Expectation Pretense

With this strategy we attempt to keep from hurting others by compromising ourselves. If everyone is compromised equally, then we are together (at least) with the same problem. We end up matching our Expectations with our roles or internal models with the belief that we won’t be out of alignment with others. Focusing on our Expectations for our partners keeps us from having to deal with their expectations. Dealing with Expectations promotes role-playing and limits the authentic truth telling that could free the relationship. By being identified as a person with high Expectations, we can also be confused as a person with high self-esteem. When we operate from this Pretense, what we lose is our Aliveness and Authentic Life Expression. We naturally attract others practicing Expectations, Controllers, and occasionally Romantics.

The pretense of Expectation creates the belief that we need to be flexible and fluid with others, and that in return others will respond the same way. We unconsciously seek agreement and believe there is a right way to do everything. We can easily be identified by the belief that there is only one objective reality. We also tend to ignore differences. The underlying belief is that everyone is the same and that we all understand what our common basic needs are. People who are doing the pretense of Expectation therefore seem adjustable or adaptable within certain guidelines, and are unable to deal with people who don’t operate in conditioned ways. Expectations practitioners have a sense of standards and will give direct feedback when others do not meet those standards because we received imprinting about how things should be in our family of origin. Ironically, we are also attracted to the familiar dysfunctional patterns from our families and attempt to help these people by providing the structure we believe will help to “fix” them. In this way, we hope to be successful with current associates in ways we were previously unsuccessful in our family.

Expectations Pretense Objective: Getting others to agree with us.

I believe we should do ______________________________, don’t you?
No, don’t you agree it’s like ________(in-depth explanation)________?
Why aren’t you willing to treat me the way you treat __(person X)____?
(X) it’s difficult for me, why can’t we do it the way we’ve always done it?
Unconscious Assumption: We seek conformance to a pre-existing standard.
Affirms civility and “caring” by reinforcing comfort and familiarity
Believes there needs to be an agreement about how things work
Operates from a standard of how things “ought to be” in a good world
Is not happy when others question their intention or motives

Releasing Expectations

Acknowledge fears about what will happen, when they arise.
Be willing to engage more spontaneously or allow new possibilities to arise where we can discuss operating outside the box.
Honor and locate the fear in our physical body and practice speaking for it until it dissipates.
Recognize that the reaction does not need to keep us from taking action.
Consciously create the experience of safety and step into our past concern or experience.
See how the current situation is different from or similar to the past.
Stop seeking the agreement of others.
Joyfully explore new options and new ways of doing things.

Anti-Expectations

We are repulsed by the Expectations of others, because we no longer find the establishment of common rules of behavior creating safety for us. Instead, we now fear that others are defining how we need to respond to them in a way that limits our freedom of expression. As a result, we begin to feel attracted to those individuals who are also free spirits like us. We begin to appreciate that we don’t need to create a sense of safety by artificially limiting how we engage others or what we do with them. In effect, we open the door to letting go of preconceptions about how things should be because we trust that our natural way of being will be accepted by others we are with. Anti-Expectation reflects that we reject the notion that our conditions or past patterns of behavior define who we are. We are left with the natural impulse to explore our multi-faceted nature and seek out partners who will appreciate this about us. Eventually, we release Anti-Expectation patterns when we fully come to trust that we can interpret and create our experience in the moment in any way we wish, therefore, freeing us from any reactions to others’ expectations about us.

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© Copyright 2016, Larry Byram. All Rights Reserved.

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