Saying “F*ck you” versus Releasing Expectations as a Way to Deal with Rejection

I was introduced to rejection when I was born. My schizophrenic mother abandoned me in an apartment when I was five months old. As a result, I had implicitly learned that sometimes people give up on you when they are incapable and life is unbearable.

When I was seventeen, the cycle repeated. I’ve written about it before, so I won’t belabor the point. But, in 1990 my dad gave up his parental rights, once again teaching me the same invaluable lesson: people give up on you when they are inept and life is too much.

Like many people, I developed some coping mechanisms. I began to read people and interpret their actions. Any slight rejection equaled an abandonment warning sign, and warranted a preemptive, “F*ck you” before I thought the other person would pack up and leave.

You don’t want me in your life? So. I don’t want you in my life. Deuces!

You’re rejecting me and my personality? Nope. I’m rejecting you and your personality.

aloneFor a very long time, that’s how I functioned. It was unhealthy. It was immature. And it left me by myself in some ways, because eventually, when you hand out a round of unwarranted “F*ck yous,” you’re bound to be left standing in a circle by yourself.

I had to change.

About six years ago, I learned to release expectations instead. Many people have wondered how I can release expectations of people with whom I share a relationship? The answer is not easy.

First, I recognize that people can reject parts of my personality, but that doesn’t mean they are rejecting me. Next, I write these words: I release expectations of name-of-person, until I feel liberated from the situation. Then, I remind myself of these things:

Saying “F*ck you” means leaving a person alone, forever and ever. Releasing expectations requires letting go of who you think that person is supposed to be.

For a long time, I thought my mother in-law would be like an extended family member for me. I envisioned her visiting every year and doing grandmotherly things with the girls. Listen. That hasn’t happened. In fact, I can count on one hand how many times she’s come to see us. It feels a lot like rejection. Now, of course I would never disrespect my MIL. But a former me would’ve just left her alone. Instead of doing either of those, I have released my fairy tale like expectations of our relationship. When she calls, I’m happy to hear from her and if she doesn’t, that’s okay too.

Releasing expectations means allowing people to be who they are.

This might seem to be the same advice, but I see it a little different. Allowing people to be who they are means less judgment on my part. For example, during much of my marriage, I wondered, Why doesn’t my MIL call? Why does she need a personal invitation to visit? Why won’t she just act like my grandmother and schedule a visit? These are all judgments about how she interacts with us. And it’s quite simple, if I’m judging, then I’m not allowing. Who my MIL is, is who she’s shown herself to be. That’s perfectly fine. At this point, I allow her to be who she is, free from my criticism. I don’t expect her to be someone she is not. Think about it. Don’t we all want to be accepted for who we are in this moment?

Saying, “F*ck you” means the door is closed and locked. Releasing expectations symbolizes an open invitation.

My former self would’ve definitely perceived her actions as rejection, and then met it with a closed heart. But not today. My MIL is welcome to visit our family anytime she’d like. I have no ill feelings and I hope that she will. But again, I don’t expect an action either way.

Let me know what you think. Is there ever a time when releasing expectations just isn’t good enough? You know I’m happy to hear your thoughts!

Advertisements

62 thoughts on “Saying “F*ck you” versus Releasing Expectations as a Way to Deal with Rejection

