When we have unrealistic expectations for the people in our lives, it sets us up for disappointment. Am I saying that we should not have expectations at all? Of course not! We should expect the best of our loved ones, friends, and family, but at the same time we must remember they are human beings with imperfections.
The COVID-19 lockdown has lead many of us to spend more time with our partners, spouses, and children. One of the reasons they might be getting on our nerves is due to our unrealistic expectations. We need to drop these expectations like hot coals burning in our hands. I know right now you are saying to yourself, “You have no idea what he or she did that is so unbelievable to make me upset,” and “You could not possibly understand what I am going through.” But one thing I know for certain is that your unrealistic expectations are partly to blame for how much you are suffering right now.
We all want to plan ahead and have people cooperate with us. We want situations to go exactly the way we plan but that rarely happens. This isn’t negative, it is the truth. We need to realize that people are imperfect and will disappoint us.
When we expect people to be flawless, it is frustrating for everyone involved. We must learn to be generous and forgiving. Non-forgiveness is like taking poison yourself hoping it will hurt the other person. If we do not forgive, we will suffer.
The good news is that we have a choice in how we handle the imperfections of others. We can either suffer and be miserable or we can rise up and be generous and forgiving. Saying you forgive the other person for their imperfections saves you, not them. Forgiveness is easy once you realize this.
I urge you to be optimistic about others and hope for the best. But I also urge you to be realistic and realize that we all have to deal with things that are unpleasant and people who are disagreeable. Your attitude in these situations greatly affects your enjoyment of life. You can be realistic and still have a positive attitude as you deal with your own imperfections and those of the people around you.
Developing better communication skills to manage conflict is also critical for your success in relationships. Check out my posts on how to navigate conflict in relationships.
- A Compassionate Approach with Difficult People
- Guidelines for Relationship Conflict
- Navigating Conflict with Unreasonable People
- Communication Strategies for Conflict Avoidant People
If you would like coaching on how to let go of anger toward a loved one, please contact me through my website to schedule an appointment.