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Expectations from Others

If our own expectation of ourselves can leave us feeling like a failure, so can the expectations that others have of us. You know what I’m talking about. Maybe it’s a spouse, maybe it’s a teacher or a parent, maybe it’s your boss, maybe it’s a friend, but somebody along the way has or is expecting something from you that you just can’t give—they’re expecting you to be something that you’re not.
And we’re not perfect, either. Even when people hold healthy expectations of us (or when we have them of ourselves), we still let them down all the time. It’s a fact of life.
And yes, what really matters is what God thinks of you and what you think of yourself, but seriously now—what you think others are thinking about you does matter. We all want to be loved, and though we should never compromise our values or integrity to earn that love, we do need to feel that we are loved by others, and we need to let other people know every day that we love them. It is not good for man to be alone!

Just like our expectations of others and of ourselves, when we let other people down (especially those close to us), it hurts. It hurts our hearts, it hurts their hearts, it hurts our relationships, it hurts our self-perception.

It's true that there are times we need to not care what other people think of us, and there are times we need to take certain action toward others even when we do care what they think (like disciplining our children). But there are times when we let down our spouse, our kids, our parents, our leaders, and those special to us, and we carry around this hurt with us inside. We feel that we don’t belong, or that we aren’t wanted or accepted. We isolate ourselves so we don’t hurt anybody else, and we begin to think that even God doesn’t want us around because we’re just going to screw things up. This is just a slight clue that you might be dealing with unmet expectations in your life.

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