  1. This is awesome because it is exactly how I feel about life and people in general. I used to depend of people thinking they had the same intentions of good-will that I had, but as I got older, got hurt and experienced life as a whole, girl, releasing them and saying “F**k you, f**k this s**t” is very refreshing and quite effective, lol. Once again, thank you for sharing knowledge.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I feel you. I still say the words, but the words used to mean, “you’re dead to me,” forever and ever. Now, I just mean, “oh well…peace out (in my late 80s/early 90s voice). You’ll be aight and so will I.” Glad you could relate!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This sounds very much like forgiveness, which many people view in a disparaging light. Forgiveness is not, in my opinion, a sign of weakness or surrender. It can free us from pain long carried in our hearts. Ultimately, however, a lack of response from those w/ whom we might want a relationship will create emotional distance. That, I think, is self-protective. We are more likely to be happy, if we invest our emotions in someone capable of responding positively to them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not sure that it’s forgiveness as much as it’s letting go and acceptance. Sometimes there’s nothing to forgive. It’s just that I’ve had to accept who people are and allow them to be themselves. But you’re right about “investing our emotions in someone capable of responding positively to them.” I guess that’s part of what I’ve learned as well. It’s much easier to be in tune with who you are and attract people with similar values, than it is to force a relationship or interactions with someone who does not value similar things.

      Like

  3. Great post, Katherin! I’m glad Tikeetha mentioned it in her piece. I think releasing expectations is a safer, saner way to approach our emotional compass. We often times expect way more than folks are able to give. Guilty as charged & reflecting on this piece. :/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Heeey Michelle! I’m glad too! I like that you say it’s a “safer” and “saner way…we absolutely expect way more. T.D. Jakes actually spoke about this before too. He said something about how we expect someone to give 100% but really the person only has 50%…or something similar. They’re giving all they’ve got for you, so stop holding them to some standard they could never achieve.

      Like

  4. YES!!!!! Great post and I will be releasing expectations. I would throw up the deuces just like you. I would hurt or leave before you could do it to me. Thanks for this lesson. I am with you on the MIL thing, but when you have grandchildren it should be different, again I diversed, I WILL BE RELEASING EXPECTATIONS!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for stopping by luv! I hear you about the grandchildren, but at some point, I still had to let her be her. Even with that part, I sometimes slip and say, “If it was me and my grands…” but that’s still putting an expectation on her. Release them girl…you’ll feel better 😉

      Like

  5. I’m so behind on my posts as I didn’t read while out of town and then I had Back to School stuff last week. I’m just reading this. But God. He knew I needed to read this today. I have to write about my aha moment that God just allowed me to see through this post. Dang girl! Whew! Thank you for this post.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Kathryn, I haven’t read the comments above, so maybe I’m repeating someone elses…but WOW, this is a great post with a beautiful lesson.
    I was and still am sometimes -it’s a learning process – exactly the same. Nowadays I contact persons who are important to me, if I feel the need to do so. If they don’t contact me back, so be to. I realized a long time ago, you can’t force someone like/love you the way you love/like that person.
    However, I also really believe in f*ck you, when it comes to someone I love. Even if you love one another ( me and my mom) we are not good for each other, we bring each other down, since we can’t be ourselves around each other. Loving someone doesn’t mean, you have to be in each others lives. Loving someone can also mean, letting go.
    Does that make any sense?
    XxX

