Managing Expectations

 

Imagine you have made arrangements with a carpenter to do a job at your home or office, have an appointment with a lawyer, or a friend invites you out for a drink over the weekend.

 

The carpenter never shows up.  When you call, he doesn’t pick up the phone

 

The Lawyer calls you 30 minutes after your appointment should have started to tell you he would like to reschedule.

 

Your Friend forgets that he invited you out and made other plans, but offers to make plans for the following weekend.

 

Can all of these situations happen back home as in Ecuador?  Absolutely.  Do they happen as often or in as many different scenarios?  In my experience, no. 

 

I get frustrated with these types of situations – as I expect one thing, make plans based on the assumption that the other person is going to do what they say and that that doesn’t always happens ­– in other words, my expectations are not met.

 

What I have come to understand over time is in most cases people will invite you out as a gesture without any intention of following through (strange I know) or tell you what you want to hear without considering the consequence of their actions, and how those actions might impact you.

 

It’s to be expected that if you move to any new place, let alone a new country where you don’t speak the language you may experience misunderstandings, cultural challenges, and resulting frustrations.

 

These experiences have forced me to become more mindful, more patient, to ask more questions, and be much more direct about the outcome I am seeking in any giving interaction.

 

Cultural differences take time to understand.  Some you adapt to, some you don’t, but if you can manage your own expectations, you’ll be taking a step in the right direction.

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