Expectations! Boy, do they cause us grief at times. We have expectations for everything - our family, partners, friends, work mates, the services we use and the products we buy. All of which we respond to based on these intrinsic needs and wants which we often aren't conscious of but yet lay behind our thinking. Usually these intrinsic things can just play away under the radar and the only time they need some attention is when life isn't working for us or we are consistently finding that we are disappointed about something or someone.
I always come from the position that there are things and people I can not change, even though I would dearly love them to at times. What I have got within me is the ability to stay open minded to another way of thinking - if I choose it. I have to audit my expectations to reduce my disappointments. I don't mean that I am sacrificial and am a 'yes' person ... far from it. It does mean that I seek to be mindful and that I seek self awareness and understanding in order to help me make choices in life. With self awareness comes self efficacy and self confidence, we can't authentically have confidence without the the self awareness. When expectations don't get met it can be problematic depending on how crucial to us it is and how much control we feel we have. If it's as simple as being let down by a service or a product it's an easy fix because we can simply walk away or don't buy it again, however when it comes to human relationships it's far more complex. For example, when we feel let down by the people we love it's not as simple as walking away. I know people who are very black and white when it comes to this. I believe that there are many shades of grey, and relationships with our friends, whanau and partners are a tapestry that we weave together and anything less than that will not be conducive to anyone's needs or wants. Those relationships that are closest to us and matter the most are and should be the most challenging because there is a joining of expectations of these needs and wants. Our relationships are in constant flux, and they have to be, as we are not static beings! We are emotional beings that are constantly growing and evolving so of course our relationships have to be doing the same. My advice - if you don't want personal growth? Stay well away from relationships! It's very complex, yet very simple. Simple because a healthy relationship simply requires mutuality. In other words each party in the relationship has to have some of their needs met while compromising to accommodate the other. It's unfair of us to not take some responsibility of seeking to know what our own needs are so we can work with others. We need to take time to get to know our own needs first, then we have to be able to communicate them, and all the while staying open and curious enough to understanding the other person/party. This is what makes relationships less than simple, but certainly achievable. I think we have been sold a lie of happy ever after, raising unrealistic expectations. Raising our own self awareness and standing confident in accepting who we are and what we need, at the same time being open to negotiate with the needs of others will bring us healthier relationships. www.carlascoachingforhealth.com