A Woman's Voice


THOUGHTFUL THURSDAY ~ Reasonable Expectations ~ October 13, 2011 by Dolores Ayotte

Not too long ago, I had an interesting conversation with one of my adult daughters. She was actually quizzing me about child rearing practices and expectations. She wasn’t pleased with the behavior of one of her children. She mentioned that when she and her sisters were growing up, that they just knew that their father and I had expectations of them. She went on to say that she innately knew by those expectations just how far she could go. For instance,  she knew that she was expected to get good grades in school, to behave in an acceptable manner whether we were there to witness it or not, or to get a higher education and be all that she could be.  This daughter also told me that our having expectations of her and her sisters help set the bar for their personal growth and success because they learned to have reasonable goals and expectations of themselves.

My husband and I also have expectations of ourselves. We are both goal oriented and  have set numerous targets for ourselves over the years. We then worked hard to attain these sometimes difficult goals. When we failed, and we did fail on more than one occasion, we just tried harder and prayed for the guidance that we needed. When I look at the world around me, I think it is a positive attribute to have reasonable expectations of others especially if I have expectations of myself and my loved ones. In fact, I am complimenting them because I have such high regard for them as I see them in that same light. To me, to not have any expectations of others is to infer that they are less than me. I do not look at my friends or others in this way.

I would consider this type of behavior as a big effort on my part to avoid disappointment. I’ve been there and this kind of imbalance in a relationship is not very rewarding for either party. To expect nothing and only choose to give and never receive in a relationship is not what I would even classify as a relationship.  It not only implies that I am capable of more but it also implies that others are less than me and not as willing or able to give. It gives me the upper hand and suggests that they are needy and I am not.  It does nothing for a person’s self-esteem to even hint at the idea that they may have nothing to give back.  When we expect nothing of others what are we really saying?

Relationships or friendships imply an affinity, kinship, or connection to other human beings.  My friends are very much equal to me and I treat them as equals and they do the same. I would not accept to be treated as less in any of my relationships.  I expect my friends to be able to count on me during both the good and bad times.  I am no more chosen to just give to them than they are chosen to just give to me. We are all meant to give and receive on this earth. These kinds of reciprocal and respectful relationships are what make up the fabric of lasting and true friendship.  This is why I have chosen to have reasonable expectations of my friends. They are as capable of giving as I am. We are the same. For that I am very grateful because I need their prayers, their love, their support, and their encouragement.  I would like to think that they need the same from me.  I am very honored when they embrace the fact that they can count on me.

It is our mutual love and respect for each other as well as the give and take in all healthy relationships that have made them all the more precious to me. It has also given these kinships the strength to stand the test of time. It would be an ideal world if we could all be in a position to only give but I know full well that it has been a humbling experience for me to admit that I need to receive as well. This humbling experience has reminded me of the necessity for more humility in my life by accepting that I too, am needy, at times. “We all mold one another’s dreams.  We all hold each other’s fragile hopes in our hands.  We all touch others’ hearts….” ~ Source Unknown.

INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES

“The sculptor will chip off all the unnecessary material to set free the angel. Nature will chip and pound us remorselessly to bring out our possibilities. she will strip us of wealth, humble our pride, humiliate our ambition, let us down from the ladder of fame, will discipline us in a thousand different ways if she can develop a little character….” ~ Orison Swett Marden

“There is no medicine like hope, no incentive so great, and no tonic so powerful as expectation of something tomorrow.” ~ Orison Swett Marden

 

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