Jean Piaget was the father of developmental psychology; the psychological study of how and why human beings change over the course of their life. Piaget found that young children up until the typical age of 7 years engage in this concept called magical thinking. Because children have difficulty distinguishing between subjective worlds constructed in their own heads and the outer objective world, children are inclined to believe that their thoughts are in charge of making things happen. Piaget suggests that we outgrow this phenomenon, but I would beg to differ. Maybe it is not classified as 'magical thinking', but give it up for; The Law of Attraction, manifesting your life and the infamous realm of expectations. All in which are advanced narratives of magical thinking yet with the conscious capability of distinguishing worlds apart. However, these glimmering self-fulfilling prophecies can be potentially harmful, and buckle in boys because I proceed to tell you exactly why that is.
"Lower your expectations" they say or "that didn't lead up to my expectations." Even if we don't realise it, constantly we are within some realm of an expectation. In school, you are required to sit down with your pen and paper every term and set yourself a goal of which you are then expected to achieve. Thereby, you expect yourself to achieve said goal as do your peers and teachers. And that's not necessarily a bad thing. Try this one on for size: you want to go for a walk - or should I say - you expect that you will go for a walk. Actively, you pin hopes on your happiness of fulfilling the expectation by going for a walk. But if you don't go for a walk, you won't necessarily be disappointed. Most of us are fortunately sane enough to realistically comprehend that going for a walk means standing up and getting the fuck off the couch. The requirements of said expectation are known, and that makes it a healthy expectation to have. It is realistic and rational. However, toxic expectations are most apparent when they include other people.
Let me tell you one thing, if there is one thing that I have learnt it is that the most toxic and self-defeating behaviour is building expectations of other people. Unspoken expectations people, they are as nutty as a fruitcake, as mad as a hatter and honestly stark raving mad - stop them right now! Okay I apologise for that intermittent crackhead energy, but I hope you caught what I was throwing out there. Constantly we construct expectations of other people in our lives; what they are going to do and what they are not going to do. And I don't blame you, we all do it, but we really shouldn't. Old mate Shakespeare is out here saying it in the finest way possible: "expectation is the root of all heartache" (***I'll give you a minute to let that sink in***). But ain't that the truth. If you were miraculously able to eliminate all prediposed expectations, it would facilitate appreciating life more and also minimise disappointment.
News flash: we unfortunately have no control whatsoever of other people's actions. Even if you magically think (subtle Piaget reference) that others will adhere to your expectations, at the end of the day, everyone (including yourself) can do whatever the fuck they want to do (within reason, hopefully within reason of the law too). For instance, if I wanted my mate to come on a walk with me and in my head I had planned for this walk to be a spectacular venture shared together with sunsets, picnics and nature and then they told me that they did not want to accompany me upon that expectation, I would be riled up. But see, that expectation was unspoken. The other party was not aware of the copious imagination time spent on constructing said expectation and now we are resenting said being for not following our expected reality. Expectations of others are premeditated resentments. So communicate!
Life is unpredictable, I mean you only have to take a look at 2020 for that statement to be verified. If you are swimming in expectations, sweetie, you are virtually drowning in guaranteed disappoint. Unspoken expectations are bound to be unfulfilled so go ahead and communicate. Implicit social constructs unfortunately do not always succeed in their proceedings. If something involving someone else matters to you then make it explicit! Expectations do not always have to be as detrimental as they can be, just ensure that rather than passively pursuing them, explicitly inform yourself and others of what you are inquiring.
Expect nothing baby, but appreciate everything.
Take care team, give your loved ones a big ol' hug.
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This blog will encompass the life of a 19-year-old kiwi chica. Composed of stories, advice, life lessons, worldly observations, videos and whatever else Ella's life brings to surface.For all of this and more, read my new found blog 'Born In 2000': established on the 28th of October, 2019. Where Ella Gibson explores her life that exceeds all limitations. Publications should be expected twice a week. Take this present moment now and rock it!