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 Post subject: Anni's everyday thoughts
PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2015 9:41 pm 
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Often my head spins round and round and it helps me to put my chaotic thoughts into words and sentences and structure. And often I can relate them in one or another way to AND. Of course I would like to hear your thoughts about the topics as well.

Today I want to start with...

Expectations

Again and again I am confronted with expectations but it has changed over the last years. When I was young I had one very strong expectation - I wanted to have the perfect best friend. A friend who takes care, who is funny to be with, who does not want to have many other friends; a friend I can trust and tell everything I want, a friend who always knows how I feel and who treats me with respect. I was disappointed. Many times.

I had one best friend. When we were younger she could never measure up to my expectations. I never told her when her behavior hurt me. Instead, I let go all of my expectations and began to see her just how she was. Not perfect. Not how I would've wished her to be. But still a person I enjoyed to be with.
I gave up to search for a perfect person as well.
Now, after nine years being friends, everything seems to turn around. I don't measure up with her expectations anymore. I had a similar experience with another friend.

I wonder what has changed?
To be honest, I struggle to see as much worth in the way I spend time with friends as I did in the past. I suppose this is because I have so many other interests now and haven't found a way yet to share these interests with the friends I have. Hence, they may have the feeling that I disregard them and that isn't completely wrong. But that does not mean that I don't want to be their friend anymore, that I don't think of them and want them to be happy and enjoy spending time with them anymore. It's just that I have changed in the way I cut my time and energy into pieces and give them to my family, my friends and my further interests. The pieces I give to some of the humans in my life don't seem to be big enough even though I put much more importance in them than before.

And then I wonder why relationships and communication between humans are so complicated sometimes? That is very fascinating but sometimes I am not able to handle it.
Why do we have these expectations? That the people who love us have to show this to us. And they don't simply have to show it but they have to do it in a certain way at a certain time. For instance: they have to be with us on our birthday and they have to make a cake and give a present because...Because WHAT? Because that's how things are done? That's how love is shown?

It is not that I would be angry if they would choose not to spend time with me anymore because they don't feel good with me. That would be completely okay. Neither would I be angry or disappointed if they would talk to me about how to improve the situation. I would like to do so!
But what they do is waiting until they are really really disappointed, making a secret out of it and at last blaming me for not acting how they think it would be right. They seem to prefer seeing themselves as the helpless victim.

But I'm drifting away from what I wanted to think about.

Why do we stick to our expectations even if we get disappointed again and again?
I have to think about it a little more.
I hope this does not sound too negative because I am really fascinated by these things and want to find out more about it so I can improve my thinking and behavior. I don't want to disappoint others. But at the same time I can't do what they want me to do because I have different values or I communicate the same information differently.

I would like to hear about your experiences concerning expectations.
:f:


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2015 11:13 pm 
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I love the topic of expectations as well. For me this started with my mother, who is a wonderful person in so many ways, but there is one thing that always was difficult for me, and that was her expectations - or her way of perceiving them, actually. She always thought of herself as someone who was doing EVERYTHING for others and expecting almost nothing in return, except for that one tiny, tiny little bit of gratefulness, but not even this is given to her. Accordingly, I grew up with that guilt of being an ungrateful child who is only receiving and not giving anything back. I know that she didn't always mean it that way, and if you'd ask her, it's just me (and all the others ;)) making things much bigger than they are. But for me it had the consequence that I decided that I never ever wanted to do it like that.

In a way I have developed into the opposite. I have a rule for myself that whenever I give something (time, friendship, anything), it must be totally clear to me that I am not expecting anything in return. I don't mean expecting in the sense of "anticipating" or "predicting" (which of course I do) but in the sense of "thinking that I have the right to get xy in turn". For me this is the only way it works, and contrary to what some people think this does not come as a disadvantage for me. Just the opposite, for me it feels very liberating to know that whatever I give, this is MY responsibility. I give it because I want to give it, not because I am secretly hoping for a good deal. This frees me from all the complicated stuff, the disappointment and the pressure. Therefore, expecting nothing is not something I am doing for others but mostly for myself. I cannot feel good about giving in any other way.

