Comment Bump Up About Boundaries and Expectations

This little comment exchange from the re-post “Expectations and Happiness” seems important to bump up, since the topic arises a lot during client sessions, as well as during conversations with colleagues needing to maintain balance in their lives so they don’t burn out. It also goes along with Tania Marie’s recent video message, which I also highly recommend.

Comments bumped up from Expectations and Happiness (I added paragraphs to mine for easier reading):

 

  • Posted by diana allen on February 19, 2016 at 9:33 pm  edit

    A couple weeks ago I was having lunch with a friend and she shared with me that in general, she has “really low expectations” of other people. I was so surprised! But she said someone once told her that people with lower expectations are happier than people with high expectations, and she too it to heart.

    Logically, I suppose this makes perfect sense. I’ve been happier in certain relationships after I decreased my expectations of the person. (I may think the relationship would be more fulfilling, for me anyway, if the other person WANTED to meet my expectations, but accepting that they didn’t allowed us to continue the friendship.) On the other hand, I think it’s important to know your own limits of what is and is not acceptable. You don’t have to go too low. Boundaries are a beautiful thing.

    xx

     

  • I agree, Diana, “Boundaries are a beautiful thing”! For me, that goes into the creating a new reality department: if people don’t meet my expectations of how I expect to be treated, then I downgrade their involvement in my life. I have layers upon layers of relationships, relatively few of which I consider fully mutual. In order to maintain a sense of balance, my relationships either involve some kind of supplementary energy exchange such as payment from clients, or I have categories of friends like “gardening friends” or “vegan lunchtime friends.”

    If someone expects something from me that is just so far above and beyond what I would ever consider asking from them or what I consider them capable of offering in terms of depth or understanding, then I might choose to gift that to them — under special circumstances, at my discretion — but to go on pretending that such relationships are balanced would be a toxic disservice to me, so I remove myself.

    I know this is a common theme among many people who live from a place of service, compassion and assistance. There’s a difference between charity work, paid work, what we consider casual acquaintances, and true blue friends. For me, the true blue friends are the ones who live from a similar level of awareness and generosity as I do. I expect very few people to live from that place, so I create and maintain my boundaries with that awareness.

    Every once in a great while, someone surprises me by moving from a lesser level of friendship into full on potential to live from that space. When I see that, those people move into the true blue friend category –not because I need them to, but because I recognize the commonality of experience and depth. Recognizing the different levels of consciousness and compassion, and honoring those differences without feeling guilty for “judging” others has greatly improved my own happiness quotient over the years! I have such low expectations from most people — while still always seeing their potential — that I’m constantly pleased and surprised when people do step up more into the fullness of who they are. 🙂

    Thanks for your comment!

    xx

 

9 responses to this post.

  1. Reblogged this on Reiki Dawn and commented:
    Sharing this exchange. I’ve been contemplating this myself recently. Boundaries and feeling the freedom of no judgement in choosing where to and whom to expend my energy with. I have a small number of who I would consider to be true blue friends in my life. These our telationships that I have no qualm in expending energy. They are healthy and stimulating for all parties. The rest I consider acquaintances. They can be fun or they can be one sided or somewhere in between. I know a number of people that pride themselves in numbers and numbers of friends. Maybe they are and maybe they aren’t Numbers don’t qualify as a friend to me. Quality is what matters Much love

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Agreed, Dawn! Quality is what matters. I do enjoy many of my acquaintances, but balance is really important, or I start wanting to become a waitress again! Needy, one-sided “friendships” just feel like unpaid work to me, and eventually that causes resentment if I don’t shift the energies or boundaries. Much love! Thank you for being you! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Much love to you as well. Love the synchronicity of this

    Liked by 1 person

  4. All aboard the synchronicity train! Choo choo!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hahaha. And whoohoooo

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Posted by Kieron on February 20, 2016 at 8:35 pm

    Not surprisingly, this is a topic being bandied around hereabouts, lately, and also ties in well with your post about your dad (a most benevolent outcome was wished for at the time I read the blog entry, by the way!). In that post you said, “We had our differences, but wow. I *get* it now.” Yeah, I can quite relate. 🙂 Funny how that happens. Still waiting for my own dad to reach a point of awakening, though… Adjusting my expectations accordingly has helped reduce my irritation at being at a *completely different wavelength* for some 40 years (I have wondered if bassinets got switched). It’s funny how this adjustment of expectations is a constant, endless balancing act. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This bump definitely “nailed it” regarding seeing reality as it is with certain people in our lives, rather than as we “wish” it were. The advice to then adjust our expectations of and boundaries with certain people is very wise.

    And sometimes the shoe is on the other foot, and people adjust their expectations of “us” and recategorize us as well. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank you, Kieron, for the benevolent outcome wishes and for sharing additional context in your comment. I wanted to share the story about my dad, because sometimes people really do change. If I had insisted on it, I would have felt very disappointed, as it took a very, very long time. It happened gradually, and there was a lot of hurt and misplaced expectations by both of us along the way. Adjusting our expectations helped us continue to have one another in each others’ lives in some capacity until enough changes occurred for us to enjoy each other again. A balancing act, indeed.

    Like

  9. Thank you, Sky! Yes, you’re right. Sometimes the shoe is on the other foot, and I always need to ask clients (or myself) at that point: “I know on an ego level this feels like a rejection, but what was your first reaction?” In most cases, the answer is: relief.

    It doesn’t need to be about one person being right and the other wrong. It can also be as simple as not having compatible expectations or preferences. It takes enormous work to try to hold together energies that repel one another, or that naturally want to move in very different directions. Letting go often frees up huge amounts of energy, and liberates the permission to live in an authentic way. 🙂

    Like

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