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Resentments have roots in expectations

Good Group Tips

In principle, when we have expectations of others that don’t pan out it often leads to resentment which often brews discontent which often causes conflict. I have heard someone say that expectations are planned resentments.

The surest way to avoid resentment is to not have expectations. When I fall into a victim role it’s helpful to remember that I am rarely a victim of others and often I am a victim of my own expectations.

Practical Tip: As a participant in group decisions, I try hard not to develop false expectations. I expect from people only that they have specifically agreed to, and even then I keep in mind that most people are not capable of doing all that they agree to.

I focus on the good things that my group and the people in it have done, and what they could do, rather than what they should do according to my expectations.

– Craig Freshley

Click here for one-page PDF of this Tip, a great way to print or share.

4 thoughts on “Resentments have roots in expectations

  1. Thanks Shep!
    I always love it when you comment, and just knowing you are out there in the world.

  2. This is the best yet, Craig. “Expectations as planned resentments” rings mostly true in my experience. Perhaps expectations arise from my heart’s longing for people to come from their innate goodness, something I can’t seem to stop doing. I am experimenting with holding expectations less tightly, with more compassion (for me and the person) when they are not met.

  3. Very interesting thought, although when participating in any group discussion, we all enter with some expectation of an outcome; otherwise, why participate.

  4. This story has been speaking to me:

    A Zen story of 2 monks that come to a river and came upon a woman who was attempting to cross but was struggling with the deep, swift waters – One of the monks offered to help and piggy backed her across the river safely to the other side- The 2 monks and woman departed – After 2 miles of silently walking the one monk could no longer diffuse nor hold his anger — He burst out “How could you carry that woman! You know it is forbidden to so much as to touch a woman!” The other monk smiled and replied,”I only carried the woman across the river, I see that you are still carrying her!”

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