Concerning the genesis of expectations, I think that a big part of it has to do with confusing one's own interpretations of a behaviour or situation with The Truth. For example, when someone does something that I don't agree with, I often think that I cannot understand how someone can possibly be like that. It really comes into my mind like this... "be like that". That is, I am translating a specific behaviour into a much bigger meaning that says something about the person in general, about his character. Perhaps this interpretation would even be correct if it had been me who had produced the behaviour, although not even this is warranted because even for myself I can give compeletely different interpretations for the same behaviour, depending on the perspective from which I am looking at it. But in any case I cannot do this for other people. And yet, despite knowing that, it always feels so natural for me to make these "big" interpretations.

So what does this have to do with expectations? I think that expectations or disappointment about another person's behaviour usually do not concern the particular behaviour but the underlying concepts that people assume to be the cause of the behaviour. For example, if I was disappointed that a friend did not call me, this would not be so much about the act of calling itself but rather mean that I am disappointed that obviously he has no need to talk to me and obviously he can watch TV in the evening instead of calling me, so this means that this stupid TV show is more important than our friendship... and it gets more and more dramatic. And this all makes sense from the perspective I am taking in that very moment, the one of me thinking about him and imagining what a tiny little effort it would be to take the telephone and call. But it might not mean anything like that for him - not even for me if I slightly changed the situation. Therefore, this is exactly what I do in order to check if my interpretation really is a necessary one. If you take the example of the friend not calling me, this could mean that I imagine any other dear friend of mine that I have not called in a while, and then I ask myself whether my interpretation of my own not-calling of that other friend has the same interpretation that I am currently making for the friend who does not call me. Usually it doesn't, and that puts things into perspective quite a bit.

Taken together, I think that disappointment often is a direct consequence of the story I am making up to interpret another person's behaviour. Or if I look at it the other way around, expectations are the consequence of how I currently translate a concept into a specific behaviour (e.g. I want my friend to care about me = he has to remember my birthday), and then waiting for the specific behaviour and forgetting that the translation from concept to behaviour is not mandatory. And this also is the way I can deal with unwanted expectations if I have them: make myself aware of the fact that my concept-behaviour links are just my own, instead of the correct or only possible ones. :f:


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2015 1:44 pm 
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Romy wrote:
In a way I have developed into the opposite. I have a rule for myself that whenever I give something (time, friendship, anything), it must be totally clear to me that I am not expecting anything in return. I don't mean expecting in the sense of "anticipating" or "predicting" (which of course I do) but in the sense of "thinking that I have the right to get xy in turn".
That last part about thinking to have a right to get something in return, is very important to me.
I tend to see things in a very constructivist way. The image I create of the world (and people) around me is very much my own construct. I cannot expect other people to share the same construct in the same way that I cannot expect to know how other people perceive the world.
But what that also means is that I am by definition a very self-referred individual, because I relate everything first and foremost to myself. It is after all the only real reference point I have.

Now that may sound very selfish and it actually is in a way. For example, when I give something to someone else, I clearly expect something in return. I know that I do. Every interaction with my world is done because I want something in return.
But knowing that my reference point is always my own (very limited) point of view, I also know that I have no right to demand other people to meet my needs and expectations. After all, how could they know? Especially if I haven't told them? And even then, their interpretation of what I said can be very different to what I have in mind ;).

I find it very comforting to accept that I have (selfish) expectations of other people. To accept at the same time that these expectations cannot be fully met by them, enables me to take on an altruistic position - if that makes sense... :roll:

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2015 2:15 pm 
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Volker wrote:
Now that may sound very selfish and it actually is in a way. For example, when I give something to someone else, I clearly expect something in return. I know that I do. Every interaction with my world is done because I want something in return.


Oh, now this is an interesting topic for me. Personally, I see a big difference between wanting something in return and expecting others to give me something in return, and my previous statement only referred to the latter. I am completely selfish in that I am wanting something positive out of every interaction, otherwise I am ending it. BUT that can be all sorts of things and they need not depend on the other one actively giving something to me. For example, I am getting a lot out of an interaction if I feel that I can be helpful to a person and that this person is getting stronger or more happy or more prosocial or anything else as a consequence of my influence. But this is not something that I see as the person actively giving me something in return. It's more something that I am taking out of the interaction. I would not say that I expect him to be happy because of me, or to finally get stronger, subito! ;)

