In my therapy practice, I front load all of my expectations for both myself and my clients. This is the foundation of our relationship. This is the foundation of how we heal together. Consistency, reliability and a clear understanding of our roles and responsibilities creates a framework for people to take risks.
Your relationships have expectations as well
All of our relationships come laden with expectations. Some of these expectations are explicit. Today, I’m going to see Jeffery my hairdresser. I expect to leave with less money and hair than when I went in. Other expectations are implicit or made outside of our awareness. I expect polite conversations. I expect he’ll find a way to sound agreeable when I say inflammatory things about youth hockey/sports culture. I do not have explicit permission to grind an ax while sitting in his chair. Despite this fact, I likely will.
Boundaries and explicit expectations
I was in the tub when I recorded this podcast. The water was blue and opaque due to the bath bomb that was in the tub. The lack of clarity was comforting in some ways: I couldn’t see any dirt in the tub or see the dirt from my body. I also had no idea if I was getting clean or not. Clarity in expectations and boundaries can be scary. You might just find things you don’t want to know are there. The benefit? You can be certain about where you stand and make informed choices.
What are your expectations and boundaries like?
Are they clear? Are they murky? How does this impact your relationships? What unawares and implicit expectations are you making of people? How could the process of making these implicit expectations and boundaries more clear and defined improve your life?