Expectation Vs Reality
My interactions with folks leave me frustrated sometimes.
My most natural reaction is a rant: a general one at the world, a specific one at the person, or an internal one, at myself and that person.
Once in a while, I get indifference where I expected kindness. At others, I get a stab in the back where I expected a pat. I get anger when I expected understanding, I get opposition where I expected support.
My realization: People would behave according to their capability and their reality, and not according to my expectations.
Sure, I can expect people to be kind, but whether they will actually be kind depends on their reality. That does not mean I should let go of my expectations, just that I need to remember that they’re my expectations, and not their reality.
Sometimes, they’re met. At others, they aren’t. That is how the world is.
The joy of always remembering the difference between expectation and reality is in not only having your expectations met sometimes, but occasionally exceeded. If they aren’t met– you always knew that there was that chance, so no point in feeling beat-up about it!
In your relationships, whether as spouses, parents, sons or daughters, lovers, siblings– you have expectations of the other person– and sometimes, they aren’t met.
You have a choice: you can get frustrated and rant, or you can begin to see the difference between expectation and reality. Analyze whether it would be best to change your expectation, or calmly and slowly go about changing the reality.
I’ve begun to take the latter option (not always as I’d like, but more and more often)–and I’m moving towards a happier and calmer me. Besides, I’ve begun to remember that others have expectations from me too, and that it is always a balance between my self-respect and independence, and their happiness.
So what happens when a person acts contrary to how you think they should? Do you differentiate between your expectations and their reality?