“We so much hope that others are as we desire, that we become unable to accept them as they really are. Therefore, it is not the people who disappoint us, it is the expectations we have of them, the true cause of our disappointment ”
Have you ever heard, said or thought … «This person has disappointed me»?
How do you feel when someone lets you down? And when have you disappointed someone else?
Seeing the frequency with which it happens to me or to others, some questions arise.
Expectation is usually based on something you expect. If a person has always done something, do I expect them to do it again? If you usually react in a certain way to a certain stimulus, why is it going to be different this time?
I believe that in the field of consumers the expectation about a service or a product is based mainly on the brand image, on previous experiences of themselves or third parties and on price.
Expectation when it comes to product and service quality is different when we enter a two-star Michelin restaurant than when we go to any roadside bar. It happens to all of us?
Does the same happen on a personal level? Do we generate an irrational expectation or hope about what we are going to receiveor give based on previous experiences, appearance or cultural aspects?
Do we base our expectation of a person on their image, what they say, do, or what they have? And in what they do not say not, do not do or do not have?
If a person has a good car, a great house, and a great job, do I expect a certain attitude and a winning spirit? If a person has once said something that seemed silly to us, do we expect them to only speak nonsense? Or does everything you say seem so? If they behave in a certain way, do we think that they will always behave like this?And then the surprises come. Are you surprised when they do, say or demonstrate something different?
Is the surprise positive or negative?
Is this expectation exceeded when we receive more than we subjectively expected? Does this create a new expectation for the future? Does it stop surprising us if it is repeated several times? Does it then become “normal” and what is expected?
How can we live always fulfilling, in every circumstance, and despite everything, with the expectations that others have about us? And if we don’t, what happens? We Punish ourselves / they punish us? What for, to get us to do it or to make us feel guilty?
Do we think that these expectations, ours and those of others, are based on overwhelming logic? However, I believe that it is based more on biases of our mind than on a reality and it is these biases that condition our way of seeing and living in the world.
But … what happens when our expectation is disappointed?
In this case I see it somewhat more complicated, is our reaction sometimes disappointment or even anger? Do we tend to blame the one who has disappointed us?
And I wonder, do we clearly explain what we expect? Or do they have to read our minds?
Does that disappointment turn into a breach of trust, credibility, or many times damage the relationship itself?
Could the inner balance be achieved by analyzing why I created this expectation?, was the expectation agreed upfront?, what reasons are behind these behaviours?
Would not respect be the key word? Respect for the actions and decisions of others even if they do not follow their pattern.
If he/she always picks up the phone, what happens that he/she doesn’t pick it up? Why haven’t they answered this message? Do we stop to think if they can’t, are they focused on something else, or just doesn’t feel like talking… Why if you know I need this or that, you don’t?
There is a constant demand to meet the expectations of others, don’t you think? I think that many times we live our lives fulfilling them for fear that they stop accepting or loving us.
If you finally always fulfill them, with no possibility of replication, where is your identity, your self-esteem and self-respect? Is your identity a mirror of their expectation?
If one person orders and the other always accepts it, what happens when he doesn’t?
Are these situations demanding a frank and honest dialogue with others? And with ourselves?
Thus the great mystery arises, the communication, is not based everything on this word already so «used without sense»? Authentic communication based on a genuine and real interest in what another person thinks, feels, or believes. In short, in the basic concept of respect.
Why does all this still seem like a utopia in the era of emotional intelligence, where dialogue and empathy is something that we already know is essential to have a civilized coexistence? How much have we evolved in this regard?
And as we continue to live in a context where we are physically distanced, how do we ensure that the social / emotional connection is not damaged / broken due to «expectational» distancing?