Years ago, I was having an in-depth conversation with a friend about relationships and expectations. During the conversation, he revealed to me that he doesn’t expect anything from anyone. He also went on to say that he doesn’t even expect his wife to come home every night. He said that his wife has a choice on whether or not she wants to return home that day and vice versa. They come home to each other not because they are expected to, but because they want to. Expectations do not govern their relationship…..love does. At the time of this conversation I was in my late 20’s. And by that time in my life I had been repeatedly let down by unmet expectations I placed on people. However, I still couldn’t digest what he was saying or the concept of living without expectations. But as life kept happening and I kept maturing, I totally got it.
People will fall short and things are always changing. Parents will forget, children will fail, wives will mess up, boyfriends will leave, friends won’t always answer the phone, etc. I’ve been in numerous situations where I’ve said, “I can’t believe he or she did that!” And now I think back to those times and wonder why I couldn’t believe it….he or she were human, and they did what we humans do - be imperfect.
I’ve come to realize that living without placing expectations on people is a more peaceful and less stressful way for me to go about life. And besides, placing expectations on people doesn’t give them the chance to reveal who they really are. I’d rather people exercise their free will and operate in their full truth instead of them faking the funk by trying to live up to the expectations I placed on them.
Take some of that unnecessary stress off your shoulders, let those expectations go.