Well, if I am like that, and I behave a certain way
and treat people a certain way, then obviously others should do the exact same thing for me!
People will naturally fail our expectations, especially when they had no idea how high or how unrealistic our expectations were to begin with. Then, when they do fail to meet them, we treat them differently – maybe we give them a cold shoulder or make them grovel for our favour and attention again, because passive aggressive behaviour will teach them a thing or two about disappointing me, right? Wrong!
ARE WE FAILING OTHERS ?
We can’t dismiss people because they failed to meet an unrealistic expectation, or an expectation that they did not know even existed in the first place.
We can’t box people and expect them to think , feel and behave the way we do. We can’t control their behavior, and we most certainly do not own people. People are human, and have their own unique way of perceiving things. This comes through in how they behave, love and communicate. We can’t fail them and their character based on how we go about doing things! It’s not fair on them.
What a lovely gift to give a friend to never expect them to be perfect.
DEALING WITH FAILED EXPECTATIONS
If we want strong relationships and healthy friendships in our lives, then maybe we need to look at the following:
1. Speak the truth with a deep sense of love
On one hand we can’t dismiss or excuse every behavioural attribute in others, especially if it consistently hurts us. Sometimes we need to be bold enough to have a conversation with those who have hurt or disappointed us. And no, we do not need to go into the conversation guns blazing, feeling defensive and overly emotional. However, we should approach others with a deep sense of love and respect, and communicate how we feel in a way that does not isolate or break down the one that is on the receiving end.
2 . Speaking the truth in love encourages respect
The truth is that those receiving your honest thoughts will feel respected by you, because you approached them and spoke with them first before ignoring them or dismissing them forever. Plus, when they hear how you feel, and what hurt you, they are able to understand how you process things, so that going forward they know how to approach you.
3 . Speaking the truth in love requires us to be open
Being open and honest with others is scary, because we need to be vulnerable; we need to let our walls down and swallow our pride, plus we need to be open to learning from others.
4 . Long standing friendships are a blessing
In the past I have had some conversations with friends that weren’t easy and most certainly were not comfortable to have. We had to talk through all the nitty gritty things in our friendship, and we had to also expose insecurities and hurt, which isn’t always easy to listen to and work through. But, I am so thankful that I have had those honest conversations, because those friendships have become my strongest and longest friendships to this day! Having those conversations and being open to learning from them will not only grow you in character, but it will bless you immensely.
5 . Love others without a sense of entitlement
One of the best gifts we can give to others is loving them without hesitation, and without a sense of entitlement, and without conditions attached to it. We shouldn’t do things for others because we want them to do it back for us; instead, we should do things for others because we love and value them. That’s easier said than done, as it requires us to be emotionally sound and secure, and it requires us to trust others with our friendship. Maybe we need to take a closer look at our friendships, and assess wether we are loving others unconditionally, and see where we can maybe grow and add strength to these friendships.
Here’s to healthy friendships, with healthy boundaries and expectations. May your friendships continue to grow from strength to strength and may it be a constant blessing to you and your friends!