Do you remember when you were a child and your parents would say to you “I’m not angry, I’m just disappointed”. That comment would absolutely destroy you and fill you with the worst guilt. What about when you’re an adult and somebody says the same thing to you? Somehow, even though we’re in more control of our actions, responsible for the decisions we make and far more experienced in how the world works that guilt is more intense, more overbearing. I think it’s because we care, because we seek approval and satisfaction from that person. Their happiness is important to us, their contentment as a result of our actions really genuinely matters to us. Even when you’re the person saying “I’m not angry…”, we’re hurt because we know the person cares and that usually they treat us better, they usually behave better, they usually believe we deserve better.
Just to play devils advocate… What about when you’re disappointed in somebody but you’re also not hurting from their behaviour? You’re not angry, you just honestly expected more from them. You just honestly believed you knew them better? You just honestly believed that they knew your self worth better? You honestly believed they would react a different way? Maybe they even did a full 180 on the way you would normally expect them too and if you continue to keep your expectations high, you’re only going to run yourself into the ground. What do you do then?
I’ve learnt the hard way that there really is no upside in screwing around with things you can’t explain. Things you can’t explain to yourself or to somebody else. Sometimes, as much as you think you want to – you actually don’t want to understand. It can eradicate all the beliefs and expectations you used to have of that person and those memories, those emotions, those little behaviours are all we have to hold onto when everything else has gone; when everything else in that circumstance has changed memories are all we have.
I guess it kind of sounds like a sad situation to be in but I honestly believe that as long as you allow the expectations to change and adapt as your understanding does, then really the only thing to do is accept that there is no upside and let it be. I guess what I’m trying to say is that people change, things change, situations change and it’s the ones who believe that they never will do so, the ones who can’t accept that not everything lasts forever – at least not in that exact circumstance that it began in are the ones who will suffer.
I think some people fear change, feel as though it’s a bad thing… but on the contrary it’s far from that. It’s evolution, it’s a natural process that things will change. Wait a minute and nothing changes… Wait a while and everything changes. I think it’s important to understand that.
I guess this relates back to my post “Grey Matter”; that once you accept something for what it is, it no longer has the power to dampen the flame, or diminish the effect. Once you accept that people change, that they evolve and sometimes not in the manner you would like then you too can evolve and adapt. It does not bode well to hold onto a moment in time forever when all other moments around it are fluttering and flickering away. The only person who feels the dissatisfaction of that, is the one who doesn’t adapt… Doesn’t evolve.
The point I’m getting at with this whole post is actually a little bit personal. I had an expectation of someone’s behaviour, I’m surprised by their actions and in the beginning I was upset, I was disappointed and I was definitely hurt. However, upon reflection I’ve realised I actually just expected more from them. Like I said before, we’re all evolving and adapting… I’m not faulting this, I’ve just come to accept that this is the case. If I continued to hold onto my old expectations I naturally halt my own evolution and where’s the fun in that?
Perhaps a while ago, I would have said “I’m not angry, I’m just disappointed” but now I kind of understand the process a bit more. I understand that if I hold onto a memory, I just create a hell of a lot of dissatisfaction for myself. It might not be the easiest thing to deal with but I realise now that having expectations of behaviours is counter productive. I can not expect somebody to react a certain way and as a result all I would have to say now “I’m not angry and I’m not even disappointed, I just thought better of you”
And on that note; I’m out.