Expectations

9 Feb

I’ve been thinking a lot about expectations this week. It started with a conversation I had with someone recently about my busyness. They were questionning why I was busy, what exactly was I doing and why didn’t I have time to see them that particular time for coffee.

I homeschool my kids, and up until 2pm in the afternoon, I am not going to be free to talk on the phone or go out. It’s simple, their education comes first. I co-pastor with my husband, so generally I do alot of admin work for him, oversee kids ministry, teach and have leadership meetings, plus the general socialisation we have to do. Then, I have to take care of the house, and somewhere in my week I try to get time for me. That generally means I end up having coffee with someone though. Me time is not a very big part of my life.

Here’s the thing, if you know me, I can guarantee that I will not always have time for coffee or to chat endlessly on the phone. I will forget to phone you or take a day or two to email you. There is a whole church to take care of, so it could be months before I invite you for lunch or supper again. Sometimes things come up and I have to cancel. This is not intentional, it is just how it is.

My life is sometimes a blur, as I know many of yours is too. You could feel hurt, unloved or rejected by me. Again, that is not intentional. I am exactly the same. I feel hurt and let down if people don’t always see things through the way I expect/presume they should be done. This is a human condition, known the world over. It leads to us getting frustrated when people do not meet to our expectations, which can then lead, sadly, to a fractured relationship.

I realised something recently, though, and I’m trying to apply it to myself with others. Here it is:

I will let you down time and time again and not meet your expectations of me. However, when I don’t meet your expectations, you need to remember that these are your expectations of me, and not my expectations of me.

What do you think? Do you get frustrated when people don’t meet your expectations? Have you ever thought that you might place expectations on people which they haven’t necessarily placed upon themselves? Likewise, do you find yourself frustrated, because you are trying to meet what you think might be peoples expectations of you? I often fall into that trap.

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4 Responses to “Expectations”

  1. Jim February 9, 2012 at 22:55 #

    I am guilty of both – having unfair/unnegotiated/unstated expectations of others, and trying to live up to self-imposed expectations for myself that have little to do with what I actually want out of life or believe I should be doing with it. I am trying to unlearn both behaviors.

  2. Wendy February 9, 2012 at 23:03 #

    I have really come to appreciate my friendships that are strong enough to survive without a lot of maintenance. I love it when I can call a friend and not be guilted because I haven’t called or its been weeks since we got together. One friend who has a crazy life like myself agreed years ago that the gift we would give each other is no guilt! We could call each other whenever, and start talking with no awkwardness. At the same time, I do have some special friends who do nag me into getting together. In hindsight, I’m glad they have because they’re worth it and I tend to retreat when I’m stressed and even if I felt stressed getting together, I always left feeling better & loved for having girlfriends who love me! So, the trick is finding a balance that works for you.

  3. lynhallewell February 10, 2012 at 10:47 #

    It really helped me when I realised that peoples expectations were not mine, so if I was not living up to them then that’s not really my deal. However, I do struggle, in certain settings, with what I presume are peoples expectations of me. These are expectations that I have put on myself but they have not put on me. I’m working on that. Spunds very contradictory, but I know what I mean!

  4. lynhallewell February 10, 2012 at 10:51 #

    I love low maintence relationships. You’re not always having to navigate hoops. They are most definitely the type of relationships that you can just pick up where you left off from. Love those! I think you’re right about finding a balance that works for you. Unfortuantely, my balance might not be what someone elses balance is, but I can’t carry that – make sense? See you Monday!

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