High Expectations

How high is too high?

When it comes to expectations in relationships, think about the people in your life: friends, family, marriage, dating, work/school acquaintances.  What sort of standards and expectations do you put on them?

I tend to have extremely high expectations for the people most important to me…..too high, I think.  I’m almost pretty sure that no one can even live up to these expectations I have placed on them.  {I’ve even been told, by more than one person, “I’m sorry that I can’t live up to your expectations.” OUCH!}

And here’s the thing:  When I expect someone to do/be someone I think they should be, I’m always ending up disappointed and hurt when it turns out they can’t live up to it.  I try to justify myself by saying, “ I have standards“…. but seriously,

Are my standards too high?

Of which I’m pretty sure the answer is yes.

And I truly don’t know what I can do to change that. (but I know I have to do something…)

(any thoughts???)

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About Maureen Hochdorf

Writer. Editor. High Techi. Non-Profit Founder. Traveler. Sports Lover. Star Wars Fanatic. Tel Aviver. Michigander.... View all posts by Maureen Hochdorf

12 responses to “High Expectations

  • claudia

    Dear Mo,
    I know exactly what you mean ..i am in the same situation….maybe it’s because we want more from life than just relationships…we want meaningful relationships of all sorts and sometimes we have to settle for superficial things and I don’t like that.
    I am going through something right now…and when i finally thought that I found someone who could listen to my heart…I was sooo wrong!!!
    anyways, 2010 started in a positive note….it’s not your standards that are too high…mostly the other people have too low standards:-(

    • moweezle

      I love you, Claudia!!! We are like two Plastic Peas in a Pod! 🙂 I am making it one of my 2010 goals to finally get my butt up there and visit you. I think Italy is calling out my name….. 🙂

  • @ngie

    Add to your great expectations a jeaping dose of grace expectations. I had this same tendency (truth be told I still do). I took it before the Lord. The way He chose to answer my prayer for a new way of seeing people is that He place a few wonderfully gracious people on my life. Their practices (vocab, facial expressions, gestures, patience, etc.) began to rub off on me. Keep it before the Lord. I trust that He who began a good work in you will complete it. One more thing, I admire your humble attitude in admitting you want to change and seeking help. That speaks volumes. You are awesome, Maureen!

  • @ngie

    Jeaping – talk about some Spanglish. 🙂 ja ja ja

    • moweezle

      @ng: that is great advice…. I completely need a jeaping dose of grace expectations 🙂 (and I love the Jeaping part…. I used to speak some Portglish all the time. hehehe)

  • Anne Lang Bundy

    We attended a marriage conference a number of years back and were asked to list all of our expectations of our spouses. In my pride, I thought mine were pretty good: Read the Bible more, watch less T.V.—you get the idea.

    Then they blew me out of the water by telling us to lay down all our expectations and give them to God, without putting them on others.

    I’ve found this very liberating. When I had expectations, I was always in a waiting mode. Laying down expectaions gave me control, because I only had responsibility for my own actions.

    But this has a limit, too.

    Without any expectations of others, I took on all the blame when something went wrong. When a problem is completely outside my control, and belongs to the other person in the relationship, then me trying to take responsibility makes for colossal failure. That’s not how relationship works.

    So there is a balance. I’m still sorting it all out. Ask me again sometime.

  • Pablo

    There are many things to say about this, but being alone could be the price of having high expectations, I don´t say it s wrong, because I dont know exactly what you mean with “high expectations”. Talking specifically about realtionships, it depends on how weak you think you are to be influenced by them, or how strong you think you are to influence them(spiritually speaking) I like this verse Jeremiah 15:19, at the same time there is people that could be harmful and we don´t have to be too close to them and high expectations in this case it would be positive ,if God is leading you in that direction.
    We have been saved by Grace, is good to remember that, we live by Grace, as angie said, and Each person is different, the apostles were different, but they were useful in His hands. Trying to “uniform” people is a characteristic of fascism and totalitarian regimes, we have different personalities.
    One thing is to influence other people to help them grow and another thing is trying to contol them, that s a sign of insecurity. Blaming other ppl for not being as you would like them to be is not right, when claudia says “they have low standards” sounds like a self justification, probably that guy wasnt the guy for her and thas all, you dont have to blame him for that, God s knows our hearts.
    I think the key is to be sure of oneself in God, and to understand that the most important thing is to give, instead of to “expect” others to give me, because that is selfishness; in a relationship the best thing is that each one could understand that selfishness is destructive, the opposite to love, so if you are looking for a husband to “make you happy etc” may be you should be looking for a husband to make happy, and he should be looking for the same, othewise buy a dog, he will obey you. Thats my opinon.

  • Jerm

    Mo,

    Is it possible to hold expectations high and not be disappointed? Would we be able to succeed in anything without first failing? Failure to meet expectations should inspire us to be better, to improve, to evolve.

    There is no way to live without pain. The true measure of expectations is how we handle the bad news or how we get up after being knocked down.

    I think you should keep the expectations high. If you lower them, people might think you don’t care so much. I know you care and I expect you to help the world with your beautiful smile and positive attitude. I hope my expectations are not too high, but if they are I will still love you.

    • moweezle

      Jerm: I agree….disappointment comes hand in hand, since we are all human. I know I’ve done my fare share of disappointing others as well. Thanks for loving me no matter what!!! 🙂 Love you!

  • chrystiecole

    Ok, here is my two cents. First, I was told long ago that expectations are premeditated resentments. When I place high expectations on others, I am almost setting them up for failure and then blaming them for it.

    Second, grace. Personally, I am so much better about extending grace to others than I am myself. I have super high expectations of myself. Unrealistic expectations. A wise woman once told me that the best I will ever be is human. That goes for others as well.

    I think there is nothing wrong with standards necessarily, but we can use them as a whipping post for the people in our life. A healthy standard is, I do not want to date an abusive man, or a man who doesn’t believe in God. But, expecting people to never disappoint isn’t realistic.

    I have to take my expectations to God or an accountability partner to find out if I am being unrealistic. But either way, I usually need to leave all of my expectations at the foot of the cross. The only one who will never fail or disappoint is our perfect and holy God.

    Love ya, girlie!

  • alece

    guilty as charged.

    first and foremost, i have impossible expectations for myself. but then i also tend to expect those same una-frickin-ttainable things of others. of course i’m often left disappointed. and frustrated. and hurt.

    and really it’s my own fault.

    hmph.

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