Also known as: That thing that ruins our relationships. At least, I think it does.
What are your expectations?
This question often comes up whenever I attend trainings at work, or whenever there are big meetings with people I don’t know. Shortly after the introduction part, everyone is asked to give an expectation for the session, so the facilitator or teacher would have an idea on what others want to get before they leave the class or go out the door. With all the trainings and the classes I attended, I should be used to that already, right?
May I be totally, absolutely honest?
I hate setting expectations.
Mostly it’s because I normally don’t set expectations, or I just don’t think about it much. I mean, in classes or trainings like that, everyone has the same expectation: to learn. So hearing that several times can get quite boring, you know? Plus, I feel like it’s putting a certain pressure on someone when you set expectations and that just makes things…well, weird and awkward when you don’t get it.
Oh wait. I don’t think I’m talking about the trainings anymore.
See, as much as I don’t like giving or stating expectations in classes like that…I realize that I’m a very expecting person.
And it sucks.
It’s strange, but maybe it’s based on experience? When I was younger, I felt a certain pressure when it came to my grades. I was an achiever in elementary and high school, so naturally, my parents expected I would be able to maintain it. But I didn’t, for several years, and I felt a bit suffocated whenever I’d get scolded when I am not the Top 1 or when I get a score lower than what I normally get. And it sucks because I wanted to be a normal student who’s happy with just…passing, you know?
Oh, but I’m thankful for this positive pressure for my studies because it pushed me to excel. It was my first and real experience with expectations, which isn’t really the dangerous kind. And then I started expecting certain things from people that basically spelled trouble for myself later on/until now.
See…expectations are misleading. I think it’s pride that fuels all these expectations. Like, I should receive this award because I worked harder on this compared to that other person. Or…I should be surprised for my birthday because I did the surprise for someone else’s. Or perhaps in a more personal level, like expecting a person to act a certain way because you think you deserve that kind of treatment, or because you know you’d do the same, or worse, because you’re assuming certain things that may or may not be true.
And it just sucks when those expectations aren’t met.
But who’s to blame for that? Especially if that expectation is one-sided?
Suffice to say that even if I hate setting expectations in class, I seem to be one of those people who seem to expect a lot. For various reasons, and some of them may be perfectly valid…but others? Nah. I usually just set myself up for different kinds of heart break.
The problem is…I don’t know how to kill these expectations sometimes. :(
And that just…well, sucks.
Unfortunately, I don’t have any life lessons to impart on expectations because I seem to be stuck in that rut now. Perhaps a part 2 will be in order.
I leave you with my theme song for the moment which perfectly sums up this post:
All of these expectations just meant my heart will be breaking, oh why can’t I see?
– What I Need by Dave Barnes feat. Jonny Lang
Why can’t I see indeed. Sigh. Pray for me? Please?