Relationships are a tricky thing, aren’t they? Not only do we need to be comfortable with our own perception and ideals of the world, but then we need to navigate and understand (though not necessarily be comfortable with) someone else’s. And our perception can be made up of so many different things – our memories, experiences, beliefs, values, attitudes, inherent biological make up (the latest studies showing that this can only account for 30%, so don’t go using that as an excuse toooooo much ;-))
Along with our perception come expectations. It is only natural that our values – the parameters to which we benchmark right and wrong – and our beliefs from and our memories of relationships modelled before us, shape our expectations of how another is to interact, communicate and operate in conjunction with us and the world.
Expectations – great ones – can get us into trouble. Yes we are supposed to have a bar for how we are to be treated – but what happens when we set the bar too high? Are the people around us consistently failing to meet our expectations or are we failing them by being unreachable and untouchable? Will they ever be good enough, smart enough, organised enough, witty enough, quiet enough, humble enough or [insert preferred preference here] enough?
The GREAT thing about expectations is that they can be changed. We can’t control others, but we can control ourselves. See, those values and those beliefs which make up our perception can allllll be changed, modified, tweaked. And a simple way to start is by asking yourself, if I was in their shoes, would I want to be judged by this standard? Sometimes it will be a yes. Sometimes it will be a hell no.
When it’s a hell no then we really need to face a reality – if we’re judging others to this standard, how hard are we judging ourselves? I guarantee you that if you’re incredibly hard on yourself, you will be undoubtedly, unduly hard on another.
And don’t you deserve to take it a bit easier on yourself?
Here’s a few simple steps to help relax the dogmatic assumptions on others and therefore yourself;
Remove the word MUST from your vocabulary. For example, for you to spend time with me you MUST have your toes painted. All the time. Every time.
(What if one of them has a chip in it??? Do you miss out on the value of my company then for chip?)
Remove the amount of conditions. For example, you would have heard of “the list”, right? You know the one – where you list all the qualities you’d like in a man or woman that you’re going to marry/spend the rest of your life with? Some people have three pages. (That was not me at one point in time ;-)) Pare this back to three non- negotiables. What are the three things that you absolutely can’t do without? Now imagine all the other possibilities you will allow in with just these three.
Look for the beauty and divinity in someone, instead of their short comings. So someone might have p*ssed you off. Do they p*ss you off all the time? What are the things they have done outside of this moment that are wonderful? Focus on those. Become fixated on the good things instead of the bad. We tend to hang on so tightly to the b/s. Stop. Right now. Look at the good. (And whilst you’re at it, can you do the same for yourself? That would uber cool. Thanks ;-))
How are you adjusting your great expectations today? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
PS. If you like what I have to say or think someone else could benefit from this humble little blurb, feel free to ‘like it’ or ‘share it’