We’ve all been there before – Checking our phones constantly for a text from someone special. For an email from a friend. For someone to surprise you on Valentine’s Day or your birthday. For a call to say they miss you. Even for someone to notice you. Notice a change you’ve made. To tell you they like you. Or that they love you.
We all have great expectations of those around us, those we are closest to, those that we love the most.
But what we do with those expectations can make the difference in our own lives and emotions.
Let me admit first – this is one of my own biggest faults. So you aren’t alone. I’m preaching to myself here.
I blame my creative, writer’s mind and imagination, but my expectations of friends have been known to go to the extreme. Let me give you an example:
Cute guy compliments my outfit. Expectations begin. What does it mean? Does he like me? Does he just like my outfit? Then begins my imagination with expectations, and about four different conversations and scenarios, that play through my head for the next time it happens. (The expectation of it happening again, that is.)
And when it doesn’t happen again, or the conversation doesn’t go the way I “expected” or rehearsed it to go, I get upset.
I was getting upset over a conversation that had only ever happened in my head and all because I was letting my expectations of someone get out of line of what they should be.
How often do we all do this? With our friends…our boyfriends/girlfriends…family…spouses?
Ever sent a text expecting an immediate reply to something that was not life threatening? And did they reply immediately? Did you get upset when they didn’t meet your expectation? (Raises hand) Guilty as charged, again.
When your expectations aren’t met, your emotions become the victim. And for many, this begins an emotional roller coaster that you should have never let yourself have admittance to in the first place.
Setting expectations up for people you have no control over does nothing but set yourself up for failure and disappointment.
Like I said, this is a huge fault of my own. I hold myself to an extremely high standard, which means I usually hold my friends and family to the same high standard. But it’s not fair to them. And again, when those expectations aren’t met, they aren’t hurt by it, but I may be.
The more I have thought about this subject, the more I realized there is only one person we should set our expectations high for: God. His word says in Deuteronomy 31:6 Amp “Be strong, courageous, and firm; fear not nor be in terror before them, for it is the Lord your God Who goes with you; He will not fail you or forsake you.” And it states it again in the New Testament in Hebrews 13:5. In other words, He will never let us down. He will never disappoint. He will never not meet our expectations. In fact, if we let Him, He’ll even exceed our expectations!!
It’s time to get off of the emotional roller coaster. Make sure your expectations are realistic and quit setting yourself up for hurt. Instead, put those expectations in the One who will never let you down and will always be there for you! You might even find yourself pleasantly surprised by those closest to you – when you stop setting unrealistic expectations for them, it’ll be a lot easier for them to meet and exceed them!