Sometimes we have expectations of others that they can never live up to. Sometimes we want something from people that they just aren’t equipped to give us. The result is frustration, which is an absolute energy drain. This often happens with family members — parents, siblings, or children who just don’t show us love in the precise way we want to be loved.

waiting

It can also happen with clients, bosses, and coworkers. They don’t have the sense of humor we crave. They’re too private and won’t open up. They don’t give us the pat on the back we’ve earned.

In these situations, we have two choices. We can quit — we can divorce, fire or disown these people. Or we can focus on controlling the only part of the relationship we can control. That would be our own expectations.

If your client is Oscar the Grouch, don’t expect a congratulatory fist bump when you’ve delivered an amazing result on a tough assignment. You’re never going to get it. But do the amazing work you always do anyway. Be gracious and professional. Give those hugs and fist bumps to your own team members. In other words, model the behavior you’d like to see. But leave your frustration — along with unrealistic expectations — in the garbage can with Oscar.

Agree, disagree, have a different take? Send me a comment and let’s discuss.

Let’s connect on Twitter as well @bpriestheck.