unrealistic expectations

I think having unrealistic expectations is something all girls and even boys seem to struggle with.

I love you; I just want you, nobody else; I’ll change; I’m sorry;  I’m just so busy, etc…

Those are some of the most common lies told in this day and age. Words said so easily and impulsively most of the time. We have all said things like these and had them said to us for different reasons but they weren’t true. They never should have been said.

It’s sad. Those lies in an attempt to manipulate or spare someone from the truth really build up expectations.

So how do we solve the problem of unrealistic expectations? I can tell you one thing, I have learned the hard way and my best advice is to look at actions not just words when you expect certain things to happen.

I haven’t always done this great, but I try to be one to say how I feel, even when I have to be vulnerable (which I don’t like at all, I mean who does?) and I’ll try to back up my actions. It’s cost me saying how I really feel but I can honestly say when I tell someone something, I mean it…good or bad. I don’t know many other people who do that and I challenge you to not say stuff you don’t mean even if it’s hard to say. It really just sets up unrealistic expectations and makes people feel stupid when they realize the truth.

I’m trying to choose my words better. I used to casually say “I love you!” or “I love that!” so much until I started to realize I was throwing around such an important word. By doing this it gave me an unrealistic expectation of what love is. I have learned love is not a feeling when everything is going well. It is a choice to sacrifice. So if someone says they love you and they will do this for you or that for you, pay attention to see if their actions are backing that up.

Another thing to watch out for is someone’s track record. I’m definitely not one to judge someone on their past because I know I have really tried to change and learn from my past mistakes, but if there is someone who demonstrates the same disappointing behavior over and over and over again while not admitting it’s wrong, then be cautious. Maybe it’s a flirty guy who has been known to become close friends with girls and lead them on or maybe it’s a girl who has gossiped to you about everyone you know, so be cautious when entering a friendship or relationship with them. Don’t jump right in and share your heart or have unrealistic expectations of how loyal they are. Take your time. Give them a chance to earn your trust and vice versa.

Another thing to consider is when most people say “If you don’t have any expectations you never get disappointed.”

To be honest, that’s kinda dumb. First off, can anyone not have expectations for others? I mean don’t we somewhat expect common courtesy and some form of communication? If anything, having no expectations will get you even more hurt than having some realistic ones. High expectations are not bad things, you should have high ones, but you just need to be careful with who you have them with and the extent of them. Think about it before you dive right in.

So let’s say you have some realistic expectations and you are minding your own business. Suddenly you find yourself daydreaming of that cute boy and how adorable you guys would be drinking your lattes and going apple picking. That’s fun to think about but there comes a time when you have to draw the line with that stuff. When your dreaming takes over your reality and creates expectations is when it becomes an issue. We can drive ourselves crazy dreaming about something that we just can’t have.

And I  know this may be a hard topic to explain but here’s another example that maybe some girls can relate too…

You get the snap. It’s late. He’s complimenting you. Then he drops the bomb….

“No, me and my girlfriend aren’t doing well and we’re gonna break up soon” or “I’m not really that serious with her” or the good ole, “You are the one I really love, it’s just that I don’t want to break her heart.”

Friends, if you hear either one of those things or anything like it TURN THE OTHER WAY AND RUN. If he says things to you that you know aren’t right while he has a girlfriend, he doesn’t care about her or you. He is thinking about himself and that’s it. And yes, girls do this stuff to guys, too and it’s not okay.

But hear me on this, if he really wants you, that guy will pursue and value you. This may sound funny but my mom and I have talked about men were naturally made to be hunters. That’s why we hear that once the challenge is over, a bunch of them move on to their next hunt! But if a guy wants something bad enough, he will be determined to do what it takes to get it. And in this case, if he’s dating someone else and messing with your emotions, he doesn’t care about you. He would pursue you and only you if that’s what he wants. Trust me, that’s a tough reality when you allow yourself to have expectations to be with him one day. So please if he gives you promises and empty words that are not backed up with actions, give it up. He doesn’t need more “time” trust me. It’s gonna hurt for a bit but I promise it will save you a lot of hurt in the long run. And next time you will know better and pay attention to the warning signs.

Even though I am honestly okay now, I learned this unrealistic expectation lesson the hard way wanting to believe things I knew deep down just were not true. I had high expectations that I shouldn’t have but I wanted it so badly at the time I justified everything that didn’t match up. I really wish I would have listened to my own advice then, but I’m hoping by sharing this some people won’t have to go through some of the stuff I have. I hope it helps. That’s all I got for tonight. Love y’all! xoxo

 

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who’s controlling your emotions?

You have most likely heard advice that it’s not a good idea to let people control our emotions.

“But I can’t help how I feel. He/she just makes me so mad/upset/frustrated.”

But here’s the thing. We CAN control how we feel by not allowing someone to be the main reason we are happy or sad. Sure, situations happen that can make us feel a certain way, but if we allow what other people say about us or how they treat us influence us too much, it just isn’t very healthy for us and those relationships will suffer. Whether friends or dating, we have to be careful not to rely too much on other people to make us feel valuable.

