Expectations and Honesty

01 Dec 17

Expectations are a part of human nature and we expect something or the other from all friends and family. But it is those same expectations that lead to disappointment because sometimes they are not fulfilled. When an acquaintance you don’t care about or someone you don’t get along with does something knowing it would hurt you, it does not hurt as much as where it is not expected. So one would argue that it is not the action that hurt us but our own expectations. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends!” This holds true because of the same logic – we expected from our friends not enemies.

Then, there are circumstances where you cannot live up to someone’s expectations. What is the best thing to do in that situation? You may not care if the person is someone you consider an enemy but the best thing to do if the person is a friend or family is to be honest about what has happened and why. You may not be able to do anything about the fact that you can’t live up to their expectation but by being honest you can at least show you care. The worst thing you can do is try to hide the fact that you have done something that would hurt or disappoint your friend or family member. All you will do at that point is send the message that you knew it was going to hurt the other person and that is why you hid it and will also have the impact of making them thing you don’t care about their feelings. At the end of the day, you will just further alienate that person. It’s a small world and everything eventually comes out and even if your intention is good and you are hiding something to save someone from being hurt, you may actually end up doing more damage than good. As they say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

The best thing to do in all situations is not to do anything that hurts your family and friends. But if things are out of your control, just own up to it and it will go a long way. I recently saw an Indian commercial where people are apologizing for the silliest things and it was so heart warming. They are unable to say it so they right their apologies on a piece of paper and hold it up for the other person to see. There are scenarios of an employee in an elevator holding a piece of paper to his boss saying "Sorry I overslept yesterday, my grandma was not unwell or a wife holding a piece of paper to her husband saying "Sorry it was me and not the laundryman as he is yelling at the laundry man for bringing stained clothes instead of clean ones, etc. These are all little things that probably didn’t even need to be called out but what they showed was the person cared enough about the other individual to be honest and truthful. We do things on a daily basis far worse than these little things and we don’t even bother to apologize for that and we leave the other person wondering if that is because we don’t care or we are intentionally trying to hurt them.

 This holiday season, hold your loved ones close and make a vow to try not to hurt any family or friend and if you do unintentionally or because of situations beyond your control, make sure you own up to let them know you care that you may have hurt them. Happy Holidays. Wishing everyone a great end to 2017 and looking forward to an exciting 2018!