My siblings and I had very little as kids growing up. My parents did their best just to keep us all fed so things like toys were not a priority.
There was a particular distant relative that would occasionally give us gifts. I can vividly remember an incident when I was very young, maybe five or six years old. I can remember being at my grandparents’ house when this friend came to visit. My gift was the game of Tiddly Winks. I was so upset that I didn’t get a toy truck or something like that, that I cried. Looking back at that incident now I realize the issue was not with the gift but with my expectation or, in this case, my unmet expectation.
Expectations are a necessary part of life. We expect to get paid when we work. The boss expects us to show up on time for work. We are expected to pay our taxes on time and our cell phones will make and take calls without interruption.
We also place expectations on ourselves. We expect to finish our workouts, get dinner made on time and get our daily to-do lists done.
We place expectations on our children. We expect them to get their homework done, to be polite and respectful of others and get their daily household chores done.
Expectations make the world go around, until they don’t.
Expectations in relationships can be very problematic. I learned from a past relationship that the primary source of my disappointment was my expectations or should I say my UNMET expectations. When we expect people to be a certain way, act a certain way, and do certain things we are setting them up to fail.
I’ve slowly learned over the years to not project my expectations on others. I hope, but I try not to expect. I ask but I don’t expect. When I don’t expect I find myself much happier.
Loving and accepting people the way they are is the way to go.