If I inherited anything from my mother, it is that I seem to lend to an ear to everyone I meet. I don’t know if I look super interested (which I often am not), have a soothing aura, a calming voice…etc… but I do find myself giving a lot advice to a lot of people.
I have recently have found myself saying the same thing over and over again, so I found it a perfect topic for the blog this week. Setting expectations is something that solves most if not all life issues!
Have you ever been super annoyed with something someone is or isn’t doing? Maybe it’s an employee that you think should just KNOW what you want, even though you’ve never told them..a housekeeper who ALWAYS leaves dust in certain areas, but you never say anything..a best friend who is always late and because you’ve never expressed your expectations, they thinks it is funny…a husband who never surprises you anymore like he used to.. I think false expectations is the root to so many relationship issues and arguments.
Growing up I was raised by the most incredible MOM! One with patience, kindness, humbleness..really all the good qualities you could want in a person! This is my mom and I when I was a baby. I don’t know if you can tell the calming, peacefulness that was her nature, but this photo often brings me comfort.
The one thing I know that she NEVER did, was tell people her expectations of them. She did have a look, that if you knew her, you knew she expected more, but for most part..I believe she allowed it to just get under her skin, or she just stopped talking to them, lol.
When I look back on it I am reminded again of the need for expectations. I can remember people “taking advantage”of my mother’s kindness. The fact that she had endless patience (which can be a curse) often was an invitation to become a door mat for others. So what happens when we set expectations with people? When we tell them what we expect/want from our relationships with them?
Now, before you go blabbing off to anyone who has recently pissed you off, I do recommend picking your battles…but let’s just look at some of the biggest frustrations in your life at this moment? Do those people/relationships know what you expect? I would venture to say NO!
My husband actually is the one who taught me this important quality. He does it in a more brash and direct way than I do, my way works much better, but he still taught me to express my expectations. Like, for example, our alone time sometime takes a back seat, and he kindly will remind me that that is something that he fell in love with and we need to keep it alive…which then reminds me of the same and well…we have 4 kids, lol..we manage to stay IN LOVE despite all the chaos by setting up expectations with each other, sometimes even daily! Like this INSANELY fun beach day at The Don Cesar in St Pete Beach, we set up our plan in the morning on who would tackle which part, how we would both get to have some naps in the sun, who would do kid naps..etc etc..and so our day went off without a hitch! (PS I am obsessed with Becca swimwear and Tyler currently LOVES Chubbies swim wear! LOL)
I think that it is common nature to want to please the ones we love, and without the knowledge of what they expect,we often will fall short. When I am expressing my expectations to someone, I will often start with a compliment and then state what I need from them. For example, I am going to use my 3 year old here, lol…I may say to him “It makes mommy very happy when you are nice to your baby brother but it makes mommy very sad when you throw your toys at him, do you want to make Mommy feel happy or sad” He always goes with happy..unless he is having a diablo blanco moment, then he may go the other way, but that is far and few between. I know this example is funny, because he is 3, but our innate desire to make others feel happiness is a real thing!
So…I encourage you to think of those relationships that are causing you discomfort or turmoil and try my strategy. Don’t do it in a heated argument or by picking a fight, but find the right moment (wine may be involved) and put it out there. OH…and once you open the can of worms, be ready to make some changes of your own.