How can I expect nothing and appreciate everything?
June 8, 2012 12:30 PM Subscribe
How do I learn to live by the maxim "Expect nothing, appreciate everything?"
posted by sockermom to human relations (16 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
I tend to get disappointed when my boyfriend cancels or changes plans on me. He's not being unreasonable, a lot of times I just set my expectations incorrectly and then am upset when he isn't able to meet them. This happens semi-often - once every month or two. He doesn't like to plan things and waits until the last minute, which sometimes impacts me and my plans, because I base my expectations on casual conversations we've had. That is when I feel disappointed.
For example, we are going on a trip soon. This trip is attached to an important two-day meeting he has, which happens after the trip. I'm staying at a different place in the city where we are vacationing for an extra day while he stays with people from work for two days after our vacation. I was fine with this until he told me that he has to leave the night before the meeting instead of the morning that the meeting starts. I felt sad and expressed my disappointment that he was cutting our trip slightly shorter than I had originally planned. However, I immediately told him that I understand the meeting is really important - because it is - and that I support him going. Unfortunately, my expression of initial disappointment was very upsetting to him. It was a bit prolonged - about two or three back-and-forths where I said "but I really want you to stay with me that night" - I didn't just accept it immediately.
This is just one example. Stuff like this has happened before, and it will almost certainly happen again.
I'd like to get to a place where him canceling or changing things doesn't disappoint me; a place where I really am grateful for what I get. How can I do this? How can I learn to stop expecting things and appreciating what I have? He's a great guy; he just doesn't like planning and is kind of bad at it, and I don't fault him for that. I just want to be less disappointed when this happens, because it will happen again and I want to handle it better when it does.