People are related or connected by one way or another – by blood, association, marriage, or profession. These relationships place some responsibilities on the shoulder of individuals. With these, come some expectations. For instance, children have some expectations in form of clothing, shelter, feeding and school fee from their parents. Supervisors expect some deliverables from subordinate; a wife expects some care, love, and affection from her husband. What I have realised over the years is that most people in their minds have placed unattainable expectations from friends, family and colleagues.
A typical example of high expectation is the case of a student that read Medicine in one of Nigerian universities. He studied so hard before getting admitted into the school of medicine. At the beginning, he believed that by the end of six years, he would have become a doctor and be raking in a fat salary. Unfortunately for him, there were series of strike by Academic Staff Union of University, ASUU. Eventually, he managed to graduate and became a doctor after ten years. Then after internship for another one year, he began to apply for jobs; he could not secure a job with the top hospitals which were his dream jobs. After job haunting for about fourteen months, he got a job with a small clinic where his salary was not befitting of a doctor. He took the job because he had to make ends meet – he must feed to survive.
Another case of unmet expectation is the cause of turbulence that most marriages experience nowadays. When people are dating or courting, they have a perfect picture of their future home in mind. After a couple has walked down the aisle, reality sets in as soon as they begin to live together as husband and wife. It is a whole new life for the duo. They need to learn to get along – finances, in-laws’ relationship, friends and family and so on. Oftentimes, each spouse has a particular way they want things to be done or handled before they got married; and when it is short of expectation, it usually leads to chaos at the home front. Some couple get along and are able to resolve their differences, but many end up ending their marriages and go on their separate ways.
Sense of entitlement has wreaked some havoc among siblings of some families. Some folks believe because their brothers or sisters are doing well or well-to-do, it is compulsory for them to come to their aids when they have a financial need – they feel unapologetically entitled. When such financial help is not rendered, they begin to blab about their sibling. People are quick to estimate the net worth of others. They do not even consider the needs the supposed rich man has.
It is very important for everyone to learn to manage their expectations – expectations from our associations, friends and family, colleagues and even from ourselves. Some people get depressed when their expectations are not met; some even commit suicide. Good management of our expectations in all our undertaking may go a long way in helping our mental health.