You and I have different expectations. You have had different experiences and relationships from me. You’ve met different people. You’ve been to different places. And whats-more you’ve filtered it through a different brain.
I am very grateful for that.
I am also very grateful that you defy my own hopes and dreams for the sake of your own. You choose to take a completely different path to me. That is sensible. And it is necessary.
The world needs people to be different, to find different things to get excited about, to care about, and to concentrate on. It needs everyone to contribute their unique perspectives and passions.
But it is remarkably easy to forget this.
Before you know it you can be attempting to apply your own worldview and experiences onto others. You expect them to follow and live up to your own expectations.
You think that they should see things as you see them. You think they have seen the things you have seen, and known the things you know. You believe they think in the same way you think. You believe that you have made a rational decision to come to the point at which you now are.
Rather than inspiring people to think about how or why they think in a certain way, you resort to simply telling them they are wrong. Rather than engaging in dialogue you create and subscribe to stereotyping and keeping a distance.
We all have different expectations and views of what it means to experience the world. We all have different experiences of human beings, some great, some terrible.
The only expectations you have any real control over are those of yourself. What do you expect of yourself? What do you expect of yourself when you talk to other people?
If you expect them to behave differently then it would be right to expect that they expect the same of you. So, how does it feel to think that you are not holding up to their expectations?
Everyone has expectations, but we can’t use them as yardsticks to measure people. We must see them as barriers we have to constantly work and reassess against when considering other people. And we must accept that not everyone will care about what we care about, want to do what we do, think what we think, believe what we believe. And that’s OK.
By removing aggressive expectations it actually becomes more likely that you will inspire them to see things a little differently anyway. Nothing pushes people away like the feeling that they are being judged, belittled, or expected to behave or believe things with which they are uncomfortable.
“I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine” – Bruce Lee