    Liked by 1 person

    1. All of this makes sense Patty…a lot of times we ARE forcing someone to love/like us how we want to be loved/liked, instead of either attracting people who provide the love we value, or accepting who’s in front of us, and quite honestly loving ourselves. I’ve started to believe that we put sooo much pressure on one another to fill in some self-love gaps and that’s why relationships fall apart. Okay. Hope I’m not rambling. But, yes, I agree with everything you’ve said 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m sorry about your mom. One of my brothers has schizophrenia so I know first hand how difficult it can be. You are so right about expectations. The day I finally accepted that neither of my parents would ever be the parents I needed them to be – the day I stopped expecting that – was the day I healed. My father in particular will never get it. I no longer feel frustrated or angry. I actually kind of feel sorry for him, not in a condescending way, but because he’s incapable of have anything but superficial relationships with his children and grandchildren, and as a result he’s missing out on so much life. Thanks for this post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Kim! I appreciate your kind words. I understand this completely because I had to release my dad in the same way. I’ve written about this before how I always wondered why he couldn’t just pull up and do better, and the answer came to me that…he just couldn’t. Almost like the saying, “You can’t pour from an empty cup.” I mean. You just can’t. But the rest of us have to figure out some healthier coping mechanisms, I think. That is if we want to live a little free-er.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Thanks for this post because I can totally relate. I am in letting go mode these days also. Letting go of situations, people and things that no longer serve my highest good. No expectations are a better more healthy way that ultimately brings peace. Saying F*** you always left me feeling defeated.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s such a great way to describe it: defeated. It’s like a lose-lose situation and you think you’ll feel better, but ultimately, it’s not the healthiest type of letting go (I don’t think). Glad you’re in process of aligning yourself with what’s good for you.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. When I was 7 , one evening while in bed , I called out for a glass of water. No one answered. I must have screamed for what seemed forever. My parents were merely across the street playing cards with neighbors but never warned me. Mother said next time I could merely turn on the porch light and she would see it and check on me. She never did. She was dismissive of it all. It angered me in ways I could not express yet in my child’s mind. Other events have fueled sense of abandonment. I am only child as well . I suppose we have “to be” despite the presence or absence of others in our lives. Rejection has not been too much of an issue. I just move on to a different road. Not being recognized does not diminish my value or talents. Don’t need the approval of others anyway and even no longer expect those traditional “thank you” cards in the mail any more.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Carl, your comment is everything that I’ve had to learn over the years, so I appreciate you sharing it. Whether rejection, abandonment or requiring approval, those are the things I’ve had to come to grips with, let go of and learn to just “be,” as you say. Thanks for stopping by! And I hope you fared well during the hurricane.

      Like

  10. That’s me and my dad. My brother and sister have both gone the F.U. way, but I’ve chosen to accept what he is able to give me, understanding his limitations. We have a good relationship as a result, not ideal, but rewarding.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. This is REALLY good K!

    So many of us have used this same defense mechanism.
    I remember fully subscribing to the Fred Sanford school of thought:
    “Do unto others before they can do it unto you!”
    But, as you have noted, this ‘pre-emptive strike’ way of being leaves you lonely!
    I was right there with you and I knew I had to change. I’m so glad I did 🙂

    So amazing to see how much you’ve accomplished in spite of your background. What a testimony 🙂 Thanks for this inspirational post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks girl! But wayment…not Fred Sanford lol you keep me laughing..bvs. I’m glad you learned this too. It’s not the way to go at all! I mean sometimes people have to be let go, but not in defense mechanism mode 😉 Thanks so much. I shudder to think where I’d be had I not learned to live consciously!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Wow! I am going to take this and run with it. Great advice. I’ve often had walls up and thought to myself f*ck you due to people not meeting my expectations or due to rejection. I reject them before they can do it to me. Thanks for this!!!! And I’m sorry you’ve been through so much but look at you! God knew you were strong and it’s made you so beautiful and inspiring!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Lennon Carlyle! I’ve learned our walls have to come down if we’re gonna love wonderful lives! And thanks for those encouraging words. I agree. I always think there must’ve been a reason for such crappy beginnings and I might as well help others if I can! 😘❤️

      Liked by 2 people

  13. I was also thinking Kathy (sorry for being so greedy with the comments!) this also echoes “The Gift” which I wrote recently. It’s really healing to “listen” to what your feelings have to say and have a conversation with them. If you listen carefully, they nearly always give you a solution to something that you have been wrestling with. You listened to what your feeling of rejection had to say and consequently (with much consideration, I might add) you came up with the ideal solution of releasing expectations.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love greedy comments lol and you’re always welcome to speak your mind here Marie! I do think it’s similar in the same ways you’ve mentioned. It’s so much easier to run from feelings but the thing is you never really run from them. They’re always there until you deal with them.

