You know, if everyone would just do what we expect them to do, the way we expect them to do it, everything would be fine. Am I right here? Unfortunately that’s not how it works, and then, we find ourselves in resentment. Managing our expectations can be tricky, but for me it goes back to what I’ve talked about in previous posts about finding out the facts. As I’ve said before, when we find out the facts, we are safe.
I used to be guilty of wishful thinking, of assuming that everyone knew what I was thinking or expecting, and were just going to do it the way I would want it done. I was afraid to speak up and ask others what their expectations were and, what they were willing to give or contribute. I had too much fear that you might not be on the same page so I just wouldn’t ask the questions, and then be hurt, disappointed, or angry when you didn’t follow through. But, I didn’t follow through for myself, I didn’t get all the information, and if someone called me out on that, I would get defensive and angry. Really, I was embarrassed that I hadn’t spoken up and done the work for myself.
This ties into a few different things. First, believing that your voice matters and asking for what you want. Now, just because you’re asking doesn’t mean you’re always going to get it, but if you are clear about your expectations then the other person or people can then let you know if they are on the same page or not, or what they are willing to do. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. If someone says no, it’s not the end of the world, what it is, is the end of you expecting them to participate and you can now move on to find someone else who may want to help you out or come on board. When we know the facts we are safe. This also goes for other people’s expectations of us. I used to be a people pleaser, never wanting to disappoint anyone or upset them because I didn’t want them to think I was a bad person, so I would agree to things, or kind of say yes without really committing, so that I looked good in the moment, but then wouldn’t follow through or make an excuse when the time came resulting in hurt feelings and frayed friendships, I would always be the martyr and claim that I never really committed, justifying my flakiness in every situation. It’s funny how I always thought I was right in those situations, but when someone did it to me, I was angry. Well here’s the thing, when we’re living as our authentic selves, loving ourselves, choosing the right people to have in our lives, people we love and respect, then it becomes easier to speak our truth, and to ask for it.
Today, for me, it’s about keeping my side of the street clean. If I’m not able to help someone out, I tell them, I will explain why, and if I can and it’s asked for, maybe offer another solution or option, that way the people in my life know where I stand, and what they can expect from me. I’m not going to lie, sometimes people are disappointed, but I’d rather have them not count on me for something I know I can’t or don’t want to do then have them think I’m on board, and that goes for myself as well, I need to ask if someone is willing or wanting to help me with things, and ask, that way if they say no I know to move on, ask someone else. No, isn’t the worst thing someone can say to you, sometimes it can be the best, because it may force you to think outside the box, or go to someone you might not have thought to go to before. I try to look at a no as an opportunity.
When we ask for what we want, and are honest with others about what we are able to give or contribute, our expectations stay in check, as do others’ with us, most of the time, but it’s a good base to operate from to maintain and build healthy relationships. And, an incredible way to honor living as our authentic selves.
SLAY OF THE DAY: Do you ask for what you want? If not, why? Do you think you deserve to have what you want? If not, why? Do you ask people what their expectations are before getting started on a project or activity? Are you afraid to ask? Why? The challenge SLAYER is ask the questions you need to feel safe, and to be honest with others about what you are willing to give, you, like everyone else, deserves to be heard, and deserves to know the facts. SLAY on.
S – self L – love A – appreciate Y – you