I am going to give you, my food and mood friends, a special treat this month and talk about relationships. This week I will cover the angle of how expectations damage relationships.
Yes, relationships relate to gut health.
Relationships are a source of some of the highest and hardest emotions we experience in life. And all emotions affect our health habits, our stress levels, and inevitably our gut health.
Every client of mine eventually brings up relationships at some point in their gut health journey.
Where do emotions come from? That is right, our brains and the thoughts in our heads.
What is an expectation?
None other than a thought.
In relationships, we can get into a lot of tension when we have expectations.
The way I am talking about relationships and expectations today excludes two specific dynamics: work and parenting.
How Expectations Damage Relationships:
Expectations of friends, family, neighbors, partners, and self lead to unnecessary suffering.
Thinking that something has gone horribly wrong and should not happen here is false.
Truth: humans do lie, cheat, and steal.
I used to believe that my friends should always be on time.
I used to think that my mom should be certain way; this lead to a lot of disconnect and hard feelings for both of us.
When I started understanding that my mom is living her human life, doing the best she can, and trust that she is living her path then I get to accept my mood for who she is and I get to love her no matter what.
Most often we are unaware of the expectations we have of the people in our lives.
How to Uncover and Shift Expectations
First step, is uncovering these expectations.
Second, we question and decided consciously to drop expectations.
Third, communicate requests and then understand the other person is free to meet the request or not.
Fourth, look inward and see what expectations we have of our self.
It is relieving and refreshing to love people as they are, including our self.
Leveling with this reality and accepting the 50% negative of human nature allows us to begin in a realistic mind set.
We can still disagree or dislike someone’s behaviors and actions, no problem here. But shifting the thought that they ‘should’ removes a big layer of negative emotions for ourselves and takes a lot of tension (aka judgement) off the relationship.
Expectations of Self
When I apply this to myself I get to take the pressure off myself from being a way that I think that others think I should be. I get to take people pleasing out of my GPS and tune into my own truth of how I want to live.
My teacher calls this concept “The Manual”
An unconscious set of rules of how the people in our lives should act. Often we do not tell them, but we silently expect it and then get upset when they don’t follow our rulebooks.
When we are stressed out about relationships or when we are trying to control someone else then we never win and our gut health suffers both by our habits we use to cope and the stress hormones coursing through our body.
Understanding how expectations damage relationships along with doing the emotional work of lowering stress are major steps in gut health.