Setting Expectations

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Setting Expectations

Postby seagrace » Thu Sep 30, 2010 4:49 pm

Recently, a friend posted this message:

People come into your life with the greatest of intentions, though they may continually disappoint you through no fault of their own; but instead by your expectations that they will be as considerate towards you as you are them. You can accept them as they are, but ultimately it is your world, and... your choice to allowed who exists in it.
* * *

my comment was that by setting no expectations, one cannot be disappointed. This begs the question, how do you not set expectations?
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Re: Setting Expectations

Postby Ngawang Drolma » Thu Sep 30, 2010 4:55 pm

Hi Seagrace,

It is a good question you ask. Although I don't have an answer, I feel that there is great truth in this so it hits a nerve for me. Personally I can reflect on many, many of the issues I've had throughout my life and attribute my problems to expectations that weren't met. But that was something internal, on my end, rather than the reality of life or the people in it.

Kind wishes,
Laura
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Re: Setting Expectations

Postby ronnewmexico » Thu Sep 30, 2010 5:34 pm

Well on reading, it appears the answer has not been answered despite the excellent comment offered on it.

So I though I qualify as only a uneducated layperson will venture a answer.

Expectations...the remedy to expectations of human response is to understand that human are composite and have no real absolute nature other than what may be considered the quality of awareness..

As such it is obvious that actions and any thing that we may expect from a human is all subject to circumstance and circumstantial response to things.
As such expectations cannot be expected in a absolute or real nature to be certain.They are always variable and subject to effect upon by circumstance.

Humans are rational as we are. If we fully understand a thing to be true we cannnot act otherwise. It is a restriction of our aware nature.
So if one were to fully understand the relationship of human to circumstance and the resultant product we would understand that the expectancy is always variable.

So the remedy is to meditate upon the relationship of human to circumstance and what causes human to be as they are in our world.
Once experientally found this thing to be true....no expectations of a absolute nature can ever sustain in our consciousness.

So its simple. I don't want to imply there may be other solution as there probably are many. Shantideva's wisdom chapter (towards the end of that chapter) in his book on bodhistava..... i always find reminds me of the undependable result of human and their consequent undependable human result in action.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
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Re: Setting Expectations

Postby seagrace » Thu Sep 30, 2010 6:01 pm

I'm no expert on the human experience and maybe I've just parrotted what I've heard in the past, or maybe it just "sounds good" to say that by not setting expectations one cannot be disappointed. That in itself is a wide open remark that could be interpreted in many ways. I believe that at least in America, we are brought up and trained very early on in setting expectations on others and feeling that disappointment. A baby cries and is rewarded with milk - expectations are set on both sides of this equation, of only as a result of action/reaction. But if the baby gets milk and still cries, then some expectation is missed on both sides. The expectation that a cry will result in satisfaction of a need, and the expectation that a bottle of milk will satisfy a cry. Perhaps a simplistic example, but I think it is valid in how humans are trained early on in setting expectations and predicting results.

If we set hidden expectations on our relationships, should we anticipate that we would be disappointed in that relationship at some point? And isn't this what we do on a regular basis- either explicitly or implicitly? My assertion is that if we could enter a relationship with absolutely no expectation of gain or loss, then we cannot claim gain or loss and therefore cannot be disappointed in the results. I question whether this is even possible, at some level there is always some expectation of results, yet by eliminating that expectation are we not isolating ourselves from reality?
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Re: Setting Expectations

Postby ronnewmexico » Thu Sep 30, 2010 6:46 pm

Sorry...that seems like some sort of a statement or claim.

I though you asked for a answer to this..."how do you not set expectations"

So as that isn't apparently the issue, feel free to disregard my comment. I would delete content but some may have read it and be confused.

We can always have reasonable expectations...as when I turn on a tap I expect water will run out.
This....."at some level there is always some expectation of results,"
this references some emotional response which is not the fact.We don't always have to have a emotional response to things nor to not have a emotional response to things necessarily infer we are forcing ourselves to not respond emotionally. I do not get upset when a 2 year old has a tantrum. I may expect humans should act differnently as human but it does not bother me a bit a 2 year old has a tantrum.They will still not get what they want, as it is not good for them. I could care less that they have a outcome that does not meet my greater expectations of human. Such expectations are drawn upon air and self created.
Circumstance largly determines results with human. NOt all but usually.

So my answer does not meet your expectations as I do not agree with your foundational basis..

So? I don't give a fig. Nor do I care that my expectations of your response are not realized...
So? I don't give a fig. I am not ignoring your response nor having any emotional surpression.
It simply is understood to be not a important thing....my expectations on this thing nor your expectations.

As all humans operate on the basis of understanding I can understand expectations are normally not met in many areas of complexity. As we cannot understand the circumstance fully we can not fully expect to know the outcome. I don't have to surpress anything.

Or to put it concisely....I do not enter a relationship expecting to have no expectations...that would be silly. I enter a relationship expecting that any relationship human based is subject to varying circumstantial result and thus I expect that many of my expectations in a human context will always invariably not be met.

So I expect my expectations often will not be met in the human thusly I don't mind a bit when they are not met. To expect to have no expectations....silly. It cannot be done. Involved emotionally with expectations results and all the rest....silly as well. My action and interaction is but part of a circumstance and thusly no single cause self or other may be found to be wholy responsible for a outcome of human action. So I would be silly to be emotionally acted upon by anothers action in this fashion other than superficially.

Surpression has not a bit to do with anything. Understanding the true nature of things prevents in us taking our expectations so seriously. If things work out fine. If not fine as well.

It is not that we never have expectations, or that that is the problem. Like the productions of internal thought they always persist in some fashion or other. It is that we take them so seriously that is the problem.

Will I ever manage to surpress thoughts so none present....no probably not. Will I have thoughts largly subside due to knowing they hold no intrinsic value.....yes certainly. LIkewise are expectations.Taken less then seriously they tend to subside so the only expectations over time we find we may make....is that the tap when turned on will produce water. If not...we become very disappointed...but it does not last :smile:
Last edited by ronnewmexico on Thu Sep 30, 2010 7:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
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Re: Setting Expectations

Postby 5heaps » Thu Sep 30, 2010 7:11 pm

not all expectations are harmful, only the unskillful ones. only the ones built out of a view of permanence (unchanging) and selfgovernance, or which are thought of in those ways, contain the factor of unrealism that is at the root of suffering.

unrealism is something appearing to be stable to you and then fooling you into it thinking that its stability is substantial. its painful to find out its real nature slowly and in a superficial way over the course of a lifetime - it makes your hair gray and gives you wrinkles.


Impermanence as a Resource for Building Healthy Relationships
especially the Gross Impermanence and Subtle Impermanence sections

Jeffrey Hopkins Ph.D on subtle impermanence
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