People’s expectations

From the minute we’re born, expectations are put upon us. For some, expectations are about education, for others expectations are about children being settled, in a marriage with a family.

Like an underlying current, expectations continue to envelop, as we grow. Communities, parents, extended families, the environment and school all have expectations of us. It’s also a generation and cultural thing,

Society expects us to teach children how to behave, it also expects them to reach certain standards based around culture. They also expect children to know about values and morals too.

Why are the expectations there?

Expectations are part of the bigger picture and have become commonplace in people’s minds, so much so that they are part of our DNA now. We’re not only expected to conform, but to perform, also.

For many, expectations are well intentioned but they can have a negative effect on many of us who struggle with the concept as it serves to do the opposite. If we fail to live up to other people’s expectations that can impact us emotionally too.

If we fail to live up to our own expectations of the expectations put upon us, that will also have a negative impact on us. It’s not only tiring and counter-productive, but failing to meet expectations can knock our confidence completely. I believe that will have an impact on how we feel and can be harmful in the longer term.

Finally, I believe that as long as we do our best that should be enough. I also believe that without pressures and people’s expectations of us, we will always choose to give of our best, without thinking of others’ expectations.


30 Nov, 2012

4 thoughts on “People’s expectations

  1. I agree with you. When we’re born or before we’re born, we are bombarded with expectations. I didn’t put expectations on my daughter, I just wanted her to be herself and be happy.

    I don’t know if expectations were put on me. I don’t remember my parents pushing me to go to college and do anything with my life. I do know that when I finished nursing school my dad ask me if I was sure I wanted to be a nurse. He always thought I would do something in the arts, like dance or sing. But I know he was proud of me being a nurse.

    I surprised my parents with all I did, because with the diagnosis of diabetes they didn’t expect me to be able to do much at all, if live a long life.

    When I was diagnosed diabetes was awful to have and the doctors didn’t give my parents much hope, so I guess they thought I wouldn’t make it as far as I have. Not having expectations put on me made me feel bad. My parents had great expectations for my sister who was very healthy and smart. So I felt a little like the underdog.

    I think maybe we should put some expectations on our children like to do the best they can and be happy. I don’t think society should judge parents if their kids don’t meet the society expectations, but parents should teach their children how to act and to know right from wrong and the parents should also act the way they want their kids to act. Children pick up a lot from them.

    1. Perhaps you felt bad Lisa because your sister had all the expectations put upon her and you had none.

      If your parents hadn’t put any expectations on either of you, I am sure you will have been okay about not having any. When we’re made to feel different we feel bad about being different. Being singled out will always come at a price.

      I believe that children with the right support and encouragement will always try to do well. It’s the nature of support, but that outside influences through school and society as a whole will sometimes have an affect on them.

      Generally speaking, it goes without saying that parents want their children to be happy, but for me I’m not sure I see that as an expectation, more of a wish that my children will be happy.

      You’re right to want that. It’s what any parent should want. Thanks Lisa.

  2. Because of my CP my route after high school (college) was pretty much decided on by other people.

    If I had known what I know now, I would have chosen to work with people that are disabled. That job gave me great satisfaction and joy. I had the privilege of doing that for only 9 months but I loved it.

    1. I think back then not a lot was known about CP. It’s good that times have changed because the majority of people have different expectations of people with CP now.

      As you say helping out with disabled people gave you a lot of satisfaction and joy. I don’t see why you couldn’t think about going back into it. Even if you were to draw blanks at least you know you’ve tried.

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