SANDRINE RATTAN writes a weekly column called WITH WOMEN IN MIND
Expectation feeds frustration. It is an unhealthy attachment to people, things, and outcomes we wish we could control but don’t. – Dr Steve Maraboli
Expectations are usually on the tips of the tongue of many people. However, when expectations are not met, hearts become broken easily, to the extent that some even feel suicidal. People would always be people, and therefore, being too hopeful about the fulfilment of expectations must at all times be guarded.
Fulfilling expectations is characterised by honesty and integrity coupled with compassion and care for the well-being of others. Many continue to make promises in most instances during a conversation, hoping to pacify a situation.
I have seen and continue to see many promises which I know from the onset would not be fulfilled, primarily because of other factors with the potential to affect those promises and/or expectations coming to fruition. Prior to expecting expectations, it is important to carefully assess attitudes, facial movements, intonations, intent and depth of your relationship with the individual offering the expectation, and of course, character and integrity. There are some necessary tips which must be heeded at both ends of the spectrum… those making the promises and those expecting the fulfilment.
One of the greatest methods of approach is to briefly test the psyche of the giver which starts by obtaining answers to some simple questions such as –Can you deliver by this time? Can you arrive at this time to complete delivery? If the responses are not direct and specific, worry and uncertainty step in.
A major part of one’s inability to fulfil promises is a fear of not being favoured and/or liked by others. There are many who use promises as buffers to pacify pain, hurt and anger… for example, a parent offers their sobbing son or daughter a toy or a snack if they cease their tears, and the child immediately stops hoping to receive the promised item. Or, an employer promising his/her employees a salary increase or promotion if they engage in an offline activity. There are many experiences that fit the bill of unmet expectations which people at the receiving end never took time to assess before seriously accepting.
Managing situations relating to unmet expectations requires strong levels of tact and skills. Start by accepting the fact that you are unable to control everything, and don’t even attempt to do so, this is also aligned to your inability to control how others think and act; you are, however, in control of allowing others to make false promises to you. Identify the lessons learnt during the course of time that your expectations were not met as new opportunities may emerge. Avoid maintaining friendships with individuals who continuously crowd your life with broken promises and unmet expectations as they are not linked to healthy living.
Sandrine Rattan is a communications and branding consultant, author, empowerment builder and president of the International Women’s Resource Network (IWRN) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or contact 283-0318.
The (IWRN) is seeking volunteers in the area of counselling. For more info: 283-0318.