‘Tis the season of expectations and the dreaded let downs. I have been thinking a lot about expectations in general. I had a conversations a very long time ago with an old friend who told me, my expectations of other people were way too high. Since then, I have questioned and analyzed my thinking and what my expectations are doing to my friendships and my relationships with my family.
This picture is exactly what my life reveals right now. We all have expectations in our lives: what we want out of life and who we want to become. I think one of the keys to happiness lies within the way you handle your expectations of people and circumstances. If you do not have expectations, you can never be disappointed. Speaking from experience, many times I tend to believe that the way I treat others will be the way I will treated in return. But, unfortunately, this does not always happen.
You need to make sure you enter into relationships with someone who has as big of a heart as you do. If you do not, you may feel as if you are being taken advantage of or are being shortchanged. You need to find people who appreciate what you do for them and who will reciprocate these actions.
Having realistic expectations will allow you to accept the flaws each person has. We need to learn how to take responsibility for our own lives and our own decisions before we can expect others to do the same. I have yet to learn this completely.
One of the biggest challenges we face in life, is learning to accept people for who they truly are. Once you realize that your expectations cannot change people, the better off you will be. The problem will come when the expectations do not happen. If you find that you are going out of your way many more times than the people you surround yourself with, it may be time to find a new group of friends. This is where I do and do and do for people and my expectations don’t return.
Unrealistic expectations can and will, and most often lead to disappointment. Too many people are obsessed with finding the perfect career or the perfect spouse, and as a result become increasingly frustrated when this does not work out. I am one of those who are looking for the perfect job and the perfect relationship/boyfriend. I have become angry and frustrated when things just aren’t as perfect as I want them to be.
A difficult assumption of having high expectations in certain circumstances is that we stay away from enjoying the experience altogether. If you feel this way in your life, you need to adjust your expectations. Do not expect things out of situations, just go into them with an open mind. This will allow you to fully engage yourself without the pressure of living up to defined concepts. This makes total sense to me but seems so much harder to do. I kind of meld myself into what my surroundings are.
When you have unrealistic expectations for people, you place yourself at a high risk of getting disappointed and hurt. This has happened soooo many times that I can’t count them all. Yes, maybe someone did let you down in certain areas, but isn’t it naturally unfair to have these people on such a pedestal? Maintaining an honest awareness of your own realities, you become able to determine what is really expected from others.
These kinds disappointment can lead to many outcomes, including trying to get this person to change and/or increased anger and frustration toward the person who is causing the disappointment. This becomes a problem since the fault lies with you for putting such pressure on this person.
There is contradictory issues when it comes to this. If you have high expectations, you can often end up disappointed, but if you don’t have these expectations, you may not try as hard as you could to accomplish a goal. These tendencies can turn people into perfectionists, which is far from a healthy lifestyle. Let me just say that perfectionism is very exhausting and hard to keep up with.
Acceptance is an amazing trait that needs to be actively worked on. When things do not work out the way we had planned, it is much more beneficial to realize that is how life works rather than becoming frustrated at the situation. Have hope rather than expectations and you will tend not to be as disappointed.
I am actively working on the acceptance of not putting expectations on people.