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Get Like Me!

Heeyyy!! I am so glad you came back to visit me! You arrived at the perfect time because I was trying to process a thought, and maybe you can help me with that. So, I had a looong day! I got to work early to prepare for the day and left late because I needed to complete some administrative work. I transitioned from work Adria to wife/mom Adria with no break. First mistake! Once home, I immediately started cooking. I will say that everyone needs transition time from work to home to decompress their day and prepare their minds and bodies for their personal lives. When you neglect the transition process, you will likely be irritated, frustrated, and have negative interactions with the ones you love because you haven’t allowed yourself to de-stress from your work drama. Okay, back to the story, so I am cooking dinner and cleaning as I go, and once everything is done, I let the family know dinner is ready and headed to the couch and plopped down. I don’t know if you have ever had a day like this, but man, I just wanted to sit down, be quiet, and think about absolutely nothing—basically, just breathe! After my husband ate, he said, “You know, it would have been nice if you fixed my plate for me and brought it to me.” I looked at him with a “You Gotta Be Kidding Me” face! Uhmm, excuse me, I worked all day, and you are lucky you didn’t get some hot pockets for dinner. So I took a deep breath and said, “This is a topic that deserves more conversation but, I can’t talk about it right now, so we will circle back later.” I realized that I would not be able to have a civil conversation at that time and needed some time to process ALL OF THAT!!! And that brings us to this moment—processing, reflecting, and understanding. Expectations are unique to every individual and are commonly based on how we would handle a situation. We expect people to respond to things the way we would because we believe that’s the plausible thing to do. However, we don’t consider that everyone’s life experience and thought patterns aren’t the same as ours, and therefore expectations won’t be the same either. There is this belief that people should act or think alike, which causes us to set ourselves up for disappointment, frustration, anger due to unrealistic expectations. The unrealistic expectation is that a person will handle certain situations, parent, manage employees, or engage with others in the way we would or based on a concept or thought we have in our minds. When individuals don’t behave the way we believe, they should become frustrated, disappointed, or even angry because the expectation isn’t being met. Look, I get it; some things are just self-explanatory to me. I mean a real no-brainer, but the truth of the matter is sometimes it isn’t. There are a number of things that contribute to differing expectations that should be considered before jumping right into your feelings, such as lack of skills, difficulties in home life, illness, insecurities, and unreasonable expectations, to name a few. Some individuals grew up in environments that may have or have not modeled behaviors that help them engage in healthy communication, be empathic, feel safe being vulnerable, be compassionate, or handle conflict in a positive way. You may have a leader who is struggling in their personal life, resulting in a controlling nature, difficulty managing conflict, unreasonable expectations, or ineffective communication. Having realistic expectations of others and meeting them where they are maybe a better way to prevent feeling disappointed, frustrated, or angry. It isn’t beneficial to continuously get angry with someone having difficulty tying their shoes if they have gone their entire life with shoes that didn’t require tying. They simply don’t have the skill. How do you meet them where they are? Because you can’t change the person, you have to change how you interact with them by having realistic expectations based on their abilities or what can reasonably be done based on circumstances. Below are tips on how to set realistic expectations:

  • Identify and understand the other person’s limitations

  • Recognize what you have control over

  • Assess if the ask is reasonable for the situation

  • Share your expectations

  • Be flexible

  • Know your limits

I know you are dying to know where I landed on the conversation I needed to have with the hubby!!! I will listen to his perspective about why he believes that I should have made his plate. I am going to share the state of mind I was during that time and share my expectations and limits by saying, “Babe, there will be times that I will fix your plate, and there will be other times that I will not be able to fix your plate based on my energy level and mental capacity.” Boom! And there you go! Well, I’ll tell you how it went in a couple of weeks—until then, Ciao!


Adria Chambers is a wife, mom, daughter, sister, and friend. She enjoys walking, working on puzzles, spending time with family, and traveling. Adria earned her Master in Education for Counseling from Winthrop University. She worked in community health as an intensive in-home and ACT team lead for two years. She has been employed as a counselor with Atrium Health EAP 7 years ago and has been the program coordinator for 3 years. She has shared her passion of self-care with EA professionals and internal/external clients to promote resilience and prevent burnout in their field. Her current area of interest is cultivating new leaders through mentorship. Adria is the Vice President of North Carolina Employee Assistance Professional Association which oversees the education and training committee to provide its members with quality and relevant trainings.

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