Thursday, April 5, 2012

E is for Ease Up on Expectations

Anyone who's perused my blog for any length of time will know that one of the things I harp on the most is the way we create expectations for others. Yes, I say we. I don't typically harangue people about anything that I don't first identify in myself.

The only person you should expect anything from is yourself. There is no certainty in what another person will do, no matter how well you know them, no matter how great the relationship. It's simple really, we're all prone to different reactions to how any given moment will tap us on the shoulder. While I can be a pretty good judge about how the people closest to me will behave, can I really know for sure? No.

The only person I can control is myself. The only person I can truly expect anything from is myself.

Of course, that doesn't mean I don't or can't rely on the people in my life. Not at all. Relying is very different from expecting. What it means is that I can't take them for granted. I can't presume that they'll do what I want unless I tell them what I want.

My mate, who works in construction, is prone to coming home at any hour. It all depends on when the work is at a suitable stopping point. If there's a big project and a time crunch involved, his work day can go well into the night. Unless I ask him, he's terrible about texting me and letting me know that he's on his way home. That's just how he is. It's not that he's inconsiderate, he just doesn't stop to readjust his thinking in order to read my mind decipher what I might expect out of him. And that's really all I have to do, just ask - without sarcasm, without rancor, without any pouty behavior. "Hey, blip me when you're on your way so I don't worry and so I can have some dinner waiting for you." With that, crammed into everything else he's got going on, he knows I'm expecting to hear from him. He knows it's important to me.

The same thing is true in any relationship - friendship, family, business, etc. If we don't tell others what we want, they can't know. So, unless you've found some magic potion that's made everyone in your circle a mind reader, ease up on expectations. Try elucidating instead.

3 comments:

  1. I really like this. Very well written and so important for all of us to remember and think about.
    Lynne
    Twitter: @LynneinPborough
    enjoy #AtoZchallenge

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  2. There are a lot of posts on the same kind of theme lately. I think everyone needs a vacation. We all work too hard with hardly any play. *hgus*


    Elizabeth

    A to Z co-host

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  3. We do need to be careful of putting expectations on others - it can really affect relationships.

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