Managing expectations

I read a lot of product reviews because I like to have a sense of what to expect if I decide to spend my hard earned money on a product or service.

When it comes to people though, it is difficult to readily find reviews on who they are, what to expect and how they behave. Even when we ask about individuals we fancy, such opinions may be tainted with sentiments or just express a side the individual shows to the people from whom we seek the opinion.

Then the downward spiral begins. Once we’ve gotten an opinion from someone else about a potential love interest (PLI) or potential friend (PF), we place expectations upon them of which they are clueless.

Then we get upset when they act in certain ways and for the life of them, they have no idea why we are upset. Then they get upset because they thing we are being unjustly temperamental…it is a vicious cycle really.

Recently, I was to meet a friend at the airport because we simply couldn’t fit in lunch/dinner during her holiday in the UK. Excitedly, I prepared for the meet up and at the last minute it dawned on me, I had no idea which airport I was to meet her!

There are 5 airports in London and although I was pretty sure we were to meet at Heathrow (she was taking a flight to Naija) but I could not just assume what terminal it was. I called her at the last minute to confirm what terminal and it turned out to be terminal 5! Left to me, I would have gone to terminal 3 and would have been very upset if I had to go all the way to terminal 5.

If I had gone to terminal 3, I would have had no right to be upset with her because I did not ask her where to meet up. You could argue and say she should have told me but we need to realise that in managing the expectations we place on others and maintaining healthy relationships, being proactive is key.

How do I endeavour to live a drama free life? As usual, I have a few pointers that work for me and you could try them too:

· I ask specific questions on what is expected of me in whatever capacity I fill. I make no assumptions at all because what worked in the past may not work in the present and I would never know what would work in a present situation if I do not ask specific questions.
Also I push back if I think an expectation of me is lofty and reach a comprise on what I am comfortable with delivering.

· I constantly ask for feedback on what I could do better to improve relationships with family, friends, clients and acquaintances.
I ensure I don’t take things personally or react when I am being given honest feedback about a shortcoming…people would never be honest with you if all you do is react or protest when they tell you how you’ve wronged or disappointed them.

· I also ensure I communicate frequently. I know it is a bit geeky but I have a communication delivery matrix(CDM) where I determine who I want to communicate with, how frequently I should communicate with them and what the communication would be all about.
Yup…if I have ever ‘randomly’ called you or sent you a text, I admit it was not a random call/text. You were in my CDM and it was time for me to catch up with you because I value our relationship (and those things we talked about were things I wrote down to bring up when next I speak to you…sorry, I am not so spontaneous after all).

These are some of the steps I follow to manage expectations but I would really like your opinions or views on how you manage expectations so be a star and give me feedback.

In other news, my darling Miss Craig was in London the other day and we spent the whole evening doing touristy things (Oxford Circus and Piccadilly Circus cruises, shopping, taking pictures of Christmas decor). It made me realise how totally blessed I am to live in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. I am truly a happy child.

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Have a fab day people.

x.

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