External Expectations

We all have expectations of ourselves. A set of unwritten rules that guide our behaviours and actions.

Others have expectations of us too. Not just family and friends – everyone. The bank teller expects you to wait patiently in line while the service station attendant expects you to pay for your petrol.

We value others expectations differently. The more we respect someone, the more we try to uphold what they assume of us.

Are we doing the right thing by meeting the expectations of others? And how do we know what others expect of us if they don’t tell us directly?

Benefits of meeting the expectations of others

  • Strengthens the relationship
  • Encourages sharing of knowledge like between a mentor and student

Drawbacks of meeting the expectations of others

  • Internal conflict when personal expectations don’t match another person’s expectations
  • External conflict when we fail to meet someone’s expectations

The situation is a challenging because we value the other person, but the solution is simple – be selfish.

The only expectations we must meet are our own. It’s flattering for others to have expectations of us. Though the chances of the expectations matching are slim. If we communicate, focusing on self-expectations, with those around us, it can be a relatively painless experience. Ideally, they will realign their expectations based on our own and the relationship can grow.

Should we meet others expectations? Leave your thoughts below.


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