Redefining Connection. You’ve gotta give it to get it back.March 7, 2022
The epidemic of the pandemic. Is it time to leave your job?April 27, 2022
Your unmet Expectations. What happens when you don’t have the courage to share.
What happens when your expectations are unmet? How does it leave you feeling? Angry? Sad? Disappointed? Have you ever paused long enough to ask yourself, did I actually share my exceptions with this person?
Exceptions can be a nasty thing. But we all have them, you just have to be honest enough with yourself to realize this.
Picture the following examples. When you went to the restaurant did you expect the food and the service to be good? If you’re in a relationship do you expect the other person to ask how you’re feeling or what’s wrong if you had a bad day? Or when you call a customer service number do you have an expectation of how long you should be on hold or that they will solve the problem with one call?
WHAT IT TAKES TO EXPRESS EXPECTATIONS
Expectations are natural. But what often isn’t natural is having the courage to share them with others. I’ve recently read, Brené Brown’s PhD. MSW, latest book, Atlas of the Heart and she shared why it’s important to actually share some of our expectations with others.
“Communicating our expectations is brave and vulnerable. And it builds meaningful connection and often leads to having a partner or friend who we can reality-check with.”
If you are working on, or want to work on improving your communication which can then lead to, meaningful connection, then courage and vulnerability will need to be drawn upon when beginning to share your expectations. Learning to bravely speak out our expectations is one of the only ways others can possibly try to meet them for us.
There are myriad examples of unmet expectations but let’s go with a simple one. It’s Friday night. You haven’t seen your boyfriend/girlfriend all week and you’re looking forward to spending the evening with them. Friday afternoon you get a text or a phone call from them saying, “Hey I’m going out tonight with (enter name here), are you ok if I come over Saturday morning?” As you read this you notice you’re feeling disappointment, maybe you even feel a bit pissed off. How can they do that to you? That’s not fair, they never think of me, they’e so inconsiderate!
You had an expectation for your Friday night. You’ve gotten together for the last 3 Friday nights, why would tonight be any different?
By slowing our thoughts down to reflect on this you’ll notice that you have an unmet expectation. The piece you may not see is that the expectation was never communicated. Here is the tricky part, often times we didn’t even know we had an expectation until it wasn’t met! The bigger the expectation the bigger the disappointment.
HOW TO DO IT DIFFERENTLY
As Brené says in her quote above, having a partner or friend that you’ve had a discussion about expectations with will perhaps lead to having someone you can “reality-check” with once you’ve realized you’ve got an expectation around something. Brené also lists the types of questions you or your “reality-check” partner can begin to ask:
- What expectations do you have around this situation?
- What do you want to happen, or not happen?
- Have you already begun to create a story of how this will play out?
- Are you setting goals and expectations that are completely outside of your control?
The key piece I see around expectations, and that is the ground work of all my coaching, is that in order to be a better communicator, friend, partner, employee, we need to work at raising our self awareness. It’s only with greater self awareness that we are going to begin to change how we interact in the world. But once you have that self awareness using the learned skills of courage and vulnerability will allow you to openly express that expectation from a different perspective. Thus creating deeper connections and more fulfilling relationships.
If you are feeling you need help in creating greater self awareness coaching can absolutely help. Let’s chat.