Looking past expectations and assumptions
This is my second day up in Ubud, understudying leadership psychology with Arthur Carmazzi.
It has great so far. Besides the training, we have great vegetarian food, peaceful nature and morning mist I wake up too!
Yesterday happened to be my friend’s Birthday. Jane is very excited as she just got a new boyfriend Craig. Jane is somewhat holding some sort of expectation of a ‘birthday surprise’ since Craig said he was taking her out for dinner.
Well, I got to know Craig sometime. Craig being a sentimental guy, wrote a special birthday note at the back of the jigsaw puzzle that listed down from the time they dated til Jane’s birthday, all the things he loved about her. He was hoping that she would be very surprised to see the note when she eventually pieces the whole puzzle together.
Oh well, seems like things did not quite go the way both expected it to be.
Jane complained how unromantic her boyfriend was, how there were no flowers, and how kiddish the jigsaw puzzle gift was before even piecing it together. Craig on the other hand, assumed that Jane would definitely love the gift and be impressed!
So let us observe here, if there is anything in common for many of us? It is also interesting in my leadership psychology training, these are very common areas of blame and problems that are being discussed, both applicable in professional and personal life.
So what really happened here is that many of us hold assumptions and have our own expectations as to how things should be. As a result, when someone violates our assumptions and do not lift up to what we expect things to be, we get really disappointed. Jane had all the assumptions that since it was her birthday, her boyfriend should be romantic, buy her flowers and surprise her as ‘act of love’.
I see how often simple incidents due to our own assumptions, destroy or break up relationships be it at work or at home. As we get angry, disappointed or frustrated, we lose our ability to think, logic and act reasonably. As result, we tend to blow things out of proportion.
So in this case of Jane and Craig. Can you imagine what happens if Jane is always having assumptions of what Craig should be like as her boyfriend, and yet Craig continues to violate it? Both parties will end up quarreling quite a fair bit, and would think that this relationship is not going to work out in a matter of time.
Well, let us NOT set ourselves up to FAIL. Why bring disappointment to ourselves when we can actually avoid it all together?
If you are feeling disappointed, it is because of the thoughts you have about the situation. So if you do not want to feel disappointed, change the way we think.
With greater awareness and by shifting our perception, we will have new thoughts that can bring more rewarding conversations and fulfilling relationships with our loved ones.
Go with the flow!