One consequence of this distinction between "expecting someone to give" and "taking what I want" is the ascription of responsibility. If I was expecting another person to give something and then I am not getting it, how easy is it to put blame on the other person? On the other hand, if I see it as myself being the one who is taking things, then if I do not get satisfied this can mean all sorts of things - for example that I have chosen the wrong currency. Perhaps it's not pleasant social moments that I am supposed to get out of an interaction but learning experiences? Or perhaps it is the pleasant social moments but I have just not been sensitive enough to find them? In any case, it is much easier for me to redefine the outcome and change it for the better than if I was expecting another one to give something to me.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2015 2:41 pm 
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Nicely put, Romy! You clarified on an important part, which I wasn't able to express. Thanks! I was actually meaning that I want something from others, rather than expect.
For me it's really all about the difference of "expecting to be given" in contrast to "taking". In the first case a failed interaction would feel like I've been denied what was rightfully mine - actually like something has been taken away. Whereas in the latter case the worst outcome is the status quo from which I started.

One thing I want to add though: I also know that I expect things from other people often enough. I mean nobody's perfect, right? :sad: But being aware of the fact makes all the difference... It would be much worse if I denied that I do sometimes...

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2015 9:57 pm 
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I am SO happy that I have found you! Your thoughts are enriching, they help me a lot. Thank both of you, Romy and Volker! :kiss:

Romy wrote:
In a way I have developed into the opposite. I have a rule for myself that whenever I give something (time, friendship, anything), it must be totally clear to me that I am not expecting anything in return.


This is a great rule and one I decided to follow a time ago as well. It was not a conscious decision but rather the insight that I am an egoistic being. And I'm not sure, but I believe, so is everyone else. I do or avoid behavior because it has consequences for me, good or bad ones. I love to help others. But I don't do that because I'm so selfless. I do it because I love solving problems, because I love changing the view of someone so they can see things more positive, I love to get the feedback that what I did was helpful, I love it to get a smile from someone. All these things I see as a consequence of my behavior and I am the one in charge of my behavior. Thus, I can change it when I don't get what I wanted. I can change it until the consequences I like appear naturally. Then I know that I found the right key for the door I wanted to open. I have all the keys. No one else has to open the door for me. And most important: when I can't find the key, maybe just because their is none, there is no reason to blame anyone for it. Then I decide if I want to continue the communication or if I end it.

Romy wrote:
This frees me from all the complicated stuff, the disappointment and the pressure.


This is the point were I still have some problems. As I told, I made the decision not to think that I have the right to get something in turn. But many people around me have a completely different view. That is not so significant with people I don't have a deep relationship with but it is difficult with the people I love and who I want to feel good.

The problem is that there seem to be things I have to do so that they can feel good (with our relationship). So they stay passive (and often first tell me what they expect from me when it's too late and they are already very disappointed because I made it all wrong) and I have to take the active part and find out what they expect and what I should do in order to behave appropriate. I haven't found a proper way to handle this problem until now.

How I perceive it by now: I have to decide if I want to fulfill their needs or mine. If I decide to focus on my own needs the consequence is that the others are disappointed. If I focus on their needs I feel bad because my needs can't be fulfilled.

I try to explain my point of view but that seems to hurt others even more. As if I decided against them by deciding to put my own feelings and needs first. And then they tell me that this is not what they do - they put their friends and family first! They're putting so much effort in expressing their love and making the life of others better! But why? Because it makes them feel good to care for them or something else is reinforcing them.

I would really like to find a way to solve this problem because I don't want to lose people I love.
How do you deal with expectations others have in you?

Romy wrote:
I think that expectations or disappointment about another person's behaviour usually do not concern the particular behaviour but the underlying concepts that people assume to be the cause of the behaviour.

What a great thought, Romy!

Now I read through what I wrote again...I just repeated what you already said. But I'll post it anyway, I think it's helpful for me to read and write the same things over and over again. They always become a bit clearer...
I will continue to answer you the next days cause I've to go to bed early today.
:f:


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2015 3:04 pm 
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Anni wrote:
How do you deal with expectations others have in you?


Probably my post will not be very helpful, because I am a lousy friend. But my answer to this is simple: I don't. In that way I am like Pia. People can ask me for anything and there are many things that I will gladly do for them. But they are not entitled to expect me to do things. In fact, I am completely allergic to expectations from others, for me these expectations can even take away any wish to interact with that person, and actually they make me even less likely to do the thing the other person wants.

