I was having a discussion with Julianne this week about expectations. Without going into too much detail, we both agreed that expectations can be dangerous. Expectations lead to assumptions about other people and in the end those expectations are often unmet. You also know what they say when you assume something…it makes an “a#$” out of “u” and “me”. Why is it then that we continue to place OUR expectations on other people?
I’ve seen this in my own home where I have expectations of Julianne or the kids. Take for example my innate need or expectation (call it OCD) for a clutter free home. That is completely unrealistic for them to meet. I have 4 kids 7 and under. Julianne is home with them most of the day and just watching them is a full time job. Not to mention she works at Oakland Christian School and has a million (well not really a million but rather a thousand) other activities going on during the week. This expectation is mine and mine alone. It’s instances like this that my expectations need to be adjusted and then agreed upon by the people they affect.
This is why communication is so critical. You can assume you are being explicitly clear on things you need help on however, you are expecting people to know your process on how to accomplish it. People are not mind readers and they may actually need step by step instructions on what you need from them in order to meet your needs. I know I’m not providing you with any breakthrough thinking but for me the conversation we had this week was a fantastic reminder and lesson on open dialogue and how it constantly needs to be worked on.
Be clear and communicate respectfully. If you do that, you’re more than likely to have at least 99% of your expectations met. As for the other 1%, get over it. We’re human and we’re not perfect no matter how much you can claim to be.