"Marsha Jacobson does parents a great favor."
August 27th, 2008 ¦ Marsha Jacobson -
I’m back! (again) It’s always wonderful to come home. The summer has been great, although hectic.
Through different experiences, I have recently had some illuminating thoughts. The backbone of emotional intelligence and the extent to which one has it, relies on empathy. Being able to understand the way that others see and feel about their life experience. It struck me that the mortal enemy to empathy is expectations. Having expectations of others destroys empathy in a few ways. Firstly, it removes the openness that is necessary to absorb the emotional cues from others. Secondly, with the vast array of possibilities that exist to view the world, there is almost no chance that our expectations will be met completely. This always leads to feelings of resentment and disappointment, in the person holding these expectations. It is very difficult to be the recipient of this kind of disappointment and invariably creates a vicious (in the true sense of the word) cycle of poor communication and feelings of worthlessness. Finally, and sadly for the person with expectations of others, they miss out on the joy that comes from truly accepting others (particularly significant others) and receiving feedback of love and warmth because of that acceptance.
For many reasons, the parent-child relationship is particularly susceptible to problems in this area and as parents, we should seriously question the role that we play.