There are some in this world who feel entitled. They ‘expect’ that everything in life should be good, if only for them, and this expectation can often manifest in positive outcomes. (are they on to something?) Poverty, illness, issues with family and friends; these are situations destined for others, not for them. And if they can get through life unscathed, lucky them, because the reality is that life will occasionally disappoint us, all if us, regardless of our ‘expectation’. And how we recover from these disappointments will form our mindset and dictate our path.

We all harbor feelings of insecurity – some just hide it better than others. Feeling ‘beneath’ others, not an equal, for no apparent reason. We expect others to surpass us, to live better….because why? Are they more deserving? Is it youth? Or maybe our upbringing? I took the better part of 50 years to find my confidence and now that I have it I see the error of my ways, the error of my thinking. I was so intimidated by others I perceived as successful…more successful than I, I shifted the blame on everyone and everything but me, until I eventually realized I was the maker of my own destiny, sort of. I ‘expected’ not to shine, so I didn’t, at least I thought I didn’t.

More importantly I came to realize that expectation plays a great part in our overall self-image. If we ‘expect’ that others are superior to us, they will be, because we have just inadvertently elevated them. And if we see others as more deserving than ourselves, they will get more, because in doing so we have joined the line that feeds them. They expect to be adored, and we’re right there expecting to adore. Until we mature. Then we get a better sense for what is and isn’t ours, what we should and shouldn’t expect from life and others. Maturity, it seems, gives us perspective, and confidence, and clarity, and it resets our expectations. (and it’s about time!)

Life isn’t a bed of roses, and if you plan on it being so, prepare to be disappointed. People will disappoint you. ‘You’ will disappoint you. It’s all part of the learning process and what we need to adjust is the ‘expectation’. I expect to make mistakes. I expect to suffer some hardships. I expect to disappoint another, not intentionally. And I expect that others will occasionally disappoint me. What I expect in return is knowledge, and grace, and the respect of those walking this path with me, and most importantly, I expect humility, because we are all flawed.

I’ve learned from previous experience not to anticipate the actions of another because in doing so I set my expectations too high and was ultimately disappointed.  My strategy is to aim for the mid line, just above mediocre, so I abandon any notion of ‘great expectation’, and to date I’ve not been disappointed. (I still set high standards for myself however….old habits die hard it seems)

So much of our expectation is based on what we think another is thinking, and that’s never good, i.e. it never works, especially when it comes to men. Here we need to be clear.

When my husband didn’t provide the worship I expected on past occasions I realized I needed to change his expectations.(I curled up my chubby little fist and told him if he didn’t start playing the role of devoted husband, he’d soon be the disappointed wife)

And for my anniversary this year I got 2 bouquets of flowers, 2 potted plants, a heartfelt card, and a lovely dinner. It only took 38 years, and a final but lethal threat of personal injury, i.e, I just had to change his expectation. Who knew it could be so easy?

2 thoughts on “Great Expectations

  1. Emily I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching lately and you hit the nail on the head for me with this blog. I’ve been disappointed with friends and how I thought they should act and treat me. Now …I just vent to Derek and say to myself…..they’ve been this way for ever…they aren’t going to change and I can either accept it, move on or distance myself I’ve developed a new mantra…it is what it is
    Have a wonderful thanksgiving and keep writing those wonderful columns

    M

    Sent from my iPad

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  2. I just read this and I must say it’s a wonderful piece, the truth is most times people have high expectations from friends, families and the rest and they end up getting disappointed. For me, I have learnt the hard way not to expect too much from a person and that doesn’t still mean I have lowered my standards.

    Thanks for this beautiful piece ❤

    Like

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