Most of you know the game called Limbo. The way the game is played is two people hold each side of the pole and another person goes underneath it without touching it. If the person touches the pole he is out and if he doesn't touch it the pole goes down lower. It's a fun game and kids love it at parties.
Expectations can be a great motivator and also a killer. Look at my picture again - who expects the giraffe to win the Limbo dance? I think the giraffe can try his best to stay in the game for a few tries but there are certain limitations to how far the giraffe neck can bend to get under the pole without touching it. Would it be fair for me to say to the giraffe, "Mr. Giraffe, I don't expect you to last long but give it a try"? Is it the giraffe's fault he has a long neck and chances are he will not last long? No, but we don't have to say anything, unless to cheer him on. What if we said to the giraffe, "Mr. Giraffe, better luck next time. If you practice you might get better at it for next time," using expectations as a great motivator?
If you have a heartbeat then at one point or another you consciously or subconsciously put expectations on others. The expectations may not be even reasonable and if verbalized can possibly hurt someone. For example, should I expect my wife and kids to remember ALL the time when they need to speak with me to come tap on my shoulder or not to scream near my ears, or use clear speech. No, it would be silly to think they will remember it every time, regardless of my limitations like Mr. Giraffe. I think it's just reminding them of critical things I need in a healthy relationship and not expecting them to remember all the time. Yes, it might mean I have to remind them 300 million times, but they will learn how to limbo better each time.
What expectations do you have of others or of yourself?