I know you're thinking 'Charles Dickens'. But not this time. This is different.
We go through life and cross paths with multitudes of people. People we're related to, neighbours, friends from school/college, colleagues/friends from our work place, etc. But surprisingly, only some of these make a meaningful impact on us.
We are, more often than not, drawn to people for a couple of reasons: one being that they make us feel good about ourselves, cared for and/or protected; and two because they have something which we admire or appreciate or want to emulate.
When it comes to having expectations from people in our life, we generally think of attention and affection (which easily come to mind) and respect (which is more subtle and non-explict).
Many times we are upset because people don't live upto our expectations. But the first thing to understand is that in any relationship or rather in most relationships expectations are never really formalized or documented. And its not like the expectations you have are being broadcast on national television for people you know to watch and note down.
Many times people fall short of meeting our expectations because what we expect of them is against their very nature. And we may not really want people to change just to meet our expectations because its probably their individuality that could have drawn us to them in the first place. This is a really tricky tight rope walk.
Another thing is that just like people don't meet our expectations, we also don't live upto all the expectations people have from us. Its a two-way street so to speak but much more complicated than it sounds.
Even though someone doesn't meet all my expectations, I might still do everything I can to meet this someone's expectations from me. And another maybe giving me all that I want and more but I'm still not able to give back the least which is expected of me.
All this is a like a complicated web of a supply v/s demand mechanisms with everyone interfacing with everyone else. And when you factor in "time" then everything changes. Just like in real life, what's hot today is not tomorrow. So expecting something today doesn't necessarily mean that you'll be happy if you get it tomorrow.
Continuing to think on these line can lead to certain paranoia. But most of us can shield ourselves from this "excessive worrying" most of the time. One thing we should learn is to tune in to what people expect from us. And try as sincerely as possible to meet those expectations. At least this way people won't have any complaints about you. And as far as your expectations from others, well, we can only hope that they are met.