For example, I had a teacher in school who once told me that she did not like it that when greeting her I did not say "Guten Tag" but just smiled and nodded. She said that I was greeting her more attentively and friendly than most others, but the verbal formula was missing and this was not acceptable. I was supposed to greet her in the proper way. Well, there was NO way that after this conversation I could have said "Guten Tag". Instead, if she had told me that it made her happy to hear "Guten Tag" and that she would be very pleased if I could say it, I would not have hesitated for one moment and said "Guten Tag" every day with utmost enthusiasm (and a little internal smile about the funny preferences that some people have ;)). But being told that she is expecting it from me killed any motivation to do it.

The same happened with my grandparents. When it's their birthday, they make a list on which they write the names of every person that has called, and then they complain to the rest of the family about those who did not call. Ever since I have heard this, I had no interest in calling them anymore. For some years I still did, but when one time I did not and afterwards my mother and sister told me that they had complained about me, I stopped calling them for birthdays altogether.

I know this is perceived as rather extreme and impolite and unsocial by some people, and I guess in a way they are right. However, for me an indispensable ingredient in social relations is that I have to be honest, and being dishonest would feel much more unsocial. Therefore, I cannot call someone for his birthday if I mean nothing of it and don't want to do it. To me this would feel like treason towards myself and others. An alternative would be to modulate my own feelings and perceptions so that it no longer feels aversive to me. But in the presence of expectations, I am not able to do that. They just feel too aversive.

Concerning friendships, I have allowed myself to be a lousy friend. My friends know that they can always ask me for anything and I will do my best to help them whenever I can, but there are things that I will not do. For example, I am not keeping contact. For me it is enough to see a friend once every few months, and I will not call them or email them any more often unless I feel like it. At the same time, they are welcome to contact me anytime and I try to be very clear in telling them that I will be happy to meet them anytime. But the initiative won't come from my side. For some people this is unacceptable (usually they don't say this to me with regard to my own behaviour but when talking about other friends ;)) and for some it works. In the long run, only those friends remain for whom it works.

Consciously allowing myself to be a lousy friend and not to meet other people's expectations has had a big benefit for me: It made it possible for me to accept "impossible" behaviour from others. This is because it has shown me that I am someone who is doing things that others neither understand nor like, but I am doing them anyway. Therefore, my friends also have the right to do things that I neither understand nor like. For example, my best friend has a tendency of becoming very rigid when he is tired, and very convinced that his initial understanding of what someone else has said is correct. We have even had a conversation during which he told me that I was a very arrogant person, and it took me the whole evening to show him that this judgment resulted from a complete misunderstanding of what I had said. Behaving like he did in this situation is something that I would never do. But it is something that he does, and this is okay for me.

Seeing it like that is helping me a lot, because I often have close relationships with people who are considered "socially impossible" by others. I am so thankful that I can see the lovely, special things in them instead of having to end the friendship because of the difficult behaviour. I do not need to expect from them that they change. But one condition for this was that I accept the fact that I am somewhat impossible as well. 8)


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2015 7:20 pm 
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Volker wrote:
For me it's really all about the difference of "expecting to be given" in contrast to "taking". In the first case a failed interaction would feel like I've been denied what was rightfully mine - actually like something has been taken away. Whereas in the latter case the worst outcome is the status quo from which I started.

I agree with you Volker! I not only feel very good when someone allows me to take (for example when Romy says I can visit her whenever I want) but when others actively take from me as well (when a friend invites me for a certain datum). But often others feel guilty when they claim my attention. It seems to be difficult for them to come to me and say "Let's do xy!".

Volker wrote:
One thing I want to add though: I also know that I expect things from other people often enough. I mean nobody's perfect, right? :sad: But being aware of the fact makes all the difference... It would be much worse if I denied that I do sometimes...

I think it is most important for myself to know that I tend to have expectations and which kind of expectations it are usually. When I then decide that I have no right to get something in turn from someone, there is no one I can blame when I'm disappointed. By doing so I take on responsibility for my emotions and won't go and tell someone: "You make me sad/disappoint me/make me angry!". Instead, I can speak about myself and tell that I have these expectations even though I don't like them and that I feel bad because of this. I can explain that to me and the person in whom I had expectations in and then we both know that there is no one to blame, just a situation we can deal with.

