Expectations are a part of all of our lives. We all have a “bench mark” in various areas of our lives that we are expected to achieve called, ” self expectations”. However, expectations can be challenging and difficult, if that benchmark is set too high.
The question becomes, “what are reasonable expectations” we should have in our lives when dealing with others? It is important to identify, communicate and recognize these to help better your relationships with friends, family, or other individuals personally important to us? Exercise some flexibility and proceed with balance, always.
The perfect answer? I believe “self expectations” are a choice we make for ourselves. “Expectations”, however, when they infringe on others, illicit as they may be, suggest we are trying to control another, when those expectations go beyond our self respect and expecting the same from others. The only person we really can choose to control, is ourselves.
“Mutual expectations” which are set by both parties in a relationship, along with the expectation to treat others as you would like to be treated, exercising respect, courtesy, and honoring your own self-esteem, by expecting to be treated appropriately are not what I am referring to.
We can easily have a set of expectations for another, we may not be consciously aware of. Many relationships are “destroyed” because of this. Why? A course of eventual failure is set, if the other person can’t or chooses not to meet your expectations Why? Because we are not perfect, and eventually, those “expectations” you’ve chosen to set for them, almost always are compromised, especially if you haven’t made them “aware” of them. WE DON”T control others, and setting our expectations for them, is a step closer in trying to, when they aren’t realistic.
Also, no matter how “reasonable” they are, they will always lead to a “failure in some way in a relationship, because the other party is hurt and disappointed. There is also a terrible feeling inside ourselves. when those “preset” expectation, are not met, if you set them from another.
Yes, expectations should be very specific and communicated with another so they know what is expected of them, so they can choose to agree or not to meet those expectations. This is especially important for children. It is not fair when we punish a child if we did not set our expectations of them to begin with, and they don’t know ahead of time what to expect if they misbehave.
There is something wrong, however, when expectations, become the basis of issues and can “break up” relationships, causing the loss of that relationship with our families, and friends or partner. Sometimes, there are extenuating circumstances that don’t allow another to meet our expectations even when we have communicated them, and the other party agreed to honor them.
I feel having self respect requires expectations from others, but we must set them in light of who we are and what we expect from ourselves. There will always be disappointments when BALANCE with your expectations aren’t met, and failed expectations can also lead to “judgement”.
My focus is on our “personal expectations”, as there is a huge difference between personal expectations and business expectations which are “written down in a job description” and handled in a completely different manner, but sometimes, we treat another as if they failed their job description.
We should always do our very best to meet those expectations we have agreed to honor with another.
Why are personal expectations we form in our minds, verbally, or subconsciously or expectations we don’t communicate to another, so important to “wisdom write” about?
I will give you an example of a mistake I made recently. I “set” expectations with a friend, that I wasn’t physically able to meet due to illness, and she was let down and resentful, ending our friendship. I felt awful but it did occur to me that a true friend, would exercise forgiveness without judgement. (wisdom words I have written about in the past and available to read about)
Forgiveness is so important because we are human and do set expectations at times with others of what/who we will do for, and be to them. Being “cognizant” of what we are truly capable of is wise, when setting expectations for ourselves.
Expectations, are part of our lives. I ask that we all “communicate” what our personal expectations are to the other individual, and be aware, of what our personal expectations are. Expectations, should be carefully chosen.
Sometimes, if we aren’t aware of what we expect, so, we may have unfair expectations of our partner, we may not be conscious of. Our “expectations” then are compromised without them or us being aware of this. There was no agreement, to honor those expectations. We then end up compromising and damaging the relationship with another, so be aware of what your honestly expecting from another yourself, so they can make the choice to honor those.
In the end, the love and forgiveness in our heart is challenged, so preset with awareness, your expectations. Know what you expect of yourself, and set these expectations with grace and dignity and forgiveness with others and yourself. SL