From an early age we learn from the societal expectations that we need to be like this famous person or that family member that does everything right and looks the right way. We are told we need to act right and do the responsible thing. We are pressured to do this or that because that is what the family believes in.
Even if we aren’t told who we need to be like, we are told who we shouldn’t be like. This was more of the case in my life, at least externally. I consistently heard how this family member or that was stuck up or self-centered or whatever. I also heard how entitled my parents were to have everyone else do something for them.
I expect a lot. A lot from myself. A lot from others. I expect that people will show some fucking common courtesy and stop being dumb. Like, why do you feel the need to do a fucking U-turn right outside the crosswalk in front of Costco?!?! Seriously!
My mother-in-law was with us when I was complaining about this. I didn’t go full road rage, but mentioned that they shouldn’t be U-turning in the busiest area of the parking lot. My opinion is that they could have kept going straight and turned down a different aisle to get where they were going. But my mother-in-law mentioned that she decided one day to stop caring what other people do and it made her life better.
Then just two days later, I saw this as I was scrolling Instagram…
That couldn’t have been better timing. Thanks Gary Vee!
I do expect a lot. What I expect from myself and what I expect from others has some similar roots, but it is quite different.
I don’t know that I can put into a lot of words what I expect from myself. I do know that what I expect of myself all stems from my values and I’m only learning this as I put in the work. My personal values include:
Acts of Service/Support
The courage one, yeah that’s only been developed in the last few months. The rest are what I see fueling everything I expect from myself. All of those wrap up into me expecting that I will not do harm to another person. In any possible way. Eddie so very frequently puts it as “I cannot inconvenience anybody else for any reason.” He’s right. Most of my life, this has been true. It isn’t until recently that I’m really trying to be true to myself over the fear of inconveniencing someone else.
I have the fear of inconveniencing people because I expect that I will be honest, accountable, and compassionate while supporting and serving others. I don’t ever want to be a drain on other people. Therefore, I would not be the person doing a U-turn right outside the crosswalk in the Costco parking lot. Nope. That goes against my values. And it goes against what I view as a common courtesy.
I expect others to pay the fuck attention and not be dumb. Don’t hold up all of traffic because you want to go down THAT aisle to get to the same exit you could have reached from another aisle. Yes, I assumed the person was leaving. After all, they had just closed the hatch after loading the car in front of Costco. Yes, it sounds like road rage. No, it actually wasn’t. Maybe in my mind, but not verbally or physically.
That is one example of things I expect of others. I expect others not to lie or cause unnecessary drama. Not to say one thing and do another. Not to judge. Not to criticize. All these things I see as common courtesy.
The problem is, I am the one who suffers because of these expectations. Because of these expectations, I get anxiety and panic attacks. I put more pressure on myself to be better and better and better and better to hopefully fix others.
Gary Vee said something in that post that slapped me in the face. He said “So many lack the simple characteristics of empathy to consider maybe the world 🌎 doesn’t revolve around you or at least not at this moment.”
I have never, ever considered my expectation of common courtesy from others as the world revolving around me. But, what if that’s exactly what it is? Maybe I expect this level of common courtesy from others because I feel that everybody should be as courteous as I try to be? Maybe I took the lesson as a kid of “treat others as you wish to be treated” too far. Maybe I took that lesson and how horrible I saw some people behaving and created unrealistic expectations of myself which then translated into the same expectations from others?
It’s definitely possible. I haven’t consciously been expecting the world to revolve around me (um, yeah so far from it), but maybe I need a reality check of why I expect so much from people I don’t even know and some that I do.
Maybe that car at Costco didn’t see ANYBODY around that they would impact. Maybe they didn’t even look. Maybe, whatever.
I need to really meditate on what it means to have empathy for others and how I can adjust my current responses. Empathy. Expectations. They can exist together, but I need to revisit them both.