Thursday, March 3, 2016

It's a Dangerous Practice

There is a simple thing that can quickly bring instability to any relationship. It's been known to disrupt marriages, friendships, and even work environments. When I lead premarital counseling I always caution against the inherent danger in this common practice. It's the poison of unmet, unexpressed expectations. 

We all have expectations for how things should develop and how certain situations should unfold. By itself this isn't necessarily negative. Problems start to arise when we get upset or greatly disappointed when our expectations aren't met. When we allow this to impact the people around us when we have never shared those thoughts, we are now adding another qualifying characteristic: unreasonable

It's not very wise to believe other people will be able to anticipate how to respond exactly how we want them to. Learning to share these thoughts creates an opportunity to discover what is realistic while making our feelings known. A clear communication of desires may not necessarily bring the results we intended, but it does open up the pathway to honest expression. Too many relationships fail when one person gets upset and the other person has no idea why. 

Either learn to share these expectations (and make realistic adjustments) or stop taking things personally when they don't happen according to an internal, unshared script.

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