Expectations and Happiness

They say no expectations; no disappointments, and that happiness is expensive. We are bound to be disappointed when we expect a lot from people. Disappointment comes easily to those who expect too much. This is no rocket science yet we find ourselves going through this cycle all the time. I wonder what makes us do this. Maybe it’s because we expect more from others because we would be willing to do that much for them. I learned the hard way not expect much from people the same, the same way I don’t expect people to have high expectations of me. I however go out of my way and do all that I can whenever I’m expected to.

The reason I write this is because I was recently caught up between two people…not in a dramatic way, I guess. I don’t like drama! Here’s how the story goes. Two of my friends have been talking to me about their lives. Let’s call them Oliver and Brian. Oliver likes Brian a lot and Brian does not seem to like Oliver that much, from what I gather. Oliver tells me everything and all that he does to get through to Brian. Brian on the other hand, has got some issues going on that are coming in their way. Oliver knows I know Brian and that I talk to him but Brian doesn’t know that I know Oliver. I am however careful to play neutral and have the proverbial Chinese wall between these two people. We lawyers are experts at creating and maintaining Chinese walls. You would know if you watch legal dramas.

My worry is that Oliver might end up being hurt and that it will be too late by the time he finds out what is really going on. Brian is a smart and intelligent guy but I think he has a lot of emotional growing to do. Oliver does not quite understand what Brian is going through and expects him to come through. I try to put myself in both their respective shoes and try to understand the ‘issues’, which in real case, aren’t real issues. It’s just a case of one person expecting much of the other, who clearly is not reading from the same page. Every time Oliver talks to me I feel like a therapist, making me feel like I need a therapy session myself…or a strong drink to knock me out….I also have my own issues to deal with, let alone worrying about other people’s!

Listening to these two reminds me of when I suffered a major heartbreak a while ago. See, I was dating someone, who I had high expectations of but was so clueless about it and had other priorities, besides working on our relationship, in his head. All my efforts to make the relationship work were often received with cold treatment. Eventually we ended breaking up and after the break I realized that he had been cheating on me. I was so heartbroken that I didn’t want to date again and didn’t date for a long time. Eventually I realized that the one wrong thing we all do when we fall in love is that we expect, and it just ruins everything! I learned my lesson not to expect but to appreciate because love doesn’t hurt, expectations do. Love is a simple and beautiful thing and simple things become complicated when we expect too much.

I wish I could tell Oliver plainly that Brian may not be reading from the same page as he is and that he shouldn’t expect much, but that ain’t my business. I hope he won’t be in the deep waters when he realizes this. Brian might as well come out of his issues, with time and it might work out between them. You never know. I think it’s better to be surprised than to be disappointed. At the end of it all, we are all responsible for our happiness.

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