Romy wrote:
Probably my post will not be very helpful, because I am a lousy friend.

Quite the contrary, Romy! It is so helpful because I am a lousy friend as well. But in the past I used to behave in the way others expected because it was not so difficult as it is in the meantime. And I did things others expected because I liked to do so as well so I didn't had to think about expectations at all.
Now I am confronted with the question if I want to make the effort to be a good friend in the way others define it or if I want to act in a way that feels good. Your text clarifies what kind of relationship I want to have with others. It encourages me to retain my decision to act as I am and feel good rather than pretending to be someone else in order to let others judge about me in a positive way. But at the same time I don't think that this is mutually exclusive.

Romy wrote:
An alternative would be to modulate my own feelings and perceptions so that it no longer feels aversive to me. But in the presence of expectations, I am not able to do that. They just feel too aversive.

I just copied it because I have to think about it more. Maybe this is a solution for some of my problems...

Romy wrote:
Well, there was NO way that after this conversation I could have said "Guten Tag". Instead, if she had told me that it made her happy to hear "Guten Tag" and that she would be very pleased if I could say it, I would not have hesitated for one moment and said "Guten Tag" every day with utmost enthusiasm (and a little internal smile about the funny preferences that some people have ;)). But being told that she is expecting it from me killed any motivation to do it.

What motivates me most is when people really look for the things they like about my behaviour and tell me so, instead of telling me what they don't like. And when they feel the need to tell me what they would like more, that is very helpful as well because I like giving others a good feeling. What chokes off my motivation is when they tell me what they would like more and then wait for me to do so and punish me when I'm not doing it for whatever reason. To know that others are waiting for me to do something puts much pressure on me. Then I get the feeling that there is only one certain behaviour that is right and everything else I could do (and maybe would like to do much more) is wrong. Then I have the choice: doing x and making the other one happy or doing something else and being unable to make the other happy (in the best case) or being punished (in the worst case).
And maybe I would really like to do what someone wants me to do at another time or in another situation. But being punished for rejecting to do it at the moment decreases my motivation to do it at all.

Romy wrote:
My friends know that they can always ask me for anything and I will do my best to help them whenever I can, but there are things that I will not do. For example, I am not keeping contact. For me it is enough to see a friend once every few months, and I will not call them or email them any more often unless I feel like it. At the same time, they are welcome to contact me anytime and I try to be very clear in telling them that I will be happy to meet them anytime.

So nice to read that I am not the only one who is such an unconventional abnormal kind of friend :funny: ! :friends:

Romy wrote:
Consciously allowing myself to be a lousy friend has had a big benefit for me: It made it possible for me to accept "impossible" behaviour from others. This is because it has shown me that I am someone who is doing things that others neither understand nor like, but I am doing them anyway.

How can I be so blind that I haven't seen it this way around... That makes is possible for me to stay calm when I would be frustrated before. For example I don't like that one friend sees the cause for her feelings in the behaviour of others and therefore feels very sad sometimes. I think almost completely different (at least I try my very best) and it is difficult for me to understand why she holds her point of view because I can hardly see the advantages. But why do I judge about it? I also could accept it because she cannot really harm me (and if it would hurt me I could change the situation) with it as long as I don't take it personally when she doesn't feel good.
Wonderful, thank you a lot!


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2015 12:03 pm 
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I am afraid I am more than a lousy friend , I am really no friend at all or so I have been told . If a interaction does not have a purpose for me , or the other person , I will end it or not instigate it . Consequently I was always considered antisocial when I was in school though I never viewed myself as that , as I was very happy to talk and interact with others , if there was something interesting to be said . Otherwise would I see no point in the interaction , and leave . I made it clear to my friends that I was happy to help them if they need something , and my non-participation with there everyday interactions was nothing personal , I just had better things to do - namely reading ;) . For me doing this was essential as this other interaction that they all seemed to be seeking from a friend is very false to me , and if I tried to fit this , it would just be a lie .

