Here’s one thing about having expectations — when you have expectations of another, you’re likely to end up relating to your expectations and not to the person.

When my friend says she’ll be here at 6:00, I expect her to be on time. When she doesn’t arrive until 6:20, my anger and other emotions are all swirling around my expectations. I may think my feelings are caused by my friend, but in truth they are a reaction to my expectations. Without my expectations, there’d be nothing to swirl around.

When I expect that someone will be happy to see me and they’re not, all of my resulting emotions — confusion, anxiety, irritation, shame, blame, fear, etc — have only to do with my expectations. I may feel like I’m relating to the other person, but in reality I’m relating to my expectations.

I place my expectations between me and the other. You place your expectations between you and the other. You’ve seen it — in some relationships the expectations eventually pile up into a wall that cannot be breached by either party.

My expectations prevent me from focusing on the person or on the situation at hand. My expectations keep me focused only on my expectations.

Stay open, stay vulnerable, stay free. Eschew expectations!