We can have expectations of people. The problem lies in how we tie their behavior to our worth.
If my child keeps her room clean, then I am a good mother.
If my husband loves me, he will know what I want for my birthday.
If my friend cares about me, she will call me right back.
That would mean our child is thinking, “I would clean my room but I don’t have a very good mother, so I guess I won’t.”
Or our husband is thinking, “I know exactly what she wants for her birthday, but I don’t really love her that much so I don’t think I’ll get it for her.”
Or our friend is thinking, “I would call her back but I don’t really care about her that much, so I think I will wait a few days.”
Letting people be themselves and not making it mean anything about us is very freeing.
We can share all our hopes and desires for how we would like those we love to behave.
Sometimes they will do the things we want them to.
Sometimes they will not.