If people put expectations on me ,I have a very mixed reaction . For me it is very dependent on how the person expresses it , it Is all really a silly point of perspective . But the perspective in which the person approaches me , shows me how he would think about it , should I for fill the expectation . If someone wants me to do X because this will make them happy and will help them , them I will do X , if I can , as it not only helps them it is creating a healthy relationship with the people who I interact with . Conversely if the person expects this from me then my motivation for this is quashed , as the joy that I get for doing this for someone is gone . This is different from expecting gratitude from someone for doing X , as for me what they do is irrelevant , it is the joy of doing something for someone because I can . This is something that comes from myself and I will only do X if I want to , regardless of positive or negative incentives from sources other than me , it Is in a certain freedom of actions , or giving in which I get the motivation .

I do not really have expectations of others , or I try not to , as in if I would like them to do something I will ask , and if they cannot or do not - fine :smile: . Expecting something from an interaction is similar , as I can always leave or stop the interaction if I cannot accept how it is . Expecting , or putting expectations on others , is a very bad practice from what I have seen . As expectations , or a way they are presented , seems to universally makes most people want to do the opposite . Perhaps it is the feeling of being taken advantage of , or trapped ? I am not really sure .... As it is more complex than whether you rebel under an expectation , it is really nothing to do with rebelling -but motivation levels . There is a Ted Talk that is quite interesting on something similar to this by Dan Ariely here . Covering out motivation for doing work , and how it is progress , and sense of purpose that is a big R+ - compared to money etc. This is true for me , but the feeling of progress and sense of purpose comes from myself . I suppose I am just very self-motivated :)

My post seems to have really gone of the topic that Anni started - Sorry for that :f: The topic of motivation , and manipulation of humans is something that is very interesting for me :)


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2015 1:44 pm 
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Thank you for your reply, Ali!
Ali wrote:
This is different from expecting gratitude from someone for doing X , as for me what they do is irrelevant , it is the joy of doing something for someone because I can . This is something that comes from myself and I will only do X if I want to , regardless of positive or negative incentives from sources other than me , it Is in a certain freedom of actions , or giving in which I get the motivation .


I don't know if I got it right: are the responses you get from others irrelevant for you when you do something for them? Is the joy of doing something for someone enough to motivate you?

Because I think this is different with me. I love to do things for others but when it is ignored all the time and I can't find a sign that they like what I do then I don't find the motivation for it anymore either. It's not that I need positive responses all the time, often it's enough to be told once that someone likes what I do to motivate me to do it over and over again. However, I couldn't enjoy doing something for someone without believing that he will like it. Than I would rather spend my time doing something I like for someone else or myself...

Ali wrote:
As expectations , or a way they are presented , seems to universally makes most people want to do the opposite . Perhaps it is the feeling of being taken advantage of , or trapped ?

For me it's not the feeling that someone takes advantage of me because I really like this feeling that my knowledge, help or effort is beneficial. When someone really needs me he can ask for it or show it to me. In contrast, having expectations is neither about asking, showing, nor about demanding or forcing. It's the belief that you don't need to ask because you have the right to get it anyway! It's the belief that there doesn't have to be motivation to do it because there is nothing more logical than doing it.

The feeling of being trapped fits more for me because there is the dilemma that I can decide not to do what the other one expects and then be punished (in a way that the other tells me how disappointed or sad he is because of me) or I can do it without any joy and motivation.

I think what makes most people want to do the opposite is that they can't be successful when someone has expectations because a action we do that is caused by an expectation has no positive consequences and therefore isn't intrinsically nor extrinsically rewarding or motivating. When we do what is a matter of course we can't make someone really happy or surprise, amaze or impress someone. And when we do something as a matter of course why should someone "reward" us and why should we enjoy doing it when it is nothing special for anyone?

Here we get to the point where expectations arise: when we think we are doing something special, something we aren't asked to do in the first case.
Therefore, we have to be aware the fact that we are not always right. We don't know if someone will like what we do. I prefer to see myself as an explorer who wants to find out what is a present for someone. I do this by trial and error. When I'm aware this fact I don't have to be disappointed that someone does not like what I do because it is only information. Nothing more.

What makes me do the opposite of what is expected is that I want to have the chance to be successful. Therefore, it must be sure that I decide what I do by myself! I don't do things because appropriate. I do it because I decided to do it. So maybe in my case it has to do with being a little rebel 8) . I just don't like being manipulated by expectations while I have no problems with other kinds on manipulation.

