I am a person with the highest expectations. I strive to be the best just as much as I want the best for the people that surround me. Lately, I have been learning that the higher the expectation the greater the disappointment. I am just now seeing that the higher we hold ourselves, but even more so our friends and family, the more pressure and conflict that results in those relationships.
For me, my natural desire to want the best for those around me can sometimes be misconstrued as controlling and judgmental. However, it has been my way of letting others know they are fully capable to do anything they set their minds to and they shouldn’t settle for anything less.
It’s a great theory and all, but there’s only one problem with having high expectations for other people: they are your expectations. It’s one thing to set the bar high for yourself and jump through whatever hoops you set up to reach that bar, but doing the same for your friends and family is just plain destructive, or it can be anyway.
I have found through this past year, that people need to grow and create themselves on their own. Even if it is long, strenuous and overall not producing much result in the short-term. For me, I can let life get me down, but in a couple days I’m out there trying to get back on track. I know that for some people that is easier said than done. My can-do attitude is great for me, but sometimes it is a little too quick and chaotic for someone else.
Having expectations for other people, while there is the motive of wanting the best for them, is ultimately setting them up for disaster. The reason is is that you are trying to make them into a person that they are not, or rushing them to be a person they are not ready to be. I’ve had a couple friends who have had to deal with a lot in their lives, some things that I cannot begin to wrap my mind around. While I do want the best for them and try and instill them with the motivation to be the best version of themselves, sometimes they need to get to that realization on their own.
Quite frankly, expecting someone to reach Goal X, Y or Z is preventing them from being the best version of themselves. Even though a person may not see it, it’s burning a bridge that links a really great relationship. Just as we all feel the pressure of being the best child, the best student, the best friend, the best whatever-it-may-be, we need to realize that our expectations of others are just means of unnecessary pressure. Giving someone else a set of expectations to reach is like living someone else’s life and really what fun is that?
So, I say drop the expectations, and simply expect the unexpected. You never know, but you may find that the expectations you would’ve had anyway are reached through means that even you, yourself, couldn’t have had predicted. Or maybe, that person you want the best for, will, on their very own, just become the best version of themselves.
When you just simply have faith in the process, however unexpected it may be, you may just simply find yourself enjoying the best that life has to offer, no expectations needed.