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Expectations: Name them and Share them.

"An Internal Glance" is meant to nurture healthy self-awareness. It will come out once a month. Just a few questions to reflect on, to process with a friend, to pray about...We have enough people in the world who are experts in self-obsession. Let's be the opposite.

An Internal Glance.

Growing in personal development and spiritual maturity, a glance a time...

The Fallout: Unmet Expectations… 

For the second time, I am going through a course called  Emotionally Healthy Relationships. The work of this author, Peter Scazzero, is what influenced me to start “An Internal Glance.” This week the content focuses on how often things go sideways in our relationships because of unmet expectations. We have all experienced it, and far too often. 

Pete first helps us clarify our expectations. Typically, we are not even aware we have them. In most interactions we carry expectations. Coming off the holidays recently, I was reminded of how many expectations I and everyone else carry around those family times. It’s normal to desire particular things. It becomes a problem when we fail to communicate what they are. 

Before I share my reflection questions with you. I want to give you some of his helpful tools that help identify where we go wrong. First of all, he gives four reasons we end up having problems in this area:

  1. Unconscious: We have expectations we don’t even know we have. Disappointment will reveal them.

  2. Unrealistic: Our expectations are not reasonable.

  3. Unspoken: We are conscious of them and they may be realistic, but we don’t share them.

  4. Un-agreed Upon: We have expectations of others that they never agreed to, or others may have expectations of us that we did not agree to.

You can see how this can get messy!

He then provides a filter based on these four possibilities. When we consider the following “checklist,” so to speak, we will avoid the conflicts and hurt that can result from problems with expectations. What makes an expectation valid?

  1. Conscious: I am aware of and can name my expectations.

  2. Realistic: There is evidence to support that this expectation is reasonable. Maybe it was done in the past or the person has had a willingness to do it before. 

  3. Spoken: I have communicated my expectations.

  4. Agreed Upon: The other person involved has agreed to it.

My husband and I have learned to come to the weekend and ask what each other needs. When we go out of town, we take time to think about our expectations for the trip. We then share them. I am trying to be better about the holidays and naming what I hope for out of the time while also asking what others need as well. It is so helpful! However, I always struggle, especially in the more ordinary areas of life at home or work.

Stillness and personal time set aside to reflect is NECESSARY to this process, as you would guess. 

So here are a few questions for you to reflect on, a few thoughts for your Internal Glance…

  1. When did I experience an unmet expectation recently and what was the result of that situation for me and others?

  2. What person in my life do I seem to have conflict with the most as it relates to expectations? Can I communicate better in this relationship?

  3. What is an upcoming situation in my life where I have expectations I have not communicated yet?

  4. Who can I process this information with in my life so that we can work on it together?

The Enemy sneaks into these situations so often. We have countless stories of fallout with those around us because we do not know the expectations of others, or others have not known ours.

I hope this sets you up for more peace and better communication with those you love. 

For your reference, THIS is the book I am taking information from. I HIGHLY recommend it!

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