Expectations can be killer, mostly because reality measures up. For a great, and hilarious, post about “Expectations vs. Reality”, check out Hyperbole and a Half here.
The problem with expectations about people is rarely do expectations, whether they be high or low, let you meet people where they are. You usually end up over or under estimating people or getting hurt or defensive or angry and making some one else hurt or defensive or angry.
But in thinking about this more, the real problem is not having expectations, but holding on to them. Having expectations is normal, I don’t think the majority of us can go through life without having some, but you have to be able to let them go whether they’re met or not. And you can’t let them validate or invalidate how you feel about the value or yourself or the other person. This is hard. It takes practice.
I am terrible at it. I’m working on it.
And the best things happen when you let go. Like I had a baking day with myself to make a bunch of different cookies just to see how they turned out (we all know I’m a terrible baker). And you know what? They turned out great!
Or when I let go of the expectation that my table had to be perfect when I had friends over…..
3 different dish sets.
A few biodegrable plastic knives.
A lawn chair for a seat.
And instead of worrying about it, I served great food and had a great time.
“Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.” -Dalai Lama
Let go of your great expectations, and you might find something even better. You might not, but at least you won’t be carrying around negative energy either!