Expectations – reality = Disappointment.
Yet, for many of us, despite this, our hearts remain resilient and full, continuing to hope for the best and then expect the best in others, even if logic tells us we shouldn’t.
I’ve told myself for years to expect nothing or expect less. But expectations come standard with a giver’s heart and seemingly impossibly to let go of as an eternal optimist.
It’s not that you want to always expect something back if you have given to others, on a petty level. It’s that you expect the best in others and hope they care for you as much as you do for them and that you will be wowed buy their ability to “get you.”
That one day, someone will sort-of just read your mind and come through for you. Yes, hope and expectations go together. They go together more than hope and denial, as I’ve heard the phrase many a time.
Having expectations does not have to be bad. It does not mean you are ignoring or denying an alternate truth. It means you have standards and a threshold one must meet to show you they are present and listening to your needs.
The problem with expectations is when you take someone’s failure to live up to that expectation on a personal level. When you feel so let down that you internalize their reasoning for falling short, as if it was done intentionally in order to hurt you.
Expectations may always be a red-alert zone for likely disappointment, but it can be helped and improved ten-fold if you learn to open up and begin feeling more comfortable with communicating your expectations with others.
A main reason others cannot meet your expectations is because they do not know what you expect of them.
Another reason in some cases is that they literally cannot meet or achieve it. But usually it is the fore mentioned; they do not know or do not remember.
This is true for marriage and relationships as well as in business. If a person has failed to share what he/she expects and hopes for, then it really is a long shot in the dark whether or not the other person is able to meet it.
Imagine how much better it would be if a customer told the sales person what they expected and hoped for in the sales process, enabling the sales person to strive to meet and exceed those needs, thus, making certain to close the sale.
Imagine if your partner told you exactly what would make them feel happy or appreciated. Perhaps it is significantly less than you would have thought and you could simply fulfill their expectations above and beyond quite easily.
Imagine if you could make your friends feel supported, loved and cared for, just by communicating and asking what it is that they need from you this week or month.
But we fail to ask often enough, if at all. We fail to share and communicate honestly with others close to us and suffer from feeling misunderstood or disappointed.
I do believe in the equation of expectation – reality = disappointment, and there may be many times where this continues to happen. But it does not have to happen as often as it does. It does not have to plague your friendship, relationship or transaction. We can do better, together, if you’re willing to give open communication a try.
The biggest issue remains that communication is a two-way street. Both parties need to be able to communicate outward and receive. If you are bold enough to share your hopes with another and they are not listening, we are back to square one.
So what can you do? Help get this message out. Share this blog with those you love and with those people you wish to have a stronger relationship with, free of disappointment, resentment and miscommunication.
Tell your spouse or partner or friend what’s in your heart and what you need for them to do.
***Remember, however, that happiness is an inside job and nobody should be responsible for keeping you happy as a whole. You have to set proper expectations with yourself as well. That’s step one. But it IS also okay to have expectations in your life and to expect from others, just don’t make them guess what the expectation is at the same time.
Thought? Feel free to share your feelings on this topic in the comments!
Written by Katya J.
Nice. I think, for me, the fear of rejection has caused some issues around setting and sharing expectations. It has been much easier at work than personally.
And even after doing so with a partner or friend and experiencing how much better things are.. it’s still hard to do it again!
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I understand that. Rejection and fear of it is so real. However, even though rejection is hard, it is in response to you being true – saying or doing something out loud vs keeping quiet. I think even with rejection and fear there and least you have communicated on your end and liberated a piece of you. Communication does not mean you won’t experience pain or sadness but to me, it seems better to be honest and be rejected than to suffer in silence and create scenarios in your head as to why someone isn’t meeting your expectations etc. I hear you loud and clear though. All of this is not easy.