“Anger always comes from frustrated expectations.” – Elliott Larson
If you want to experience this first-hand, visit our local WalMart. They’re undergoing major renovations. This is a good thing. Many shoppers are having trouble finding things because many things aren’t where they’re supposed to be. This is not a good thing.
We humans tend to like things they way we suppose them to be. We prefer our expectations be met (at the very least). And when our expectations aren’t met – well, we often get mad.
Expectations can be a lot like gravity. They can bring us down with a huge crash.
This week I had an experience that challenged my expectations. At first I was angry. Then I was just disappointed. Now I’m over it.
I always hate it when my expectations aren’t met. Lately though, I’m finding it easier to deal with. At least I don’t spend as much time and energy caught up in the gig.
Here’s how that happened. It’s another ‘young teacher story’. It happened at Camp Waccamaw
a couple of years ago. I was tying my best to corral the kids when one of my (then five-year-old) great nieces smiled at me and said, “Aunt Lisa, you have entirely unrealistic expectations of us.”
After I stopped laughing, I told her what I was hoping to accomplish. That was all it took. Hope.
So now when I catch myself riding running head first into the frustration that comes from my own unmet expectations, I wonder how I’d feel differently if it was an unmet hope instead.
The biggest difference between and unmet hope and an unmet expectation is the anger thing. Don’t get me wrong – I’m OK with anger. I’m just not OK with it when it’s the result of something I made up.
Unmet hopes still leave me disappointed. I just don’t have to waste my precious energy working through unfruitful anger.
I hope and then I let it be.
That’s just me.
How about you? How do you deal with unmet expectations?