So You (Inadvertently) Screwed Up. Now What?
A few weeks back, I wrote about how to keep our expectations in check so as to take responsibility for and clearly communicate our needs and wants. As I’ve reflected back, I notice it seems just as important to address the impact of failing to meet someone else’s expectations. Because sometimes, other people want or need stuff from us that we don’t know about or haven’t consented to. And when we don’t meet those expectations, they may have some feelings about it. Disappointment, anger, feeling victimized kinds-of-feelings. For those of us who cringe at the thought of losing someone’s approval, this can be pretty excruciating.
So what do you do when you miss the mark?
First, let’s revisit what expectations are. You can read the blog post here if you’d like, but to summarize: expectations are hopes, dreams, rules, or other needs or wants that one person assigns to another, without their permission. We don’t typically intend to be covert or sneaky about it; it just happens that way. As tempting as it might be to flip the script and make the other person wrong, I want to be clear that this isn’t about making anyone right or wrong. You are not “wrong” for not meeting someone else’s expectations. They are not “wrong” for having the expectations.
If you have other thoughts you’d like to add to the conversation, please feel free to share. And as always, reach out if you’d like support. You can (and will) survive.