      Liked by 2 people

  14. This is great advice. Learned a while ago that if I didn’t release my expectations of people, my life wasn’t going to work. People have things going on in their own mind that don’t always involve my wants and needs. I use to get upset when I felt like someone didn’t take into account how I might have felt about something. But now I live and let live. Things are so much smoother this way 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Great post. You can’t change others, all you can do is change yourself, your perspective on the situation. Good for you for accepting people as they are and leaving the door open for positive interaction. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  16. reminded me of something I jotted down about a recent falling out with another: the whole ‘who can f you first’ syndrome is similar to ‘you’re fired” “you can’t fire me because I quit.” except it is turned around: ‘you quit (on me, on us)!” “I didn’t quit, you fired me.” Just like the boss and the employee, we just can’t seem to let go of expectations of how we expect the other to behave or treat us. This not only justifies the lashing out, but also why the other should forgive the momentary lashing out.

    releasing expectations i believe can always be the path to go. it is just that once makes a commitment to live by this approach, then one has to live with the consequences. it means eventually we going to have to walk away from certain relationships because once we see the other (in his or her dysfunction) behave within the relationship even when the expectations are removed, the more clear we are able to see just how toxic the other is – whether it be spouse, friend, family, or co-worker. All of which is a long way of saying it takes two to tango…releasing expectations has to happen on both sides for the relation to continue and grow.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Exactly…on all accounts. That’s what I’ve noticed about people. We have the ability to let go of expectations, but we don’t want to live with the possible consequence of letting someone or some relationship go. To add to your point, I honestly believe many of us are really afraid of simply being alone, and as a result end up holding on to people/relationships that no longer serve us very well. Thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 2 people

  17. Coming from a dysfunctional background, I can relate to what you’ve said here. Have you ever read the poem A Reason A Season A Lifetime? You post reminded me of the reasons why people come and go in our lives and how sometimes we just have to walk away.

    Have a nice weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you for sharing your method of releasing. I would have been so much better off had I been able to release some things when I was younger. The more people I talk to it seems their childhood not only lacked sunshine & butterflies but was awful beyond comprehension. My heart breaks knowing you had to endure what happened to you when you were a child and not dismissing those things I’m grateful for the person you are today. Through sharing your story it’s an encouragement for all the people you touch.

        Liked by 1 person

  18. “Releasing expectations means allowing people to be who they are.”
    ~ Great insight, Kathy. Our life experiences can teach us so much.
    ~ I have suffered at the opposing end. My family and others close to me have expected certain things of me, subjecting me to great pressure. To free myself from the abuse, I had to let those relationships go.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. I’m so glad this post touched you in such a personal way Marie. It seems with any “issue,” it’s best to begin to identify whatever the emotion is and then move through it. So many times I’ve pushed down emotions, instead of feeling them and making a healthier decision. Best of luck with your releases…crying is good, sometimes 🙂

    Like

  20. K E, this post has so much wisdom. You completely touched my heart. I wish you all the blessings that love has to offer ….
    I am so glad that we found each other in this blogging world. “An open invitation” – that is priceless.
    Loving,
    Debbie
    ps – have an AMAZING labor day weekend

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Hi Kathy! This is a great post and one that resonates with me on a huge scale. My mum left me when I was 18 months old not for the same reasons as your mum, but unlike your situation I met her again when I was a few months off my 5th birthday. I too have “rejection” issues which I’m never really sure if they are real or if I have imagined them because of what happened to my young self. That’s for another discussion! But having read your post I love your coping mechanism and how clever of you to have come up with it. Yes! Releasing is better than the F word. It gives you a chance to address your feelings of rejection and to put in place another avenue to deal with these often painful emotions. One way as you say is “final” but the other has very clear possibilities and outcomes. Allowing yourself to adapt to the situation is positive and makes you still feel good about yourself. The F word solution draws a line and leaves you feeling rejected over and over and as confused as when your first felt these feelings. Today I have to release my brother, my sister-in-law and my niece. Thank you for helping me to see another way. I’m crying now – your post is helping me to release such painful feelings.

    Liked by 4 people

Comments are welcomed

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s