You might know that currently the FIFA World Cup is taking place in Russia. Germany is the defending champion and the hopes are up for the team to defend their title. Needless to say, that with it come a lot of expectations towards the team and its players. Yesterday, I saw a good example what can happen if expectations are not fulfilled.
Germanys start into the tournament was not good. After losing against Mexico, the team was under immense pressure to win the second game. A loss would mean the definite end and a draw would not be much better. After Sweden’s lead the outlook was grim. Germany managed to draw but until late in the game nothing changed. After losing a player to a red card, hopes where crushed. However, in the very last minute of injury time, Germany managed to score and to win the game.
It was an intense game, but the really interesting thing happened after the game. During the interviews with some of Germanys’ players, I could see their frustration with how they have been treated. After the first game, they received harsh criticism. Yes, they didn’t play well, but apparently this was a bit too much. They expected something else. They expected support from their fans. They wanted needed their support and cheers to overcome this setback from game one. What they got was the opposite.
But why did they receive such harsh criticism? Because the fans had certain expectations towards the team. As defending champions and filled with some of the best players in the world, fans expected a wind. They actually always expect a win. Everything that deviates from this outcome is seen as a catastrophe. This also means that the better you are, the higher the expectations become.
But you could see what happens when expectations go wrong. If you don’t try to understand the other side. It leads to dissent and anger. It might turn into hate if not addressed and mediated. But why do I write about this? We see it so often in sports. Yes, that is true, but it is also a lesson for our personal lives. What expectations do we have towards our partner? Our kids? Our family? Our team member? Ourselves? If we experience success or in general, everything goes as we planned it, then our expectations could grow with that success. This might endanger ourselves to be understanding and kind enough, if something goes wrong.
We are all just humans. Each day, we are put under a lot of pressure. Yes, things go wrong. But most of the things go right. Have some understanding for your peers and yourself.