Setting unrealistic expectations sets us up for disappointment. And, there are few things more unrealistic than expecting the people in our lives that are closest to us to be our everything.
One person can’t, and shouldn’t, be the best listener we know, the wisest one that we go to first with all life challenges, the smartest one that we learn the most from, the best person for fashion and beauty advice, the one that makes us laugh more than anyone, the one we call when someone dies or we get dumped.
It’s too much.
Of course, there are people that do all of these things better than others, but to expect that sort of specialism from one person on so many levels is like expecting one athlete in the CrossFit Games to be the best at every movement that comes up. When, in reality, it’s the athlete that is the best at a lot of them…but, more than anything else, is consistently really good at a lot…and, has nothing that they are terrible at.
What I think is even more defeating than having these expectations on others is this: having them for yourself. Even if we’re good at not expecting that from others, we have a tendency to want to be everything for other people.
We want to be the parent the kids have the most fun with, the friend that everyone wants to spend time with, the hardest working one in the class, the one at work that everyone respects and admires the most.
We, obviously, don’t want to shoot for mediocrity, but we also don’t want to have unrealistic expectations and be unnecessarily disappointed. It’s not fair for anyone involved.
It’s a balancing act.