Having Right Expectations

This has been on my mind since I read it Wednesday. It is something I have said many times to myself and others but often have failed to do.

Yesterday my daddy would have been 56 years old. Growing up, I expected my daddy to live forever. I expected my daddy to be here with us to help us with our children, and me in particular with my son. I expected my daddy to teach my son to play basketball, take him fishing, and play cards like he did with us and to make the same memories with him as he did with us. Only my daddy isn’t here anymore. He died 7 years ago.

Maybe if you’re like me you expected the driver on your right to let you get over since you had your signal on. Or you expected your baby to be a morning person because you weren’t 😩. Or you expected your college roommate to not leave black footprints in the shower (I need to let that go hahaha). Or you expected friendships to last. Or you expected friends to be there when you were going through like you had been there for them. Or you expected the people you dated to be honest, truthful and faithful about everything. Or you expected family and friends to not take advantage of you, abuse your kindness, or to not talk about you. Or you expected mentors to support and help you become the best version of yourself in whatever manner by having a positive impact instead of lying on you or constantly trying to find fault in you. Or you expected loved ones to not be selfish and self-centered, to not call you constantly only thinking of themselves and their needs. Or you expected them to really get to know you instead of only what they could list about you. Or you expected to be able to be transparent without it being used against you as some means to be nosy. Or you expected people to respect your time and money. Or you expected loved ones to know you don’t like gossip and negativity (or really care about what’s being shared for that matter) and to not waste your time with it. Or you expected the love of family and friends to be unconditional, not dependent on what you could do for them. Or you expected to be able to let your guard down. Or you expected apologies from people when they wronged you. Or expected your food to be hot after warming it up for it to be lukewarm (yuck!!) If you’re like me and have done any of that, you’ve been wrong.

If you have not figured it out yet, having expectations of anyone except God will cause you to be hurt at some point. Why? Because of the unfortunate age old truth that humans are imperfect beings and simply because we do not all think alike. What’s common sense or common courtesy to you could be a foreign concept to someone else. You also have to take into consideration the person’s upbringing, environment, etc., as factors contributing to them not meeting your expectations.

But how did we come to assign expectations of others? How did we come to expect certain people to act certain ways? Is it a title, i.e., mom, dad, sister, brother, friend? Is it because of societal norms? What is it?? Where did this practice come from?

What I see now is that having expectations and then those expectations being unmet becomes the breeding ground for the spirit of offense and rejection. Think about it, if you felt or perceived a lack of love from a parent, who you expected to act and treat you a certain way, then you would be upset and subsequently offended by their inaction/actions towards you. You would assume that you’ve been rejected and open the door for that spirit to come in. The same happens with offense. The problem is that by having expectations, you’ve opened yourself up to wrongly perceiving others as rejecting you or becoming offended in the future when others act that way or have behaviors that trigger those memories. The sad part of this is oftentimes people who have hurt you are unaware or simply do not care. They may be so wrapped up in self that they miss the telltale signs of hurt feelings. So you basically end up angry and bound while they are ignorant to your feelings.

I wonder how many relationships would be restored or would have never been broken in the first place if we were aware of the dangers that levying expectations on people presents.

Food for thought.

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