The Killer of Relationships: Expectations.

ex·pec·ta·tion
ˌekspekˈtāSH(ə)n/
noun
  1. a strong belief that something will happen or be the case in the future.
    “reality had not lived up to expectations”
    synonyms: supposition, assumption, presumption, conjecture, surmise, calculation, prediction, hopeMore
    • a belief that someone will or should achieve something.
      “students had high expectations for their future”
      synonyms: supposition, assumption, presumption, conjecture, surmise, calculation, prediction, hope

      “her expectations were unrealistic”

      ___________________

    So what happens when something you’re expecting to happen doesn’t happen?

    Disappointment, frustration and perhaps even anger.

    Take for example, you expect your husband to pick up the kids from the sitter after work.

    He has to work late and calls to tell you he can’t do it.  He has thrown your schedule out of whack (likely not on purpose) and you’re now full of frustration because you were expecting him to pick them up.

    Yet, ironically, had he done it, you wouldn’t have shown your appreciation because you were expecting him to do it–it’s his job as a parent.

    So expectation leads to disappointment when the expectation isn’t met and lack of appreciation when it is met.

    It’s a lose/lose situation.

    If expect my kids to help with dishes every night and something happens that they can’t do them, I might get angry.  Yet if they do it, I show little to no appreciation because it’s their “chores”.

    Wanna kill a positive relationship?  Put all kinds of expectations on those closest to you.

    How?

Expect them to reach a certain level of perfection.

Expect them to behave the way you would in any particular situation.

Expect them to behave like someone else, rather than begin themselves.

Expect them to always do what you think is right.

                Expect them to know what you’re thinking (aka read your mind).

I think that about covers it.

Wanna add life to your relationships instead of killing them?
Here’s how you can do just that and strengthen them too.

Encourage your loved ones to be the best versions of themselves.

Encourage them to make decisions that they aren’t comfortable with.

Encourage them by being grateful for who they are in your life– show them your gratitude and love for them (in their love language).

Encourage them to learn on their own– and yes that means mistakes!

Encourage them to step out of their comfort zone even when it feels crazy!

Listen to them…  be there for them.  And love them past their imperfections.

And always communicate openly and honestly with them.

 

PS– do these same things for yourself too.  Offer yourself as much grace as you would someone else.

So are you gonna bring life or death to your relationships?

Want to learn more about how expectations can wreak havoc in your life?  Click Here to download my free expectation evaluation.

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