Ali wrote:
My post seems to have really gone of the topic that Anni started - Sorry for that :f: The topic of motivation , and manipulation of humans is something that is very interesting for me :)


There is no reason to feel sorry for this - I love it when topics switch within a discussion :) . Besides, expectation has a lot to do with motivation, I think.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2015 3:01 pm 
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Anni wrote:
I don't know if I got it right: are the responses you get from others irrelevant for you when you do something for them? Is the joy of doing something for someone enough to motivate you?


Yes, you got it right :) ,if I decide to do something for someone it is because I have seen that this will be helpful for the person , thus making their life easier , and for me this is all the motivation I need .
Though in contrast if this person has upset me , could be completely un-related to expectations , my motivation for doing something for them will go down as I do not feel nice towards that person , and thus do not really want to help them.

Quote:
I just don't like being manipulated by expectations while I have no problems with other kinds on manipulation.


This is really interesting , as with me I will reflexively fight , sometimes irrationally , if someone tries to manipulate me , or control me in any way . If someone came to me and explained what they wanted to me to do , I will most likely do it - if it is sincere and rational . But when someone tries manipulation and control , this makes me really angry as I feel that the person is rejecting my giving , and are trying stealing what they want from me instead .
Though perhaps most times when people try manipulation it is when they are sure that they will not get what they want by asking ? Either way I am very glad for this reflex as , for me , it is a big part of doing things for others - because of myself . This sounds very selfish , but for me it is essential in interacting socially with people . As then it does not put any onus on the other person/people to react in anyway - and I suppose does not put any onus on me to act in anyway ;) - and allows me to interact with people very sincerely and do things purely because I really mean them .
This is actually a very big point , as something that I really do not like is false gratitude , which is something that , I think , comes from this idea that gratitude increases motivation . It is something that I find quite annoying ,as many times people expect me to act in this way , though if I did if would be completely false . If people act with false gratitude towards me for something I have done , I actually have a decrease motivation to do something for them , as i it feel like they are manipulating me to do something for them , by giving me a lie , to which I am suppose to feel motivation from - instead of ignoring what I am doing or feeling gratitude for .Which both are ,for me , better than false gratitude .

:f:


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2015 7:07 pm 
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Ali wrote:
Yes, you got it right :) ,if I decide to do something for someone it is because I have seen that this will be helpful for the person , thus making their life easier , and for me this is all the motivation I need .

Ah okay, same with me :friends: .

Manipulation

Ali wrote:
If someone came to me and explained what they wanted to me to do , I will most likely do it - if it is sincere and rational . But when someone tries manipulation and control , this makes me really angry as I feel that the person is rejecting my giving , and are trying stealing what they want from me instead .


Maybe I should clarify what I mean by "manipulation" or maybe we can use another term that fits better, maybe "influence". When I speak about manipulation I don't connect it with anything negative. I don't mean the kind of manipulation where someone tries to climb into your subconsciousness, gets behind the wheel and begins to control your actions or thoughts.
When I speak about manipulation I mean that someone tries to make me do something but still I decide if I'll do it or not. I think in normal everyday life interaction it is not possible to really control someone. All you can do is make it more likely that someone will act as you want.

I try to be aware of myself and my environment. I try to be aware the fact that we all are influencing each other and I try to find out what works and what not. And because I'm aware of this I can decide when I want others to be successful with a behavior, that means that they get me to do what they want and when I rather reject it because they treat me as I don't like it. I don't believe that I am aware who manipulates me in which way, and when I do something I only do because I like it and when it is something I do because others want me to do it. But when I don't feel comfortable with a situation then I start thinking about it and decide knowingly how I will respond. In doing so, I want to make it more likely that one will treat me more as I like it the next time.

There is a big spectrum of ways to influence someone that can cause negative emotions for example negative reinforcement, punishment, threat or force. Someone can be successful with using these means one time but after I made this experience I will probably avoid contact. In any case I won't like to do something for someone who uses those means. Therefore, I decided that I want to use exclusively means, that influence others, that let them feel good. I think this makes it more likely that they will like to interact with me in the long run.

So, I believe that we all influence each other and I believe that there are negative means (everything that causes a negative emotions) and positive means (everything that causes positive emotions). I dare to say that everyone utilises these means. Now we can decide to use them consciously or unconsciously.

