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Managing expectations is as much a skill as cooking is. Each of us has an internal oven that controls the temperature of our expectations, and it needs to be monitored to produce the best results.
As a divorce expert, I've heard from countless women how their hearts have been seared on a frying pan after friends burned them with indifference or a lack of understanding. Crying, a client will say, "They have no idea how hard this divorce is and don't want to hear about it anymore."
I will often ask, "Have any of them been divorced?"
"No," they admit. "But they're supposed to be my friends. I expect them to be there for me."
At this point, I offer a box of tissues and some bon mots. "Would you allow someone who didn't train as a doctor to perform surgery on you? Would you go on a plane flown by someone who isn't a trained pilot?" Of course you wouldn't. A person must use her power of choice strategically. There is a reason there is a difference between the words "sympathy" and "empathy"—the latter requires the experience. When you assess the strengths—and weaknesses—of friends and family members, you up the odds for getting what you want and need. It is the divorced friend who will be able to give you better advice on how to circumvent the minefields on your road to happily ever after again.
It also pays to manage expectations of ourselves.
How can you manage your own expectations for your life?
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