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February 11, 2005 [ More archived home pages here ]

Unspoken Expectations

Every human being categorizes their internal and external environments. The very nature of the physiology of the human brain construes structure and order according to some genetic factors and other factors as life ensues. Most would agree that the culture an individual is raised in certainly impacts that person's perception of the world and people around them.

With respect to a person's perceptions, some situations are very predictable in their outcome such as: The Sun will rise in the East; a baby will crawl before it walks; most people are friendly and helpful, etc. The acceptability and continuity of those realities reassures us that almost all is in order and we can spend time on profitable ventures or enjoyable activities. We can feel confident that most communications we initiate are responded to in a polite manner. A manner also in accordance with our desired outcome.

We also learn that misunderstandings occur at times and happen when one person sends or receives a message differently than intended. Sometimes the miscue can be resolved by an apology or with a few extra clarifying comments.

In rare circumstances, the misunderstanding is not so easily resolved. It becomes apparent during the discourse that, in fact, a "demand" is being made on one of the parties involved. The demand is usually framed in the proposition of "entitlement" or "right". That is the result of what I call, "unspoken expectations", the point where the thoughts of one mind intrude on another. It's my experience that intrusion is never welcomed whether by accident or not.

Unspoken expectations happen in pleasant ways too. When two people are in love there are many things that are understood between them that have never been spoken of in any way. They both intuitively know many areas of reassurance that one another count upon and have nothing to do with words. The very magic of the relationship is perpetuated by the knowledge that those regions of togetherness never need verbal expressions.

Insecurity and doubt often cause the problematic form of unspoken expectations. The more comforting form of unspoken expectations is built on the foundation of trust and love. Choose wisely and happiness will be yours in time.

Don


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