Expectations…Dickens said they were great, but sometimes not so much, as they can interfere with good communication.
For example, as a very young and newly married woman, my husband was upset with me and I didn’t know why. Upon investigation (that involved some raised voices), I discovered that he expected me to have coffee ready in the morning because that is how he was raised. I, however, was raised in a non-coffee drinking household, so making coffee in the morning never occurred to me – unmet expectations.
What does this topic have to do with Amirah? As predominately white, suburban, middle-class individuals, we have certain expectations of behaviors, priorities, social exchanges, etc. When these expectations are not met, we have a human tendency to judge the one not meeting them.
The women we work with have a set of expectations as well, but they are very different from many of us. They may expect to be lied to, taken advantage of, hurt. They may expect to take what they can now to meet their needs, because it might be snatched away at any moment. They expect to be rejected, judged and labeled.
For every human, expectations develop as we develop. For every human, behaviors and habits arise because of our expectations. My challenge to you is when you are surprised by someone’s actions, notice if it is because they haven’t met your expectation in some way. If so, what is that expectation and what might be the reason they have acted differently?
And for heaven’s sake, check with your spouse to see if they want coffee in the morning!