Review: Other people's expectationsLook at that poor Paula Radcliffe, having to do a press conference every time she moves her bowels. That’s what comes of allowing other people to have expectations of you.
Expectations can beset a person on all sides: good expectations; bad expectations; the expectation that every time you open your mouth, the thin, grey dust of boredom will settle on everyone in the room. The expectation, for example, that just because someone has been running a major internet reviews publication, they will necessarily update it every day. Or even every week. Or ever again. In your face, internet fame.
There is some, minimal fun to be had with challenging expectations – anyone remember the 1980s playground classic, where you held out your hand for a high five, and then withdrew it sharply, while quoting MC Hammer’s seminal You Can’t Touch This? Those were the days. In the playgrounds of north London, my eleven-year-old sister tells me, they do a variant of this where you hold out your hand, saying “Friends?”, and then whisk it away, saying “Go get some.” Try it next time you have a business meeting, or drop in to collect your JSA.
One of my favourite ways of managing expectations is to say things like, "Well, sometimes I think I'm a psychopath" during the early stages of a friendship, so that, should any psychopathy arise at a later date, you can say "But I told you I was a psychopath!" in an aggrieved tone of voice.
Other people’s expectations: Better than when they can't remember your name. 6 out of 10.