“I already know how he’s going to react“

We humans tend to have an expectation of how someone will react to something or to us, or we have an expectation of how someone should react.

Merriam-Webster describes ‚to expect‘ as follows: 

  • to consider probable or certain
  • to consider reasonable, due, or necessary
  • to consider bound in duty or obligated
  • to anticipate or look forward to the coming or occurrence of
  • to suppose, think
  • to await


Expectations for Yourself

What do you expect from yourself? 

Are you also one of these people who set the bar very high and would like to do everything perfectly and correctly? What are your expectations based on? Are they even yours?

I was definitely one of the people who wanted to do everything so well that I never started some projects because I thought I was never ready and I wasn’t good enough. 

My reference point was always on the outside. It took me years of inner work to realize that other people are different. They have different gifts, different desires, different prerequisites than I do. It usually only brings irritation when I imitate others in things that are not a match for me.

Many expectations on ourselves were created in our family of origin. I had already written about this the other day. You can read it here.
We take over and adopt attitudes and behaviors from our environment, judge them, and draw conclusions or act accordingly.

Not only that my expectations on myself were and partly still are very high, I used to tend to expect the same from others what I demanded from myself.


Expectations on others

Now I extended the pressure on myself to my environment and my partners. 

Total failure!

How could I expect my partner to have the same standards that I have? That may be the case in some areas, probably not in all.

A simple example that may seem familiar to you:

For me it is important to have a certain degree of tidiness around me. If I then live together with a chaotic person, problems can arise. In the past, there were arguments, because I expected my partner to be like me and tidy up. Far from it!

That meant there was constant friction because I demanded neatness, but he couldn’t deliver.

Fortunately, I met my first mentor and learned how to bring back my much-loved harmony in the relationship. 

This definitely does not work by insisting on my point of view and thinking that my counterpart has to change and adapt to me. They won’t. I can only change myself and my attitude.


Self-fulfilling prophecy 

In my women’s workshops and retreats we also play. Apart from the fact that this is fun, through playing we experience and learn with our whole being. This is significantly more profound than processing information only with the mind.

During one of these occasions, Anita wanted to try out a scene that occurred from time to time in her everyday life and led to trouble.

Anita sometimes returns from work later than planned. Her husband is usually already home by then, standing in the kitchen preparing dinner. 

In the past, instead of greeting her back, he had welcomed her with blame and then fallen into an offended silence. 

We set the scene and Anita acted out the situation with another participant. In Between they switched roles.

After that, it “clicked” for Anita.  She had a great moment of realization!

“I just realized through the play that already when I unlock the front door, I expect my husband to be mad and react the way he usually does!”

It struck her, that she had created by her own behavior, exactly what she didn’t want to have.

The moral of the story?

Let go of expectations and your life will be easier!


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