#17: Awareness and Expectations
Hello, friends, and happy Sunday! This week has thrown lots of lessons my way regarding expectations, so here we find our topic!
(For clarification: when I refer to relationships in this post, I am talking about ANY relationship: romantic, friends, acquaintances, work, etc... it applies to ALL of them!)
I set very high expectations for myself regarding honesty, integrity, communication, follow-through, work ethic, ownership... well, pretty much everything! While I understand that not everyone holds the same standards (and that's okay!), I do have the tendency to see the absolute best in everyone and because of that, fall into kind of an idealistic frame of mind when it comes to my relationships... this has often led to me feeling blind-sided, getting my feelings hurt, and being disappointed (boo!). No one wants that, right?! So, in true fashion, I seek the lessons in these experiences.
What I have learned is that I need to protect my own heart while maintaining my personal standards, and also allow others to have their own versions of such. In other words, it is important to meet people where they are in life... if the relationship is important to you. People will tell you who they are, what they need, and what they can offer, but many will not articulate it. I am personally very self-reflective and communicative, so you will always know where you stand with me because I will tell you in both words and actions. To be real, though, most people are not like that, which is completely okay! Many will simply convey their standards and intentions by way of their actions and how they treat you and others. It is important to be aware of that and respectful of this type of nonverbal communication, both for yourself and the other person. It is then up to you to decide if the relationship is worth either the slight or vast disconnect, to give yourself appropriate boundaries, and to give the other person the space they need to progress individually and in the relationship. Awareness is key. With awareness, you are able to see clearly, keep your heart safe, and be open to another person's way of communicating. This can really save relationships, or at least give them a fighting chance!
Here's the thing, though: you are not the only one who needs to participate in this rodeo. The other person needs to be respectful of your communication style, what you need, and meet you where you are as well. BOTH people are important, so be sure that you are not the only one compromising and adjusting expectations.
Take away: be honest, aware, and communicative. Accept others for where they are, allow them to accept you for where you are, and determine if bending will lead to a break or if it will lead to a wonderfully fulfilling reciprocal relationship.