Expectations are bound to hurt you, be it from people or things, as neither of them are under our control. We’re always telling ourselves to stop expecting anything from anyone, yet we can’t help ourselves. In relationships as well, be it a blood, platonic or a romantic one; we tend to have certain expectations from the next person. Even in that case, the expectations should not be unrealistic. While it’s natural to expect love, respect and attention from your partner, you should stop expecting the following things from them:
Expecting them to do what YOU think is right
You should learn to be open and tolerant to how other people think and do things. Be it something as insignificant as making the bed or as significant as dealing with people. What seems right to you might not necessarily seem right to them. And just because you don’t like something or have a strong opinion regarding something, don’t ever expect them to share your views or do anything in accordance. Also be open to the consideration that you too could be wrong. They might do what you want and how you want it at times, but don’t make it a habit of expecting them to keep doing so.
Expecting them to be flawless
Do you think you’re perfect? Have you never made a mistake? I guess all of our answers would go no and yes respectively. If so, how can you possibly expect others to be perfect! Just like you, everyone else is bound to make mistakes at one point or another. Instead of shaming them about it, you should be understanding and encouraging towards them. Stop chasing the idea of perfection. It not only belittles the next person. Not only that, you yourself will never be satisfied with anything or anyone. Perfectionism has also been linked to despair, stress and suicide in light of an article in the Review of General Psychology.
Expecting them to be a yes-man
Even people belonging to the same family, having been brought up by the same parents, exposed to the same set of beliefs, morals and ethics tend to have different points of view. You can’t control how or what another person thinks. So there’s always going to be a difference in opinion in many things.
Appreciate these differences; don’t be taken aback by anyone who thinks differently than you. If you listen to them with an open mind and heart, it could be very refreshing. And who knows, it could even make you look at certain things differently.
Besides, no one likes a yes-man. People having their own opinions and choices can come off to be very admirable (as long as they’re not imposing the same on others).
Expecting them to be a psychic
With time, people do learn to pick up on each other’s moods and feelings. But, not all of us excel at this. If you’re one of the former, there is a possibility that they could belong to the latter category. And since you can gather their tell tales, don’t expect them to do the same. Communicate. You should be very clear on how you feel or what you want and so on. This saves you from the disappointment of them getting it wrong. And it also saves them from the fear of letting you down or doing something wrong.
Expecting them to fight your battles
They love you and you can count on them for their support. But you can’t always expect them to be there for you. You should learn to be enough for yourself. Don’t depend on anyone but yourself to fall back on in tough times. They’re only going to help, when they can. If they have issues of their own, it’s a little selfish to expect them to come running to your aid.
Expecting their absolute acceptance
Just as you don’t agree with everything they say or do, they might not be accepting of you at times. But the thing is, you don’t need anyone’s approval. You live for yourself. And if there’s something that feels right to you, there’s no harm in going after it regardless of what anyone else has to say. You don’t owe anyone any sort of explanations. As long as you’re at peace with yourself, their lack of acceptance or understanding won’t bother you.
Expecting reciprocity from them
We’ve all been taught to give without expecting anything in return. But it becomes a little difficult to practice. Especially when you go out of your way to do something for someone, and you don’t get even the slightest bit of acknowledgement let alone gratitude from them. As tough as it is, you should never expect them to treat you the way you treat them. Maybe in their eyes, they’re treating you right. Learn to accept that. Never expect reciprocity from anyone, neither in terms of feelings nor in treatment.
Expecting them to never change
You’re not the same person you were a year or two years ago. The experiences you’ve had in that duration have taught to become a different person. You look at things differently, think differently, feel and act differently as well. People change with time. This is the mechanism of adapting to how life changes from day to day. You can’t expect someone to be the same all their lives. They need to change themselves to face what their lives throw their way. Love and accept them for the person they were, and also for the person they have become now. Even if you don’t like the change, be considerate and loving.
Expecting them to be on top of things
Things can go wrong at any given time, and that too without any warnings. It takes time to set everything straight. You can’t just have everything under control in a snap. Instead of criticizing them, try to help them get through this period. You could be facing a similar situation too. Extend them the same kind of understanding and support you’d want at such a time.
Expecting them to make up for the love you fail to give yourself
Love yourself first, before anyone and everyone else. If you don’t love yourself, that void cannot be filled, no matter how much other people love you. You’d come off to be needy. And people will find it very trying to keep you satisfied. Your relationships will be forced. People, who love themselves, don’t need someone else to love them. Yet they attract people who’d do so, and it turns out to be an added bonus.
In order to live life to the fullest, and appreciate things for the way they are, you need to stop keeping expectations from others. You’re only setting yourself up for disappointments. It’s liberating to go on about your life without ever having to care about what someone would or wouldn’t do for you or how things will play out. Allow things to happen in their own time.
When you release expectations, you are free to enjoy things for what they are instead of what you think they should be
“The human body has been designed to resist an infinite number of changes and attacks brought about by its environment. The secret of good health lies in successful adjustment to changing stresses on the body.” – Harry J. Johnson