“If I accept you as you are, I will make you worse; however if I treat you as though you are what you are capable of becoming, I help you become that”-Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
I always find myself getting inspired by others, thinking how great my life would be if I get to be them. To be able to think, act, live the life they live – that would be a dream come true. I often have this idea (or rather assumption) about their surroundings; A is very educated, surely she’s capable of making good judgement every time. B is very well-verse in his conversation, no way he’s ever come to a situation where he’s having difficulty to explain himself to others.
When we see celebrities (singers, actors, politicians, religious teachers) we too carry this idea that they have to be perfect. They can’t do any silly mistake. Divorce? Ah, not them. Forgot to pick their kids from school? That would never happen. Arguing with their spouse? No way!
We imagine them to be ideal; say if we bump into them strolling with their kids at the park – they should be handling their kids with poise, their children are all well-behave while they still manage to strike a beautiful smile for us.
But when it comes to us; we expect others to be in our shoes. Understand our condition, “Man, I’m going through hard times now. My boyfriend dump me, I didn’t get the job I wanted and my parents are making fuss because I’m yet to be married” Because we are not a celebrity?
I’m not focusing on expectations towards celebrities merely. This even happen to non-celebrities. People tend to set a very high expectations towards those who are closer to them. In return, they might disappoint themselves and their loved ones too – thinking because we are close, you have to be able to read my mind and I get to give you silent treatment, just cause.
Why People Have Expectations on Others?
Many people are unaware of their own self-doubt. Failing to recognize own insecurity often leads others to throwing unnecessary expectations on others.
2. To Fulfill Own Agenda
Like it or not, people do have their goals in life. As small as a brother wanting his baby brother to get his helmet on the rack; to as big as a superior wanting his subordinates to achieve the company’s monthly target in sales. We too have our own goals!
Never expect others to fulfill our personal agenda. Ever.
3. I Can Do This, So Can She
People have the tendency to think others are capable of doing what they can do. This has to stop. Every person is unique and no one has to be exactly like others. Just because we love Backstreet Boys, we shouldn’t be thinking others would have the same idea on Backstreet Boys too!
Channeling Your Expectations To The One That Deserves It
Would life be so much better if we do not have expectations on others? Not really. Expectations is not always bad. The rule of expectations uses expectations to influence reality and create results. Numerous studies have shown how the rules of expectations dramatically influences people’s performance 1
The Prophet (peace be upon him) related to us that Allah says:
“I am as My servant thinks of Me. I am with him when he remembers Me. If he mentions Me within himself, I mention him within Myself. If he mentions Me in an assembly, I mention him in a better assembly. If he comes near to Me a handspan, I come near to him the distance of a cubit. If he comes near to Me the distance of a cubit, I come near to him the distance of two outspread arms. If he comes to Me walking, I come to him running.”[Sahîh al-Bukhârî (6856) and Sahîh Muslim (4832)]
How To Overcome This?
1. Stop Having Expectations on Others!
I have to say this, Bruce Lee is indeed a genius. He knows he doesn’t have to live up to other’s expectations, and he didn’t want others to live up to his own expectations either!
2. Only Expects From The One That Can Fulfill It
Always go back to our Creator. Have as much expectations as you want to on Him, ask ask and ask from Him and tell Him out over everything.
“O Allah, make me content with what you have provided me, send blessings for me therein, and replace for me every absent thing with something better”[Bukhari].
3. Be Thankful
As soon as we recognize all the blessings around us, we would be able to understand that we do not need another human to fulfill our needs.
“If you express gratitude, I shall certainly give you more, and if you are ungrateful, then My punishment is severe.” [Ibrahim: 7]
4. Be Sincere
You may have done a lot for others. From feeding the poor to assisting your friend to get sponsors for his project. But ask yourself, are you doing all these just to get recognize by another human? Or you really feel like helping because that’s an act of a human? Ask, ask and ask yourself.
God gives us people to love and things to use, not things to love and people to use.– Max Lucado
Let’s not ruin the beautiful relationship you have with too much expectations on others.
As Sylvia Path said: “If you expect NOTHING from somebody, you are NEVER disappointed”