Great Expectations

Expectation is the root of all heartacheWilliam Shakespeare

The above statement by Shakespeare is undoubtedly true, as I am sure that there is not one person out there who can say they’ve never felt disappointment. The disappointment of expecting someone to be or act a certain way, most of all, is something that causes us an unnecessary amount of heartache, for us and the person we are unfairly “judging”.

I won’t pretend I have not been one of those people myself, unfairly judging others, especially when a person has not lived up to my expectations of how a kind and considerate person should behave. Even more so, when it involves family or people I consider friends. If someone did not buy me a Christmas or birthday present when I have done so for them, I might feel somewhat offended. Or when I ask someone how they are, and they respond with “I’m fine” without asking me in return, I would feel annoyed and discouraged from ever asking them again.

But to respond in such a way, does not make us any better. You see, sometimes we expect more from others, because we would be willing to do that much for them. But not everyone has the same heart as yours. Not everyone was raised with your morals and ethics and principles. Not everyone has had a happy childhood. There can be countless reasons why people behave a certain way. Most of the time, they are not aware of how they come across, or what they’re doing “wrong”, or their circumstances don’t allow them to be any other way. What is wrong is to judge someone, especially when you don’t know their story.

On the flip side, perhaps there are many ways that you yourself have let someone else down. Perhaps you have not lived up to someone else’s expectations of you. But that’s okay. You don’t have to. At the end of the day you can’t please everyone. We are all human, and we all make mistakes from time to time. These “flaws” mustn’t be the reason we allow ourselves to lose our connection to others.

What we CAN do, is accept one another for who we are, exactly as we are. That is not to say we can’t strive for our own self development, in order to one day become the loving, compassionate people we would like to be. But as T.D. Jakes so eloquently put it; “We have a tendency to want the other person to be a finished product while we give ourselves the grace to evolve”. But if we can embrace each other’s flaws, and accept each other for all that we are and all that we are not, we give one another permission to just be. We wouldn’t be who we are without these flaws, after all.

The bottom line is, expectations lead to disappointment, resentment and ultimately unhappiness. But in that moment when disappointment presents itself, take a step back, open your heart, and realize that this person is doing the best they can, the only way they know how. Accept them fully, just as they are, just as you would like someone to do for you. Love is always the answer.

Trade your expectation for appreciation and the world changes instantly” – Tony Robbins

– Josie xoxo




5 thoughts on “Great Expectations

  1. Really lovely post, thank you. I have to say that I’m one of those people who don’t often ask people how they are after they ask me. That’s not because I don’t care (I do, very much), but as an introvert, I find social talk incredibly difficult, it doesn’t come naturally to me (this is in part due to a neglected childhood as well). I have also noticed that 9 times of out 10, people who ask how I am don’t really want to know and tend to get quite uncomfortable when I respond with something that doesn’t play into the accepted rules of social conversation. So this is why I am usuall polite and respond with ‘fine thank you’ but without offering a response. If I know the person extremely well it’s a different matter though. Anyway sorry for ramble, I just wanted to offer my experience. I enjoyed reading your post and completely agree. Blessings. A x

    1. Dear Alicia,

      Thank you so much for your comment and sharing your experience with me! I so appreciate it, as it helps to see things from another’s perspective.

      I am an introvert myself, and have had to struggle with a severe lack of self confidence and self esteem, though It is a continuous work in progress. I am very sorry to hear about your childhood, and hope that whatever you went through has somehow served you in creating healthier relationships with others as an adult.

      I agree that most of the times people only ask to be polite and don’t genuinely wish to know or care how someone is doing. This often happens with colleagues in the workplace for example. So in that aspect I probably would not respond honestly or reveal anything personal unless I feel that person would care to know or if we have already established a certain type of relationship. In any case I personally feel if you can be considerate and smile at someone you may just help make their day better for them. And if they don’t feel like doing the same in return, well the least we can do is not judge. I also have my bad days where I don’t even want to see another person. We all have bad days or insecure moments. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that xxxx

      1. Thanks Josie, sounds like you relate a lot to my experiences as I’m no stranger to confidence issues either! Luckily I do have much healthier relationships and interactions now albeit I’m still much happier with people I know well. I do agree with what you say about not revealing things unless you’ve reached a certain relationship/friendship with a person. I do struggle with people who ask how I am for the sake of it but I agree with you it’s about being considerate to others and not judging them. Many blessings. A x

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