Thrive Day 8: Don’t have Unrealistic Expectations {for Others}

Along with not having unrealistic expectations for yourself, I think it’s also really important to not have unrealistic expectations for others.  I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve caught myself saying to my then 3 year old…”why are you acting like a 3 year old”…oh yeah, because that’s what you are!!  Hmm…I think we most often set ourselves up for failure when we have unrealistic expectations for those closest to us.  I would love it if Brad could read my mind and then answer, react, behave accordingly…but the truth of the matter is there are plenty of times when I hardly know what I’m thinking…how could I ever expect him to get it right every time when I can’t myself?

disney gave me unrealistic expectation about hair


I believe that Hollywood and romance novels have done women all of us a huge disservice…they perpetuate the myth that the perfect man exists who caters to the woman’s every whim and makes everything all about her.  Marriage isn’t about either partner being perfect..because you aren’t.  It’s not about either person serving the other and making life all about them, because it isn’t.  Marriage is about a commitment to love each other and choosing to work through the ups and downs and ins and outs of life with two imperfect people, working together as a team.  Don’t allow a fairytale storyline to adversely impact your life by believing that you just need to find “Mr. Wonderful” to sweep you off your feet and then all your problems will go away.  That’s not how real life works.

I have found that some of the times I’m most frustrated is when I have “the plan” I mean “the perfect plan” and somebody else comes along and messes with it.  That frustrates me to no end…and yet because I’ve had the unrealistic expectation that everybody else would cater to my every whim, I set myself up for frustration.  So much better when I go with the flow and am flexible and not so set in my plan that I can’t adapt to what’s going on around me.

A few years ago our oldest played in the local YMCA soccer league for 4 and 5 year olds…he wasn’t really interested, and did a lot of standing around on the field, dancing around and just enjoyed the atmosphere.  I’ll never forget another family that had 2 kids on his team…a 5 year old little boy and a 4 year old little girl.  The little boy, we’ll call him Drew, was really good…by far, the best player on our team.  His younger sister was just along for the ride.  For the most part the kids played and had a good time, but if Drew wasn’t the “perfect player” or missed the ball or didn’t take a shot when his dad thought he should…he screamed at him from the sideline.  Not good natured encouragement, but coaching, direction, do this, do that, run faster, and on and on and on.  By the end of the season, Drew had lost all joy for the game and hardly wanted to play anymore.  Broke my heart!  His dad had unrealistic expectations that he was turning his son into a pro-bound soccer star instead of letting him enjoy playing 5 year old soccer…and no good came of it for either of them.

Where in your life do you have unrealistic expectations?  What can you do to temper those expectations?

31 Days, ThriveJodiComment