Thursday, July 1, 2010

Expectations and perfectionism

I've been thinking today about yesterday's post. We Ones in the Enneagram system struggle with perfectionism. I don't have what I would consider classic perfectionism, that need for every detail to be just so. I don't have to obsessively line up the corners on books or use military corners on my bed. I wear clothes that have stains out in public once in a while, I let my car get dirty, I often have ink on my hands. So because I associate those things with perfectionism, I haven't seen myself as one.

Yet when it come to relationships, I have very rigid expectations. I want love to appear in my life in certain ways: i.e., "if you really loved me, you'd __________" kind of expectations. Because of that, I'm again not seeing where love and satisfaction may be showing up in my life because they don't look like what I expect. Or perhaps it's more what I wish for, some idea of perfection against which I measure what I get. For in many ways, I expect to be disappointed. I've grown to expect the men I meet to be unavailable and unfaithful, I expect my friends to want me to listen to them but to have no time to listen to me. I've grown to expect disappoint and therefore I'm wary of investing very much.

None of this is helpful for my relationship with food. It keeps me leary of intimacy, and keeps me unsatisfied. And although talking about reducing expectations is easy, doing it seems the most difficult thing in the world.

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