Often we are encouraged to raise our expectations or we are to have high expectations of ourselves, our team or others. It sounds so positive and forward leaning doesn’t it. Ever heard some of these? “When you go on that field you need to expect the best from yourself and your team-mates.” “This sales team is the best ever, but next year we have high expectations for you.” and so it goes. In reading “The DNA of Relationships,” by Gary Smalley, I ran into this definition. “The difference between what I expect and what I get is stress.” Therefore all of you who are overstressed and over frustrated, you angry, ill-tempered over-expecters –listen up. The key to happiness is (drum roll please) LOWER YOUR EXPECTATIONS!
This is especially true when dealing with others, for all others are imperfect people who are riddled with flaws. When others don’t provide the love and affirmation we crave – lower your expectations. They are coping with their own overwhelming issues. If others do not make decisions with which you agree, remember this they should not be expected to. Their logic and values are fouled up so we should not expect consistent wise choices. If we are living with the false hope that we will always receive what we want, when we want it and in the way we want it, we will be in a state of continual stress. Rather, expect less and when a little love and cooperation comes your way be thrilled with the surprise. A few concise statements from the Bible may help with in the expectation game.
Forbear one another Eph. 4:2
Forgive one another Col. 3:13
Love one another 1 Thess. 4:9
Build up one another 1 Thess 5:11
Don’t judge one another Rom. 14:13
Have compassion for one another 1 Pet. 3:8