We talk about our expectations when we talk about our hopes and dreams. They affect who we hang out with, where we live, and even what we do for a living. They significantly affect what goals we set and how our lives go. We can make plans for the future based on them.
You may not have thought about these parts of expectations before:
⦁ Everyone has them, and they’re everywhere.
Getting excited about something before you do it makes the experience more fun. When you look forward to something, you make a picture in your mind of what it will be like. Our expectations can be affected by our past actions, goals, desires, and past experiences.
⦁ They might or might not be aware of what’s happening around them.
To think that you don’t have any clear expectations, you must admit that you do, but you don’t know what they are.
⦁ There’s no guarantee that they’ll make good decisions.
A person can’t just form a reasonable expectation based on what they want or what they want to happen. You should expect to be disappointed often because it’s likely that your expectations are too high. It is always possible to change one’s expectations if they turn out to be unreasonable.
⦁ There are two ways to talk about them: directly or in a way that isn’t clear.
As soon as we know about these problems, we should let those who might be affected by them see what we expect. “Have the conversation,” she would say, was one of her favorite things. The problem is not that we aren’t good enough but that we don’t know what is expected.
⦁ If they aren’t met or don’t match up with the expectations of others, they could cause problems.
People are more likely to be disappointed when they have unrealistic or unacknowledged expectations. This can lead to miscommunication, hostility, and even violence. Suppose we are careful to find our expectations, think about whether or not they are reasonable, and let people know what they are. In that case, we can often avoid what can sometimes feel like “surprise attacks” and hurt relationships. When we do this, we send expectations to other people.
⦁ If they are expressed and understood, they can be powerful motivators.
When one person in a relationship has clear and reasonable goals, the other person can try to meet those goals. Most of the time, our coworkers, students, roommates, friends, children, and other extended family members try to meet and exceed our expectations. So they don’t have to spend time or energy trying to figure out what we want from them; they can focus on getting our thanks instead of our anger when they meet or exceed our expectations.