Live Without Expectations

~ R. U. Wacko

We are often frustrated by someone’s behavior. We get upset because they don’t live up to our expectation. It is easier to change our expectations of others’ behavior than it is to change others. Others will often not match our picture of what their response should be. 

It is better to give up those expectations and the feelings that follow. The more flexible you are to the responses of others, the happier you will be.  

Parents usually love you as you are. They give you years of care, and, freely give you loving advice, that if followed you will give you a richer life. Friends offer the same advice. When we are young and smart, or old and dumb, we do not listen to others or to better ways of thinking. I know. My step-father told me not to marry my first wife. I did not listen. All I can say is that I have two fine children from that marriage. Second wife’s x-husband told me not to marry my second wife. I did not listen. I did gain another fine son – her son, now my son too. In both cases 

I thought I could change my new second spouse. I could not. I may not even be able to change you, but I know you can change you, and that is what is important, and that is the message I offer. You can make the necessary choices to change the way you. Third wife had a fine daughter. Her x-husband tried to tell me not to marry her, and I did not listen. But, he was wrong. I have a fine wife and another fine daughter. 

Don’t even try to control others. You cannot control the way anyone else behaves or reacts to you. They control that. You cannot, nor should not – try to change how anyone else behaves by using threats or other inappropriate behavior to force them to behave how you would like them to. If you expect me to behave in a particular way, to react the way you want me to react, to be a certain way, you are going to be very disappointed. Because someday, I am not going to please you, I am going to screw up, I am going to displease you.

You expect me to lecture you. But if I lecture you, you are unhappy.

You expect me to not bring up anything that happened, anything that others told me you did, and if I do, it must mean I believe them and not you.

If anyone tries to talk with you or explain anything, you fly off the handle and threaten to quit the relationship? If you quit being my friend, what am I to do? Do you control me by such a threat? 

Am I a threat to you? Do you think your threat to commit suicide will get me by your side? Do you think your threat to commit suicide if I leave you will keep me? Are these threats fair to me. 

You will kill yourself if I stay, and you will kill yourself if I leave. How am I to respond to your no win alternatives?

Threatening to kill yourself only makes me think you have real problems. You cancel me out as your best friend and supporter. How can you be helped?

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