I wanted to make some observations about this topic and compare them to myself and my past vs present. I think two things happen when we have expectations of what "should be" and then it doesn't happen: 1) we are disappointed and 2) we (can) get angry if we never seem to get what we expect. The question becomes...where do these expectations come from in the first place? How did we arrive at these expectations and why do we have them? Where does the concept of things that "should be" originate and is this even realistic in the first place. No one can predict the future or know what another person thinks or feels unless they tell you and to that end....you really have no control of anyone except yourself at the end of all things. All you can do is trust what another person says they are going to do, but at any time.....people including you also have the ability to change their mind anytime they choose.
For me....I had a situation at home with two parents who were big on the way things "should be" and most of "should be" came from someone or something else not them. My mother was really big on predicting the future for everyone in our family. I can't tell you how many times I heard a sentence begin with "when you grow up, XXX will happen" or "when you are older like me, you will be XXX". I can tell you, she really sucked at fortune telling and should have kept her day job as a housewife since nearly all of her predictions did not ever happen with me.....like 99% wrong in my case. For my mother, this came from an extremely overbearing and controlling mother (hers) who had to control everything all the time every second of the day. What I witnessed appeared to me as someone who was completely out of control in all things and had no idea what was really happening around her. As these things tend to go.
So what "should be" never seemed to happen with my Grandmother and she was always angry that nothing ever seemed to be what she predicted it to be. She had placed so many controls on everything that she was even trying to the control the future and everyone else in it by trying to maneuver everyone into position in preparation for her predicted future of what "should be." The problem came when these things didn't happen which only made her more angry and more controlling than the last failed prediction in her idea or story of future predictions and expectations of how things should be, how people should be but most importantly and in reality...how she herself really was. That's the bottom line. If you only have control of yourself and you aren't happy with where you are and how you ended up at any given time...who can you really blame but yourself. Every day you get out of bed in the morning, you have to take every step no matter where you go unless someone hog ties you and carries you against your will. I think that would qualify as kidnapping if I'm not mistaken? Anyway.. the older my Grandmother got, the angrier and more bitter she became and it all came from the fact that her expectations or what she favorably insisted on how things "should be" be actually never happened however...a lot of things really did happen everyday but I guess for my Grandmother....she could only see the things that did not happen that were supposed to be. What she did do a lot of was complain most of the time about her life and how it was everyone else's fault that the things that were supposed to happen (how things should be) didn't happen because somehow,all these people had somehow prevented this from happening. I don't think my Grandmother realized how much time she spent preparing for how things should be instead of using that time to experience the things that were.....in the present time that is.
And as these things go, these things were supplanted into my mothers head too and she carried the torch of her mother in the same way. When I came into the picture.....I was born for one purpose in my families life. To disprove every idea or thought of how things "should be" by doing them differently and actually succeeding most of the time. No matter what is was.....I always found a different way of getting there but many times compared to my mother or her mother for example....I actually go there.
How did I do this you ask? I did it because no one expected me too and I had very few expectations of myself since no one else did after a while. I can tell you that this became one of my favorite passive aggressive strategies and I enjoyed this immensely while I was growing up when I could find a way to do something that my parents could not do themselves. Actually with my mother for example, she never tried to do anything that was not included in her mind of how things "should be"
It easy to see how this reversal of fortune and even within my passive aggressive attitude actually played out to my benefit with a negative becoming a positive after all things were said and done. Because no one expected me to do things.....I actually found a way to do them. I myself was not part of the way things "should be" so therefor....I was free of this trap in thinking and instead of having expectations, I just tried things to see if they would work. Sometimes they did and sometimes they didn't, but I least I tried them in the first place and was not particularly disappointed when things didn't work out. Actually...the expectation of me was that things would not work out so there was nothing to be disappointed or even angry with in the first place. It does free you up to explore and experiment if there are no expectations and your frustration level and corresponding anger is kept to a bare minimum under these conditions.
If you are already at the bottom....you really have only one option in a direction that you can go.....UP. Everything is a success under these conditions! lol For what it's worth....I adopted this kind of attitude a means of surviving a situation that was almost completely intolerable since the concept of what should be and the expectations that come from this were never going to happen in the first place. It was simply impossible since no one can really predict the future after all:)