Expectations - everybody has them for themselves and for others. Sometimes they are the same, other times they are different. Sometimes they are ridiculous, other times they are completely normal. Sometimes they are set in stone, other times they are flexible. No matter that the expectation, they can't be met unless you know what they are.
On a personal level, that means defining your expectations of yourself through introspection or through realization as a result of interaction with others. Knowing what you expect of yourself can help you prioritize tasks and time in your own life. For instance, I expect myself to be in good physical condition, so I place an emphasis on going to the gym and spend extra on groceries so that I eat healthy. Knowing what you expect of yourself can also help you handle various situations or at least provide introspection later. For instance, I expect myself to be independent, so I have a tendency to overreact when something arises that I need help with. I don’t like to admit that I may need help or may not be able to handle things on my own.
In relationship to others, they can’t meet expectations they don’t know you have. I have seen this so many times in my life and the lives of others. (Dear reader, please know that I don’t expect you to have this mastered, as while I am typing this I definitely do not.) No matter what the relationship, the other person needs to know what the expectations are if they are to meet them. For instance, my aunt and uncle (also, my landlords) were visiting yesterday and today and so I cleaned in preparation. I, however, cleaned to my standards, which admittedly are no where near as clean as theirs. For those of you who knew me in college, yes they are higher than they were then. My adult guest clean is probably at about my parent’s everyday clean. Which I would define as typical family clean; clean but lived in. Things are put away, dishes washed but maybe in the drying rack, vacuum has been run recently but there may not be tracks in the carpet, the floors are swept and mopped where necessary. My aunt and uncle’s standards, however, are more along the lines of model home clean. Where there is nothing out on the counters, the floors can be eaten off of; vacuum lines remain on the carpet, and all that. I was not aware of this standard, regardless of how realistic it may or may not be, and, therefore, had no chance of meeting it by myself or with help.
I guess the point of this whole long thing is to remind myself and whoever reads it to be aware of your expectations or yourself and others and be sure to voice your expectations of others with them. Only after doing this can you evaluate whether those expectations are realistic or not. And if they are not, then you can discuss ways to mediate the situation, so we can have healthy relationships with one another and ourselves.