We all have expectations and we somehow expect others to know what we expect of them (and expect them to act accordingly).
So you want something done a certain way and you have explained this to your spouse, colleague, subordinate, friend… but somehow you do not get the result you were expecting. You get frustrated and possibly start to yell. Hold that thought. Have you ever wondered why they do not do things the way you expect them to? Could you be expecting too much? Are you setting false expectations? Can people really meet up to your expectations?
Any luck answering those questions? I have asked myself these questions a few times, and I have come to realise that no one can really meet/live up to my expectations. Some can come close but not one person on earth can live up to my expectations. Why? Because everyone reacts based on their reality. The way I want a cup placed in a specific place might make perfect sense to me and not the next person simply because that person is not me. It is however disappointing /upsetting when the cup is not placed where I expected it to be placed.
Over time, I have been reviewing some of my expectations, questioning if they are true/ necessary. I am sure you can guess that some are probably untrue/unnecessary. All the expectations I have were formed over time, influenced by my parents, relatives, friends, environment, education…. The truth is that no one can meet all my expectations and to expect that of anyone would mean the person will surely fail. Everyone acts based on their ability on knowledge – that’s the truth.
So what to do? Let go of expectations, treat each situation as is, give every one a fair chance. This is easier said than done, trust me, I am still practising this. The bible is a good guide when it comes to dealing with expectations. Love, forgiveness and honesty ring high on this list. Why? How?
1 Corinthians 13: 4-7 perfectly describes love – patient, kind, does not envy, is not arrogant… If we truly love those around us, we would embrace each person for who they are, faults and all. This attitude/ mindset will help us deal with everyone as individuals, fully understanding that they are not us even if they were raised in the same home as us. My sisters and I though raised the same way have differing expectations in certain instances. One would expect that because we were raised the same, we should have the same expectations or reactions. Well, it does not always work out that way. We even have differing expectations than our parents every now and again. I am sure this is not news to you, if you really think about it. It is really impossible for us all to have the same expectations.
Forgiveness is also of great importance when dealing with expectations. We must learn to forgive those who do not live up to our expectations. If Jesus could forgive those who persecuted Him (Luke 23:34), then who are we not to forgive?
Do you always meet the next person’s expectations? Be truthful to yourself. This is where honesty comes in. The truth is I am sometimes wrong, so is the next person. I know I do not always meet the next person’s expectations, it is truly impossible to meet everyones expectations. Basically, no one is perfect, so there is the need to remember this when dealing with others. Be HONEST with yourself
“For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body.”
My goal is to be happy no matter what and one of the keys to this is to let go of certain expectations. This is easier said than done, but I will keep working at it.
Do you agree with this? How have your expectations helped you? Have they left you feeling better or worse? How do you deal with unmet expectations?
Do you know that people act based on ability or knowledge?
Does this make our reality right? Please share your experiences.