Expectations-the act or state of expecting: believing that something is going to happen or believing that something should be a certain way
Everyday we have many expectations. Expectations of people, expectations of ourselves, expectations of how the day will go etc. Majority of our expectations are unconscious. We have no idea that we have the expectation until we are disappointed. Not only that but we have unrealistic expectations. Expectations in ourselves and in other people that could never possibly be met. Unknowingly a lot of our conflict in relationships are because of unrealistic expectations. It’s the thoughts we create in our heads that never are spoken out loud to the people we have the expectations with and it creates a lot of frustration to say the least.
Expectations come from many different sources: TV, internet, friends, celebrities, family, movies etc. It’s important to evaluate your expectations and determine if they are even realistic or is it something you seen that wasn’t even real. I continued having this problem and I couldn’t figure out why this was constantly a problem! When I sat and thought about it I realized I have high expectations! I have high expectations of other people because I have high expectations of myself! But honestly no matter what standard I set for myself, I cannot have the same standard for everyone else unfortunately.
The purpose of this blog is to to recognize whether certain expectations are valid or not, and to clarify our expectations with the people we interact with, so we can minimize conflict that could of been easily prevented.
Here are a few examples of expectations I have throughout the day: and when I say a few I mean it!…. because I have MANY!
- I expect the house to be spotless at all times
- I expect the kids to behave at all times
- I expect everybody I come in contact with throughout the day to be polite and respectful
- I expect to have nothing go wrong throughout my day. It should go perfect as i planned it
As you can see I could go on and on with this list. Every single one of these expectations are unrealistic. And what’s funnier is when you write down these expectations that you have that nobody else knows about, you realize how ridiculous they sound. As I wrote my list of expectations I laughed at myself for even having them. Here’s what’s wrong with these expectations:
- I have a family that lives in the house so why would I even expect the house to be spotless? This is a unconscious expectation. I don’t even realize I have this expectation until I come home to a dirty home and I’m disappointed.
- Once again I have children who are children. lol. I can’t expect them to behave at all times. They are learning how to be adults and as a parent it’s my job to teach them. This is a unrealistic expectation that will never be met.
- Why would I expect everybody in the world to be respectful to me and treat me the way I wanted to be treated? We are all humans and we have bad days and good days. We never know what’s going on in someones life. I cannot expect for people to be perfect and not offend me. It’s going to happen. Don’t even have this expectation. Just expect for people to offend you, and when they do you can respond differently instead of reacting to everything.
- Things go wrong everyday. Expect it to go wrong and adjust how you will respond to the situation when it goes wrong.
I took a class at my church a few years back called “Emotionally healthy relationships” and it was mind blowing to learn that majority of our expectations are invalid. The authors of this book said that Expectations are ONLY valid when they have been mutually agreed upon. Has the person agreed to the expectation you have? A simple example would be that I expect my husband to have the dishes done when I come home. Did I ask him to do the dishes before I get home? Did he agree that he would do them? Have we ever sat down and talked about who has responsibility of what in the house? These things have to be agreed upon otherwise how does the other person know I have this expectation? I agree we often think that some things are common sense stuff that shouldn’t have to be talked about but honestly one persons common sense isn’t the same as the other persons.
I’m learning that I have entirely too many expectations that no one knows about, not even me! I’m currently putting my expectations in check! They’re constantly disappointing me. I have to sit down with myself and realize what expectation is healthy and what isn’t. And that’s okay, I have to start somewhere and evaluating my expectations is a perfect start. Anybody else tired of being disappointed? Chances are you have expectations that haven’t been spoken. Sit down and write down some of your expectations that you have, you’d be surprised!