps this is what you noticed filled you up in your youth. Any way, you are asking for someone to fill up your well, and that person is not you. Going to say it again, YOU have to fill YOU up. No one else has that job or duty, it is you. Why is it up to you? Because you are the one having your experience, living your life, making your decisions for you. If you are making others responsible for filling you up, does that mean you are letting others make all the decisions for you? Is someone else dictating how you are to live your life and putting the screws to you when you don’t do it your way? Maybe. Is this person living inside your skin and having your experience? Nope.
Why am I writing about this? Because narcissism is quiet. It is hidden. It is shrouded in so many cloaks. Odds are you have no idea you have a narcissist in your life, that they have influenced the smallest things that develop your character, that they are subtly controlling aspects of your life, and you are allowing it to happen, and if you find yourself having great(or small) expectations of others not being met, that evoke pettiness and negativity from you, then maybe you need to step back, and see what is really happening. How do you need them to fill you up and how does that relate to the false narrative that someone else told you? You have time to think about this, now do it!