“Where am I going wrong? Don’t I have the right to expect to be treated like a human, if not be loved?” All that I expect is that my feelings should be reciprocated? Am I expecting too much?”
These words by a friend who grieved after having broken his heart once again; are playing hide and seek with my conscience. I am a silent spectator to his sordid saga. My expectation of being a helpful friend is leaving me frustrated as I am of no help when it comes to helping him rationalize his expectations. Though my blood boils everytime I speak to him with this regard, but at the end, it all boils down to the theory of expectations. Expectation is an enigmatic person indeed. It has a very strong personality of its own. At times, an expectation come like an angel and lifts your heart from the ocean of unbridled agony. At times, it assumes the role of messenger of death and drowns you in the ocean of despair. Expectation, without doubt, is great illusionist. Expectations delude you into believing that the other person is waiting with bated breath for you, anticipating that you would run into that persons arm. And this is where expectation crosses path with reality! It plays hide and seek with truth. At times, expectations elude logic. At times, expectation escapes naked truth. At times, expectation defies plain common sense.
The pain of a broken heart corrodes the soul. So what shall I advise my friend? Should I advise him to stop loving? Or should I advise him to stop expecting in the matters of love? I advise him to manage his expectations and pat come the reply from him; how can you be logical in the matters of heart? Well, I do not have an answer to that. Matters of heart are beyond the comprehension of mind. It falls outside the realm of common sense and logic. But when it comes to expectations, I believe, that to a certain extent, you do have the power in you to manage and rationalize your expectations. Firstly, if you see a pattern of suffering in your love life again and again, the least that you should do is try analysing whether you are expecting things out of a wrong person time and again? Why is your love unreturned? Why do you trap yourself into an abusive relationship? Why do you always feel as if you are being taken for a ride? Why do you fall for jerks all the time? Love is not a mathematical equation where both a + b will certainly be equal to c + d. But the equation certainly cannot be completely lopsided. You cannot teach a pig how to sing. If you are expecting a cat to bark and a dog to meow out of love, you certainly are going to bang your head against the wall. If you choose to love a person who is self-centred narcissist, don’t blame your lover for sucking the wind out of you. Rather, blame yourself for taking up the impossible task of trying to teach a pig how to sing a song! If you invest 100 crore rupee in a dead stock, beware that you are bound to lose your money, the stock price of the dead stock certain won’t increase.
If you learn to manage your expectations, you will certainly find a way out of abusive and one sided relationships. Lastly, before expecting anything out of a third person, you need to expect things out of yourself. If you don’t expect yourself to be treated with love and respect, don’t expect others to love and respect you.
Coming back to my friend, he continues trying to decode the reasons for his unrequited love while I continue counselling him to manage his expectations in order to prevent him from slipping into the abyss of despair. Sometimes it works, while sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes he sleeps peacefully, while sometimes he cries himself to sleep. Thus, giving us a good understanding that we need to manage our expectations right in order to have a peaceful night of sleep…