How your expectations of others are ruining your day

As a Corporate Recruiter I expect a lot out of myself. Not only do my co-workers deserve the best but all of our applicants deserve the best also. If I fail at any step in the process only bad things can happen. Either I have co-workers disappointed in me for not finding the best candidate for them to work with, or the new employee will be disappointed in me for putting them in a new job that they will not succeed in. Whether it be at work, at home or even on the road. I strive very hard to react to people’s needs in a quick and positive manner. My expectation is that others will do the same for me. However, I have come to the realization that this expectation is causing me much more harm than good.

I typically drive in the right lane unless I am passing so I automatically expect others to do the same and it is frustrating when they don’t. Whenever someone wants to talk to me about an issue they have, or just take a minute and chit-chat I am always available for this. My expectation is that they will reciprocate when I need to do the same, but this does not always happen. Why is it that when I receive an important email I respond to it right away, yet when I send that very same person an important email I have to follow up on it multiple days in a row before I receive a response? This is so frustrating!! Are we catching a trend here, my expectations of how others should act are affecting me in a negative way.

All this being said, how do I change this about myself? How do I stop letting other people’s actions, or lack thereof, affect me so greatly? My first effort in this was to let the people know that I expected better. When someone was holding up a line of traffic in the left lane I would, what I thought, politely flash them in hopes of them getting over. This would just end up with slammed brakes and the universally understood finger gesture. If I didn’t get my email responded to in what I thought was a timely manner I would call the person and talk to them about it; turns out maybe my email wasn’t a priority to them like it was to me and they are none too shy to let me know this fact. So in the end, all I was doing was increasing MY frustration level. Recently I have been trying a new tactic, I call it the “let it go” tactic. I am making a conscious effort to not be bothered by things that I can’t change. Other people’s actions are on that list of things that I cannot change. As I sit behind the slow car in the fast lane I let it go, it only bothers me if I let it. After a few days with no response to my email I follow up, but I also let it go. It only bothers me if I let it. I have finally come to the realization that it’s not actually other people’s actions that are bothering me, it is the fact that they are not acting according to my expectations that bothers me. I have no right or ability to dictate how others should act, I only have the right and ability to dictate how I react. Be you, and strive to be a better you every day. Let others be them, hopefully they are trying to be the best them they can be.

Views: 177

Comment by Matt Charney on December 10, 2014 at 4:31am

My expectations were exceeded by this post. Thanks so much for sharing - and I agree, if you let other people set your standard, than we're all just playing to the middle. Here's to giving mediocrity the finger - and hope to see more stuff from you on Recruiting Blogs!

Comment by Ben Yeargin on December 10, 2014 at 8:17am

Thanks Matt,

It's time we stop letting other people ruin our day--We can not control them, we can only control how we react to them.

Comment by Anna Brekka on December 10, 2014 at 10:44am

This is a lesson that we at times saddly forget. You are so right "Let others be them".

Comment by Ben Yeargin on December 10, 2014 at 11:38am

Thanks Anna, this post was written at a time where I had sadly forgotten the lesson.  It's hard to come to the realization that I sometimes set unobtainable expectations on my co-workers, clients and candidates.  It only hurts me in the long run.


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