Do you expect the people you interact with most often to know what you're thinking? If so, watch out, because you could be setting yourself up for disappointment. It's best not to expect others to know or do things they don't know they're supposed to know or do.
How'd I get to be so smart? Easy. By repeatedly doing what I'm now urging you not to do. Here's an example. Many years ago, my husband Howard and I headed out on a vacation getaway, with the idea of finding overnight accommodations along the route. As we looked for a place to stay, a roadside sign near the entrance to a motel caught my eye: Sauna.
I love saunas, but rarely get to partake. Howard offered to go in and see what rooms were available. I said, "Fine, if it's OK with you, it's OK with me." That (just so you don't miss it) was my first mistake. I knew he'd know what would appeal to me. That was my second mistake.
A few minutes later, he returned and said he'd checked us in. We unloaded our luggage and went to our room.
Did I say "room"? Roomlet was more like it. This was a room better suited to two peanuts than two people. The bathroom (using this same peanut math) was designed for half-a-peanut. I had assumed that Howard had taken a look at the room before checking in. I was wrong. (Mistake #3).
But cramped quarters alone would have been a minor matter. Upon further examination, I discovered that the mattress was squishy soft. The towels were a tad threadbare. The dresser wobbled. And the carpet ... but never mind.
I was upset, but it was my own doing. I was excited by the prospect of a sauna, and hadn't stated any of my other motel expectations.
Oh well, the sauna would compensate for the other deficiencies. We went to find it. The sign on the door said: Out of order.
That's when I started screaming at Howard for his flawed psychic skills, "You should have known I wouldn't like this place!" No, I didn't really scream. I whispered ... but with ferocious intensity.
Having barely unpacked, we decided to pack up and leave. The manager, seeing the don't-argue-with-me look in my eyes, cancelled the room charge, eager to be rid of us before we scared away guests who felt as we did about tattered towels and cold saunas.
Here's the thing: No matter how well any two individuals or groups know each other, and no matter how in sync they think they are, their views of what's important almost always differ to some extent. Unless they communicate with each other about what's important, conflicts are likely, and sooner rather than later.
The problem in this situation was that I forgot that, and so I didn't specify what was important to me. Furthermore, given that I wouldn't have thought to describe my preferences regarding the room ("big enough for us and our luggage, please"), I'd have more effectively managed my own expectations by taking a look for myself before checking in.
I learned a lesson. I no longer say to anyone, "If it's OK with you, it's OK with me." (Well, that's not true, but I never say it without appreciating the risks of doing so.)
Happily, less than a mile up the road, we found another place. A condo apartment. Kitchen, bedroom, the works. It was beautiful. We both made sure we'd both be happy with it. It was more expensive than the Mushy Mattress Motel, but well worth it.
Did I mention that it had a sauna? A private sauna! A private functioning sauna! Saunafaction guaranteed!