Everyone who has ever pursued a truly satisfying love relationship has taken a punch or two along the way. Rejection, one-way attraction, and bitter disappointments can make the road to a flourishing relationship a rocky one.
We all hate rejection-even the subtle forms of it that can crop up every day–a broken promise, punishing silence, a sarcastic remark, or a half-hearted peck on the cheek when you were dying for a passionate embrace. All these can feel like a slap in the face and a brutal assault on your self-esteem. And, of course, when that happens we vow to put our guard up next time. But sadly, since we don’t know when the next time might be, some of us keep our guard up all the time. Sad because, if you’re always expecting rotten treatment in relationships; you’re pretty likely to end up getting it!
Your expectations can have a powerful effect on the kind of treatment you get from others. The more positive (and realistic) your expectations of another person, the more likely they are to meet them. Conversely, the more negative your expectations, the more “prophetic” they’ll prove to be. Conducting yourself as if you sincerely expect high quality treatment from another person gives them a powerful incentive to deliver it.
Most people are pretty much like you, capable of treating others with well-mannered sensitivity and dignity they desire and deserve. You create a fertile climate for sensitive, respect-filled treatment when you go in expecting it. It’s best when you express appreciation for their exemplary behavior, (as if you just knew they had it in them all along) rather than surprise (as if you never expected them to be worth a dime in the first place).