Sometimes I do things just because I am expected to, even if it isn't the best thing to do in the long run. Do I alway realize it? No. When/If I do realize it, do a always change my actions? Unfortunately, the answer to that question is also "No" -- but, I do try to make adjustments as much as possible.
Sometimes, it just makes life easier if I give others what they want or expect -- for me, that is, not necessarily others. I struggle with anxiety issues (have for years) and sometimes I find that what is best for my stress levels is not exactly the best way forward for others. I recently realized (with the help of a good friend) that I was allowing others to require documentation from me that they did not have any legal right to ask for. I was buying into the popular belief that 1) I was required to have such documentation and 2) that they had the right to ask for proof of that documentation. By carrying around such information and making it available, I was supporting the position that it was required. But, more importantly, I was making it difficult for the next person that happened along.
By providing the documentation when it was requested, I was making my life easier. I was able to avoid any kind of confrontation and did not have to deal with the stress and anxiety that such exchanges can produce in me. But, what about the next person who comes along and then has to deal with the expectation that my compliance helped to strengthen? By making my life easier, I was actually making the lives of others more difficult. In this particular situation, I am happy to say that I have changed my actions. I hope that I am able to do that more frequently than not.
Expectations can be difficult to ignore -- even if they are not the right thing to do!