Forced Expectations

We all have expectations of our lives.  We call them hopes or dreams or plans.

We want our lives to go well. But living in a fallen world, we can’t be surprised when our expectations go unmet.  For example,  we expect that our day will go a certain way, but we’re not surprised if it doesn’t.  We expect traffic to be bad or we expect a certain restaurants food to be good. We place a lot of expectations on our lives.

We Expect a Lot from others

We treat our expectations of people differently than we treat expectations of ourselves.     We want people to act or react in a reasonable way to us and our expectations.  We at least want people to act in predictable ways.  Wouldn’t that be nice?!

I was in a conversation recently with some friends at our kitchen table (our favorite gathering place).  I confessed to them about my normal expectations.  I confessed that I most often expect people to act and react logically.  I expect them to see a situation, to then have their emotional response, but then I expect them to suck it up (not my exact words – but what I mean in my head) and then carry on.  I expect them to get past the emotional response and proceed unhindered to the logical steps of acceptance and/or resolution.  If they don’t, I then tend to try to persuade them to do so and then I eventually throw up my hands in amazement at their short-sightedness.  I know – I’m horrible, right?

But don’t we all place expectations on people in the most horrible ways. We want people to act like we would (or at least the way that we tell ourselves that we would).  The truth is that it’s unfair to think that our expectations are the correct course that should be followed. We have no idea why someone acts or reacts the way they do.

What am I getting at?

I say all of this to get to this thought – we often expect people to react in predictable ways and the truth is that we have no control over people and therefore we have no power to make them “live up to” our expectations.

We only have the authority to change how we deal the actions of others.  We have no power, nor should we, over the actions of others but we can become people who don’t try to change others.  We can be people that react in love and don’t expect others to respond the way that we want.   Learning this will contribute significantly to your growth and peace!

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