What I don't like is when someone uses them conscious while having the goal to "just get the work done" and does not care wether this arouses negative emotions. For example, when I sat behind the teachers in the bus when we were on a school trip and they talked about how they wanted to make sure that everyone will be at the bus station on time the next day (after everyone made a big party, drank too much and slept too short :funny: ) and one teacher said that they will built a "threatscenery". And then all the other teachers praised him for his great idea :bowdown: . I had to struggle with taking them seriously and don't behave unfriendly for the whole class trip :roll: .
I have to admit that only one time within five days some boys were unpunctual. But I can't believe that this was because of the "threatscenery" but rather because we all were old enough to know on our own that it is annoying when a group of seventy people has to wait for one person.

I began to concsiously use this means when I was rather young and it helped me with "just getting the work done". No one else but me and my father could make my youngest sister come to the table to eat. She has a very strong character and always tried to do only what she wanted (what, by now, I think is great). At this time it was easiest to use the means that arouse negative feelings because I knew them from horse training.
By now it is not enough for me to get the work done. Additionally, I want everybody involved to feel good while doing the work and interacting with me.

So, I have no problem with being manipulated as long as someone hasn't only the goal to get the work done but to arouse positive feelings in me as well.

I would like to write much more, you really make me think Ali, but I have to get ready to pick Jana up at the bus :D . And if anyone has to say something, please keep me thinking!


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2015 8:20 pm 
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Advice to avoid mistakes

Yesterday the mother of a boy I give private lessons asked me what I want to do after school and I told her that I want to study psychology. Her son said that he wanted to become a psychologist as well but then his parents talked him out of it because they thought that you become strange and weird when you keep yourself busy with psychologically sick people. The boy said that now he has nothing in mind that he could do when he is grown up.

That made me wonder why do parents do these things?
I suppose, they want to prevent their children from making mistakes, maybe mistakes they made themselves.
We want to be a tightrope artist. But we don't realise that the artist does not focus on the air around him, the ground under the rope or the fall that could happen. He focuses on the tightrope. He focuses on each step. And so he walks on and on. We cannot become a tightrope artist if we concentrate on all the possible mistakes, the worst case scenarios, the disasters. When we step on the rope at last we have to be confident that we can walk on it.

If I had a child that has something in mind what he/she wants to do this would be great, even though I would not like the job he/she imagines to be fun because first, how can I know that I'm right and the job isn't good and second, why is it better that my child does not know what he/she wants than when he wants something I don't like for myself? Why not go forward from where we are instead of going back to where we were before? And what does "move forward" mean?
For me it means to ask questions, think over and over again, imagine worst case scenarios, search for solutions, experiment, get to know more - become confident so I can step on the tightrope if I want, become confident so I find all the other ways to my fulfill my wish, the path through the wood, the bridge, or wings I can build. I don't close my eyes so I don't see the wish anymore. I open them wider so I can see the wish in even brighter colors and smaller details. And I don't want to turn out the light for others so they don't see their wishes anymore, least when they are young enough to still have some wishes. Maybe, maybe I'm only still young enough to have these wishes as well, too young to believe that everything is limited in the same way for everyone. But I hope it's not a matter of age but of perspective.

I like to help others with thinking things through but today it became very obvious again that helping means for me to bring others nearer to where they want to be, to find a way how it could be done and not telling them about the hundred and one things that aren't helpful. When I cannot help them then I rather not give an advice that says "don't do it".


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2015 8:54 pm 
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Great thoughts and a very important topic I think. :f:
In the past I even tended to tell myself that I shouldn't do things because they are dangerous and risky. But today this changed completely. I began to actively bring myself in challenging situations in order to learn to solve problems and also how to turn negative feelings, such as disappointment, into positive ones. Like you said, I never told and will tell people that they shouldn't try something. Mainly because I normaly tend naturally to not judge people for the things they do or think and also because I'm convinced that everybody is an inspiring being who I want to either help in what he does or at least not block him with it. I think this is the only way to create an environment where everybody can develop himself freely and to feel good.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2015 9:15 pm 

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I think these advises are very often projections of the fears, topics and "mistakes" the other person has made onto the one that is advised. So it is not really about you not making these mistakes, it is that they are not content with themselves. If you go against this advice and you have a lot of contact with the advising persons, it would also mean that these persons get confronted with their topic again and again, something people often try to avoid instead of solving it.


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