By Rautia Nakanyala
If there’s one great belief or habit I have come to unlearn this year is, feeling entitled and having an uncommunicated expectation. No one owes us anything except for the people that have made a very clear vocal commitment to us: either in friendship, relationship or family but even in commitment your entitlement is very limited. I have saved myself from so much emotional distress ever since I came to accept the fact that no one owes me anything. Sometimes, also, I expect too much from people who are limited when it comes to my expectations. Let me try and break it up for us:
How many of us expect the ‘no’ to come with an explanation? We want people to give us a reasonable explanation of why they said ‘no’ to us. Let me tell you this, no one in their right mind says ‘no’ without what they consider is a valid explanation to them; and that’s the important part, that “to them”, the reasoning of saying no should suffice because they are not on the receiving end. Respect that!
If they thought, you deserved an explanation, the ‘no’ would have come with an explanation, without you asking for it.
A lot of people, who are whole, say ‘no’ often because they know their limit. It means when they say ‘yes’ to you they say ‘no’ to themselves. As someone who loves them, respect their answer because it means they’re putting themselves first. We have to stop giving more than we have and saying no to ourselves for the happiness of others. In the end, we can only be truly giving and happy if we are happy doing it because it doesn’t compromise ourselves. I always say I am nicer and kinder to my loved ones when I have been to myself. Someone saying no doesn’t mean you’re less worthy or that they don’t love you. It simply means it’s a ‘no’ because according to their limits, morale or boundaries, it’s a ‘no’. So, stop being in your feelings with every ‘no or rejection’ you receive.
No one owes us anything, not even our parents; they may have a duty towards us but whatever they give us is a privilege, an honour and not a must. Even the one who created us, told us, whatever we receive from Him, is a blessing bestowed upon us: not because we deserve it or earned it but because of His mercy, love for us and amazing grace. A lot of us have had our hearts broken by our parents or family members because we felt entitled to them catering to our every need just because we share the same blood. We have these high expectations of what family should be able to do for us or be to us. We forget that before they are our parents, aunts, sister, brother or grandparent they are merely human beings with their own lives and troubles to deal with. Don’t expect more than you know they can’t give with great ease.
With every relationship we find ourselves in, and this includes friendship, we have this long list of expectations and that is okay but you need to know the type of person you are assuming your expectations from. So often we expect so much from our partners or friends without even having a conversation about what we expect from them and giving them the chance to let us know if they can meet those expectations and for us to know if we can compromise on some or not.
If you’re anything like me, you always see the potential in your loved ones and try to bring out the best out of them every chance you get, you will come to learn that sometimes your expectations are too high and not everyone is interested in relishing their potential or putting in the work to be the best and live their best. Understand that not everyone can dream big, believe in their crazy dreams and dare to work hard towards bringing them alive. A lot of people are okay, with knowing they could and didn’t and that is okay. A normal, comfortable life is as valid to them as our crazy, uncomfortable, purpose chasing life.
Stop expecting your life expectations from them.
And then we feel entitled, entitled to their time, their lives and everything else that comes with them, as if they owe us anything. We forget easily that we are individuals, that we all have a life of our own before we are someone’s partner or friend.
Whatever we receive in this world, especially love, loyalty and ‘yes’, is an honour, a privilege and a great blessing because NO ONE owes us anything. The earlier we learn that and unlearn our entitlement behaviour then we will receive more goodness and the less emotional distress we will feel. It will help us to practice gratitude and to find it in the little acts of kindness we thought we are entitled to. Same goes with expectations, we cannot expect ourselves from others and we can’t expect greatness from someone who is comfortable with good; not everyone is excited by possibilities of a greater life than the one they see around them and sometimes, all we know is all we want to know.
We’re only entitled to ourselves and what we give ourselves. Our expectations are just that, ours.
What are your thoughts?