Expectations are one of the most dangerous things in our life. Dangerous? Because they are always offered as being helpful but they don’t always turn out to be. It is one of the most difficult two-sided situations we face in our lives.
Two-sided? Yes because we have expectations of others just as they have expectations of us. Let’s take a look……
How many times have we expected someone to act a certain way and they didn’t?
How many times have we expected our job situation to go a certain way?
How many times have we expected someone to listen to us or respect us or be empathetic to us and they were not?
How many times have we expected something to happen and it never appeared?
And then the tables get turned…..
How many times have we been expected to act a certain way and we did not?
How many times have others expected us to do something at work and we let them down?
How many times have we not listened, respected, or spent the time to be empathetic to someone who approached us?
You see fulfilling expectations are one way for us to fit in. To be looked upon favorably by others because we please them and don’t cause them any conflict by simply fulfilling what they expected of us.
Not fulfilling expectations can cause a big problem in our lives. We can be labeled unreliable, inconsistent, and not as trustworthy as others would like us to be. It’s hard to get ahead when no one has faith in us.
Then there is the trap that expectations cause when we feel we have to fulfill them for someone like our parents but deep inside we don’t want to because we want to be ourselves. As a first child, I lived the expectations given me by my parents and others. Only later in life did I stop blindly doing them but rather began to live the ones I connected with while evolving past others into the person I have become today.
The trap widens when we live our lives to others expectations or easily become discouraged when they are not fulfilled by others. The simple solution is to accept people and situations for what they are and not what we want them to be. This would take care of our expectations but what about others’ expectations of us?
In this case, expectations can become much less dangerous when there is both communication and understanding. We rush to judge but rarely do we spend enough time understanding the expectations that others have for us or that we have of them.
When we feel trapped by expectations, we then need to listen to our heart while having the courage to venture out to try something new. We may be surprised where we end up. What I have found is that others who become confused by not fulfilling their expectations will soon return in your life interested in the person you have become.