What gets us in trouble on a regular basis? Our expectations. We expect great things from others which may exceed what we would be willing to do. Expectations are the cause of wars, arguments, road rage, divorce, etc.
Here is the truth:
- You can’t change other people. Quit expecting them to do your will. You are not a genie in a bottle. The only person you can change is you, and that is a full-time job for anyone. Work on yourself first; then you can work on your communication skills with others. You still have to hold others accountable for what they have agreed they would do, but you have to find a way to communicate with them. Sometimes that is the greatest challenge, particularly if they will not accept responsibility and constantly divert the issue away from themselves or they play the victim card on you.
- Managing expectations of others is probably one of the greatest skills you will ever learn when it comes to relationships…whether they are personal or business. If you are truthful, ethical, and communicate openly with someone they will receive that news much better than if you deceive them, avoid them, or ignore them. They may not like hearing bad news from you, but if you deliver the message with kindness, empathy, and honesty you have a chance of keeping that relationship alive.
- If you find yourself being demanding of others, angry, or moody, check your expectations. If you have legitimate expectations of someone that are not being met, find a way to talk about it unemotionally. You may have to have a mediator if the situation has gone too far. The problem does not go away just because you ignore it. That wound will affect other relationships in the future if you don’t address it. Obviously, you can’t force someone to communicate with you, but if you approach them with humility, you are willing to admit your mistakes, and you are willing to listen to their side, they will more than likely meet you half way.
If you are going to expect anything in life, expect the best from yourself.