So I know we all have expectations. Expectations out of life, relationships, work life etc. I’ve learned to adjust mine in relationships accordingly over time. Have you ever expected those around you to behave a certain way, react a certain way or support something new in your life and the response you got was less than enthusiastic or you barely even got one? Yeah….I’ll be honest I’ve had those experiences and it’s made me feel some kind of way. But as I was thinking about this one day I felt God reminding me that it’s not about me. It’s that they don’t understand. Not fully. It makes since to you. You’re excited and super passionate about it but if it’s not something they’re experienced or have knowledge of then they simply just don’t get it. That’s ok. Expectations and our attitude have to be adjusted sometimes.
I was talking one day with someone about a joint venture we were doing for someone else. We were more than a little frustrated because this person appeared to have all of these expectations on what we should or shouldn’t be doing (that had not be previously or clearly communicated) and their attitude towards us was being perceived as ungrateful. While what we were doing was for them, and we wanted them to be happy, they spent a lot of time complaining about the process of how we were planning things or complaining about how it wasn’t what they wanted. This was making it harder and harder for us to do the things we felt that were laid on our heart for them because they were making us feel as if what we were doing was not good enough. Yes, regardless of how someone is making you feel you should still do what God has laid on your heart to do. He’s where your blessing is coming from anyway. But, but, but, but sometimes our attitudes can cause us to lose blessings or at least delay them.
Most of the time people don’t know about expectations if you haven’t told them. For example, I expect my husband to read my mind. Come on ladies LOL. I don’t know why we do this!! I get upset about things or get my feelings hurt over something he’s said or done and then I expect him to know exactly what he did that bothered me. Not only that I expect him to know how to fix it like ASAP. Meanwhile, he is clueless and moving along with his day (which further irritates me by the way). When I finally get out of my feelings and go talk to him about whatever it was, not only is he like “I’m sorry that’s not what I meant or that wasn’t my intention.” but also, there might have been something he planned that he wanted to do and I got in the way of it. Now my attitude and my expectation has gotten in the way of something nice he had planned or even something nice he wanted to say. While people want to bless us, they don’t necessarily feel all warm and fuzzy about doing it if our attitude, well, sucks. This taught me a good lesson. I had to work on managing me, my emotions and my responses to situations better. I also had to learn to be more willing to be open and transparent about things that bothered me.
Listen, we all walk around every day with a set of expectations of how things should go or be around us all day. I expect my kids to behave, do their homework and their chores. I expect my coworkers to be courteous and professional. I expect my friends to be honest, caring, loving, supportive and trustworthy. But does my attitude always welcome those actions or expectations? Have I thought about the times when I’ve had a bad attitude and then my child also has a bad attitude but I’ve told them to change their perspective; think about the positive and get their attitude in check. Meanwhile I’m still walking around irritated? Totally not leading by the example I’ve set for that expectation. I’m expecting my co worker to be courteous and professional but I show up one day totally irritated, snapping and rolling my eyes, sending “per my last email” emails but when they respond to me in a not so courteous manner I’m totally taken aback. Now I’m asking my other co worker what’s so and so’s problem and making statements like “They need to leave their bad attitude and what happened before work at the door.” If I’m expecting my friends to be honest or trustworthy or supportive but when they tell me the truth or show support in a way that reflects support to them and I respond poorly to that now they choose to no longer be transparent. The support that they were showing they now limit that because it didn’t seem like enough for me anyway. These are all important things to think about when we are focused on the things we are requiring of others but may not be exhibiting ourselves.
Sometimes we are expecting things out of those around us and we are not getting the responses we desire because of our behavior; because of our attitude. We may not initially see it or even recognize it. But in an effort to always be growing and moving forward I sometimes have to stop and really evaluate certain situations. It’s wise to take a step back and look at all the moving pieces. One being it’s always great to communicate your expectations to be sure that you and those around you are clear on where you stand. Once again, no one is a mind reader. It’s also good to do a little self check up. You’d be surprised at what you’ll find. Often times I know it’s a heart issue. I have to ask God to check my heart. I love the verse in the Bible where David asks God to create in him a clean heart. I don’t want to hold hurt, malice, bitterness or anything else damaging in my heart. I want to do things with the right attitude and the right intentions. That starts with me checking myself. And sometimes we need to change the lens in which we are looking through when it comes to expectation. My youngest daughter has the hardest time keeping her room clean but she asks me every day if there is something I need. She is constantly asking me if there is something that she can help me with. While I expect her to keep her room clean (and she does try!), I also expect her to be considerate and caring. She exhibits those behaviors consistently. So I have to remember to acknowledge that because that, too, is important.
I’ve started a small business and I expected a lot of my friends and family to support that. Most of them haven’t but I’ve had to adjust my expectations and shift my focus to the ways they are supportive. Some are great listeners. Some provide additional ideas that could help my business flourish. Some like a post or two on social media. Their support doesn’t look like what I expect it to look like but it doesn’t mean it’s not there. Attitude and expectation. We really have to learn how our attitude affects the expectations we have of those around us and remember that people are people. Everyone is different and interprets things differently. I think we would all hate to find ourselves in situations where relationships are damaged beyond repair because of an expectation or an attitude we had towards an expectation that was misunderstood or communicated in a way that was less than kind. Remember the same things we are requiring of others we, too, at some point have to demonstrate or inherit those same expectations in some way. If we aren’t then we need to adjust our attitude towards those we’ve placed these expectations on. No one is perfect and that’s why it’s important to make sure we work on ourselves so that we can be better. We can’t control the behaviors of those around us but we can control our perspective and how we respond to others.