If you spent your life concentrating on what everyone else thought of you, would you forget who you really were? What if the face you showed the world turned out to be a mask… with nothing beneath it?”
― Jodi Picoult
We have all at some point of our lives pandered to expectations, other people’s and our own born out of what others expect out of us. It’s like a whole load of it waiting out there waiting to dump itself on someone foolish enough to carry the load. We have to deal with these best intentions of people most of the times from the day we are born. For a person born without any expectations that is a pretty big idea to deal with, our parents expectations.
If we survive the first few years without being shackled by a whole barrage of beliefs, it will soon be drilled into our heads, and we would all have the society to thank for that. And soon enough we learn to play this game, the ‘Please All Game’. Cajoling, satisfying and pleasing expectations not only bogs us down with the heavy haul, it also shatters any hope and dream we have left and reduces us to shamed minions of the fickle kind, leaving us beaten, lost and unsure.
“When someone sees the same people every day, as had happened with him at the seminary, they wind up becoming a part of that person’s life. And then they want the person to change. If someone isn’t what others want them to be, the others become angry. Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.”
― Paulo Coelho
So true is this line from the Alchemist. Paulo Coelho is one person who knows what he is talking about. I am a huge fan of his work. Look around us and see what we have done to ourselves, our relationships. The best kind are where we realise that we cannot goad, shame and force people into pleasing us all the while.
As easy as it may be to say, believe me I have had my faults to. I have expected and been disappointed, trusted and made to work towards pleasing a person’s ego based on that trust, and eventually erupted and spewed lava all around me obliterating relationships in its wake. Wow feels so good to admit that! But I digress, what I am trying to say is that the easiest thing is to be free and live free of expectations.
Liking people for who they are, eventually works out in our favour. That is when relationships go beyond truth and lies, good and bad, need and ego. Ultimately you decide who, what and when you want to please, and I think that person 99% of the times should be yourself. The answers to what you should and should not do all lie within you. You are not a Mule of Expectations, so don’t treat yourself like one.