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Several months ago, I was enjoying a beautiful dinner with some friends. We shared stories and lots of laughter. It was an evening filled with poignant moments, tears, and encouragement. As the evening was coming to a close, one of my friends made a strange comment, and it literally shifted the moment. It was a criticism of me, and it didn’t land as intended, or did it?

While walking to my car, I thought to myself, wow, that was odd…of all the things to say, that was simply odd.

I didn’t know what to do with her comment. I slept on it, woke up the next day with it on my mind. Then, finally, it began to bother me. Why? What was it about what she said that slammed me down; no, it literally shut me down? 

Apparently, an expectation was made of me and placed upon me that I had not met for that person. Their observation of my life concluded that what they “expected” of me wasn’t adding up for them.

Oddly enough, I was completely unaware that someone had “expectations” on me that I had not placed on myself, and when they made the critical observation, it blindsided me…

How strange, I thought to myself, was I not living up to their expectations? I guess not, but I am not supposed to; it was simply their perception.

I realized then that even if we are doing the best we know how in whatever moment we are in our lives, an observer will have expectations on particular outcomes that we have no idea about-

How often do we do this?

How often do we expect something from someone based on our observation or perception?

How quick are we to criticize an outcome of someone or something without knowing that our words can cut through and hurt someone.

Honest conversations can be uplifting or devastating.

They can encourage or destroy.

They can give life or death.

Choose your words wisely and have mindful conversations, knowing you’ve left someone better when you walk away.


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