Whether we realize it or not, we all have expectations. Expectations are strong beliefs that something will happen and when it happens, it will look, feel like ……….. fill in the blank. Expectations are not goals. Goals are something we think about and when we are serious about them, we write them down. Expectations:
I try to not have expectations. (When you don’t have an expectation, you can be pleasantly surprised.) I’ve learned that when I have an expectation, It is usually all about me, what I want, when I want it and how I want it. It begins with some kind of hope and desire and then I throw it on some unsuspecting person or worse myself. Expectations lead to an unmet expectations that are frustrating and can lead to conflict with other people such as:
parent/child teacher/student friend/friend boyfriend/girlfriend athlete/coach
employee/employer neighbor/neighbor siblings/roommate
Great questions for your students:
1. Do you have expectations for yourself? Other people? Anyone in this room?
2. Have you ever had an unmet expectation?
3. Whenever your expectation goes unmet, raise your hand if it is your fault. (That’s a joke— I don’t know about you, but it is never my fault.) Anyone know why? Because it’s your unexpressed expectation. What if the person didn’t know your expectation?
4. How did you feel when your expectation has been blown to smithereens? Do you get angry, mourn your lost dream (expectation), go over your loss over and over again to yourself-to others (and bore them).
Emotions people feel when their expectations are not met
2. sadness — if you really loved/liked/cared for me, you would do what I wanted
Emotions people feel when they can not live up to someones expectation:
2. shame — It doesn’t matter what I do, It’s never going to be good enough