118 How to have great expectations of others

Anything worth pursuing will involve others. And, when we do involve them, we form expectations—some of them not so great. This episode discusses how to have great expectations of others.

How to have great expectations of others

This week’s Inspire Me quote is from Leo Tolstoy:

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.

In this episode, Leary and Armin talk about expectations, conflict, and empathy. They share that what we expect of others is shaped by several things, including:

  • Our circumstances.
  • Assumed values.
  • Assumed skills.
  • Our inner narrative.

They suggest that the best way to determine the health of our expectations is to look at the relationships that disappoint us most and ask the following core questions:

  1. In what way am I disappointed? What did he/she do or fail to do that created the disappointment?
  2. How has that disappointment affected the way I deal with that person? Is it different than how I would treat a stranger?
  3. What would it take to earn back my trust? If I were in there shoes, what would I have to do to restore the relationship?
  4. Have I communicated that to the person? If not, why not? Would I want to know if the tables were turned?

Quotes from the show:

  • “We don’t often ask ourselves, ‘What is the proper degree of expectation that I should have with another party?’ and ‘How do we adjust that?'” —Leary
  • “The key to having healthy expectations of others is this concept that we’ve talked about called grace.” —Leary
  • “Grace fills the gap between the expectations we have of someone and their performance.” —Leary
  • “When we can trust in something, we should have high expectations of it.” —Leary
  • “We assume that other people have the same skills [as us] or that they should.” —Leary
  • “The proper expectation to set with someone is in keeping with what you have observed of their skills and accounting for the level of emotional maturity, relational maturity, [and] vocational maturity in the area you’re expecting them to be strong in.” —Leary
  • “What we’re trying to do through gossip is crowdsource our anger.” —Leary
  • “We set ourselves up as the hero of our own narrative and then we evaluate others in that light—’How important are they in allowing us to achieve our herodom?’ If they aren’t important to us achieving our herodom, then we might just be dismissive of them and not spend time with them. But if they are important to us and they let us down, it really does affect how we then deal with the expectations we have with them.” —Leary
  • “What says to each of us that we’re valued and important is when other people confirm for us the thing we want them to confirm without us having to tell them.” —Leary

This week’s Challenge Me:

Great Expectations challenge: Ask the core questions about the relationships that have disappointed you and decide what action you will take.

Comments? Questions? Stories of how you’ve pursued having great expectations of others? Share them in the comments section below.

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