1 Relationship Practice We Always Forget
I don’t think one perfect relationship practice exists. In my opinion, a good relationship is marked by the application of a number of good practices – and the constant willingness of both parties to adapt and work together.
That being said, I figured it would still be good to talk about one practice in partiuclar that is often neglected or forgotten.
So without further ado, let’s talk expectations.
Expectations (in general)
We all have expectations – and not just for relationships. We expect things (whether voiced or unvoiced) from our jobs, our co-workers, our families, our friends, our church, our country, and life in general. Some of us have high expectations, others of us have low ones. Either way, whether high or low – expectations exist.
Normally, our expecations are locked away in a little corner of our mind. Yet despite their obscurity, they inform our moods and emotions.
Consider for a moment the expectations we place upon our loved ones. Most of us, I would argue, expect to be loved, respected, admired, and cherished. However, the moment an action is taken that contradicts our pre-established notions, our mood instantly shifts.
We become annoyed and upset. Why? Becasue a standard was not acheived, an action not taken, or a whole host of other percieved failures.
In other words, our expectation was not met.
The Problem With Expectations
Here’s the thing with expectations, though: unless they’re clearly expressed – we have no right being upset when they’re unmet.
Yet we have the tendency to place standards upon our loved ones without informing them that their actions are being measured. So when they come up short, we get angry.
“Yeah, but they should know by now…yada yada yada”
No one – and I mean NO ONE – is a mind reader. Bri and I have known each other since we were 14 years old – we’ll both be 28 this summer. We dated in highschool, did the whole “break up and get back together” thing, and eventually got married almost six years ago.
To this day, there are still moments where I’m not sure what she’s feeling or what her expectations are. So instead of playing the guessing game – I ask. It’s better to be clear on what is expected, then come up short and disappoint.
Here’s another way to look at it: an unvoiced expectation is simply an assumption.
Defined, an assumption is: a thing that is accepted as true or as certain to happen, without proof. The key here is “without proof.” It’s unreasonable for us to expect something to happen (or not happen) without the “proof” of us first making clear what we want.
So what is the 1 relationship practice we always forget?
The 1 Relationship Practice We ALWAYS Forget = NOT VOICING OUR EXPECTATIONS
It’s as simple as that. If you’re anything like me, you’re wonderful at creating expectations, yet terrible at communicating them. But the fact of the matter is, we have no right expressing any sort of dissapointment whenever our unvoiced standards are not reached.
So if you expect ANYTHING in a relationship (and I mean anything), make sure its been made clear – I gurantee it’ll make for smoother relational sailing.
Let’s talk about it – is failing to voice expectations something you’ve struggled with (I know I have!)?