Here’s how I look at it…

If you let it ruin your day because someone didn’t snap you or text you back right away or maybe they waved at you differently or seemed distracted talking to you, you gotta check yourself. I’ll be the first to tell you that I struggle with this and have gotten so upset if I did not get the response I expected from someone I was close to…or thought I was close to. But is it really such a big deal or was I holding people to unrealistic standards or expecting them to make me feel good about myself when that’s not anyone’s job to do that? Or maybe I misunderstood and we just weren’t as close as I thought we were? Whatever the reason I have to be careful not to allow it to influence me so much that it completely changes my mood and tempts me to do or say stuff I’ll regret.

I have put myself through this more times than I should have. I have allowed things like getting no text back or someone ditching plans completely ruin my mood for the day. And I’m not excusing that it’s okay for you to let people consistently be rude, lie or ignore you, but I realized that I’m not going to let rejection paralyze me anymore. I’ve felt so upset or angry over what someone said or didn’t say to me to the point of it having a negative effect on my schoolwork, sports and other relationships. It’s a slippery slope that many people fall into without realizing it. Once you let the hurt someone causes to overwhelm you, it will affect other things that will keep affecting other things and so on. It’s easy to blame the actual situations for making you feel so bad but really, it comes down to this: why do you give so much power over your happiness to another person?

So I am here to offer some help, but I can’t say I have mastered this myself. I’m still trying not to overthink everything and put unrealistic expectations on situations or myself but I have done a few things that help….

1. Take a break.  Give yourself some space. Put your phone down for a few days (like seriously put it down, don’t pick it up. When I have done this in the past sometimes I have given to my mom and she doesn’t give it to me until the day we agreed on lol!). If you don’t get rid of your phone totally, at least take a break from SnapChat or Twitter or whatever triggers you when you see something that puts you in your bag or makes you want to punch a wall.

Will it feel so weird? Yes.

Will it be so hard? Heck ya, but I can promise you after a few days it’s so refreshing and you realize that you feel a lot more peaceful not relying on Snaps and seeing who liked your tweets to feel good about yourself.

2. Get to know and enjoy being by yourself. I know this may sound weird, but do things alone that you never have time to do. Usually when you do things by yourself, there’s not the usual noise that distracts you from processing your thoughts. I like to paint. You can just splatter all your emotions on a canvas, even though it might not turn out how you want it, it’s unique and beautiful, which is a reminder of who God created us to be. Or take a bath. There is nothing taking a bubble bath can’t solve! Play music. Write in a journal. Go for a run. Start a blog…haha.

3. Talk to someone you trust who is older and wiser. We tend to forget our parents usually have been through a lot of what we are going through. Tell your mom or dad what you are struggling with and be open to their advice on how to get over it. They will want to help and be there for you. Chances are they have already noticed by your behavior if you have allowed someone else to control your happiness so it won’t come as a surprise to them!

4. You need to know your weaknesses and what triggers you to get so upset. If you feel misunderstood, write it down. If someone hurt you, write it down. If you feel ditched, write it down. If you feel like you always give and the other person just takes, write it down. I’ve written down the specific things that hurt me, cried a little or a lot (which actually feels good when you are done) and prayed about it. Then I crumple up the paper and throw it away. Most people don’t realize but doing a physical act like that is actually very powerful and can lift a lot of weight off of you.

5. If you feel like someone is controlling your emotions even if they don’t realize it, tell that person how you feel about him or her. Be honest. Sometimes hiding the way you feel makes the feelings stronger instead of just dealing with them. I have started to try to be more vulnerable and instead of saying “nothing is wrong” or ignoring something that bothers me, I try to communicate with the other person. You can’t force them to communicate back but at least you know you tried so you can move on. And if someone truly wants you as a friend or wants to be with you in a relationship, they will want you to grow and not want to play games with your emotions. Maybe you’ve just come across as clingy or needy to someone and once you realize that you can fix it in the future by communicating honestly.

6. This one is tough. It’s important to realize that if the relationship isn’t helping you grow or it’s very one-sided, you may have to adjust your boundaries. It is just like weeds in a garden, you wouldn’t just let the weeds continue to grow and grow until they take over your whole garden and eventually ruin the pretty flowers. No, you would weed your garden in order to let the seeds grow into the beautiful flowers they were planted to be. The same goes with relationships. Sometimes we have to remove people for a season so we or they can grow. Maybe it’s temporary and sometimes it’s permanent. It depends on how much you or they are willing to grow, change and work towards making things better. If you have an unhealthy relationship with someone that overwhelms your thought life, it can carry over into everything else in your life. Just as I mentioned in the beginning, when I relied on other people to make me happy all the time my self-esteem, schoolwork and even how I played field hockey suffered A LOT because I was so distracted with how bad I was feeling and I just didn’t know how to make it stop. Nobody can make you happy 24/7 so then you blame them because they can’t meet your expectations. I hate that I have done that and I pray I never do it again.

You can’t completely stop caring about how other people treat you, that’s not what I am saying. It’s totally okay to feel angry and hurt and also happy and content with people in your life because that’s reality. What I am saying is to check all of your relationships and  if you notice any type of pattern with that person having a big impact on your overall day-to-day feelings (good or bad) then maybe it’s time to take a step back. If we do this we can deal with arguments, break ups and rejections in a reasonable way without causing more damage or saying and doing things we regret. And hey, we can do this together because I am really still learning this myself!

That’s all I got. Love y’all! xoxo