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  • Writer's pictureMona Cooley

Daunting Expectations

Barriers block changes needed to turn a difficult situation around from constant battles to calming times.

What expectations do you set for yourself?

What subtle expectations are you setting for others to live up to?

Discussion reveals how doubt, disappointment, guilt rushes in with expectations. Learn what is happening and manage the barriers in your life. Yes it is challenging yet can be rewarding.

Today is about focusing on expectations tomorrow the focus will be enabling and rescuing.

Over the 25+ years I have been facilitating family peer support sessions, expectations come up often. Expectations of ourselves and expectations of others which can cause frustation for self and others. Exploring this will help you to know whose responsibilty is whose.

First what do you expect of yourself when you are dealing with something new? When mental illness joined our family, this was new and unknown territory. We needed facts about mental illness such as what are the symptoms and what behaviours are acceptable and not acceptable. This was what has us confused. As I mentioned in the last post I sent, I thought I had to keep being blamed. I realized this was not acceptable anymore as it is not solving anything. You can have empathy for the challenges your loved one is dealing with and say " I am not going to listen to the blaming any more". I can also say, "It must be frustrating for you at this time especially when you are not feeling heard"

I don't know about you, what I was doing was jumping into fix the situation which was not going well. It seems we feel we need to rescue our loved ones yet it is not what they want even though they may not know how to express this to you. The one thing I had to realize was with me trying to fix it was creating more conflict and also if something you felt others should do, the end result it didn't work then you are blamed. The focus is more on helping others to think what they can do. We are in control of 4 things - what we do, say, think, feel and rest is left up to what they do, say, think, feel. Now the important piece here is to hear what is the perspective of each other.

What I have witnessed and heard multiple times is the family member is wanting loved ones to do something and expect them to see the reasoning of why they should do it. The key is they are in a different place of feeling and thinking to where you are at. A suggestion for you to consider is understand where they are at and you can also consider asking - would you be open to a suggestion. They may say no, but they may say yes and this is your chance to suggest an idea for them to consider.

Final word about expectations - two questions were asked at the beginning. What were your answers. When trying to help someone, keep this in mind, they already have expectations of themselves and may already feel guilty of not meeting them. How would you feel if you felt that way and others were putting their expectations on you?

Yes learning all these pieces were hard for me too in the beginning. They can show up unexpectedly again however you will be more aware. Have empathy for yourself.

Have a great Saturday, go have some fun!! I am !!!!

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