Should we have Expectations?

Every time I don’t have fun (anywhere, whether it’s at a movie or hanging out with a friend), my mother says the magic words, “You shouldn’t have such high expectations.” It goes beyond having fun with a friend. It also happens during my suck-ish birthday parties and dances, plus several dates. So I got to thinking, should we expect a good time OR should we just go into whatever event without a single clue as how the evening (or afternoon) will go?
I’ll be honest: I always expect either an amazing time (yes flirting is involved) or in the case of grownup parties, I expect to be an anti-social butterfly. And some of the time, my expectations turn out to be at least half way true. But most of the time: I end up being way off the mark. At the school dances I end up being dumped, and lonely. At grownup parties I not only have fun, I feel that that’s where I belong. But I still expect to have fun with at dances and hanging out with more immature people.
So this begs the question: what shapes expectations and should we let them shape our nights, our careers and obviously, our lives?
Let’s take a look at the most basic of my expectations. When ever the new school year rolls around, I prepare myself mentally to meet new people, be more social and be all smiley, and to put more effort into my appearance. FAT CHANCE. First day of school rolls around and I’m basically sneaking around my schedule hoping none of my former bullies and harassers notice me and decide to start up again. So why do I expect to become an instant social butterfly despite my crippling social anxiety?
I have a theory. We want what we can’t have. I have anxiety, yet I want to have tons of friends and yes, as a teenage girl in our society, I naturally want male admirers. I want it so much that I expect to happen simply because I’m willing to work on it. Of course, it doesn’t work that way, unfortunately.
But anyway, I found that our expectations are also shaped by our previous experiences. I had fun at a dance, therefore I will have fun at another one. Sure it’s dumb, but we do learn from the past, so why not expect the same result? Face it, we all do that and while the past is the past, we still look at it with all of that nostalgia crap. This year, I’m not expecting to have a great year (almost none of my friends will have even a class together) but you never know. Last year I wasn’t expecting much either.
I think expectations help us brace ourselves for things that don’t go right, but they harm more than they help. I personally am for expectations, because they show how hopeful or pessimistic you are about the future or a task you want to do. Expectations are not accurate most of the times because we do expect way too many things. I expected to read the whole time at a grownup party, but ended up debating gun control instead. We may not be in a situation we expected to be in, or we did not expect our careers to change. Honestly though, expectations do have to be in check because if they weren’t, we would all be running around in search of our perfect Noah or Allie, or Peeta or Katniss to complete and to protect us, not to mention becoming the next Carrie Bradshaw or Samantha Jones. Life doesn’t go as expected, I always expected that I wouldn’t have to take Zoloft and go to therapy, but hey! Life is that way, and we can’t expect the perfect life. I’m pretty hopeful about my future (which is to become a successful writer and psychologist) and yes, I do expect to rise in my career, but life isn’t guaranteed to go the way you planned it.
To summarize: yes I believe we should have expectations, or else how else are we going to live? Expectations say that you are willing to work towards what you expect. If you don’t expect much, than well, you don’t want much, don’t want to work towards it or are simply pessimistic towards the future. Expectations help us measure what we have learned, the impact your past has made on you and the impact the people who surround you made on you. That’s obviously just my opinion, but expectations are a valuable thing. Expectations will tell you that if you do thing A then in the logical sense, thing B will become a reaction that you expect, based on surrounding info. If you commit a crime and you are caught, you can expect consequences.
And now I end this rambling piece by simply saying:
Yes, we do need Expectations.

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