Your expectations can make your life one full of joy or misery, did you know that? Most often people fall into the trap of setting unrealistic expectations or trying to meet ones set by others for them and wonder why they feel miserable.
Whether we like it or not we all have expectations placed on us by our family, relationships, society, and more. Sometimes we too are unaware of the expectations we set for ourselves.
Unrealistic expectations set you for a long path of disappointments. Let me be clear that if your expectations are somewhat realistic, that doesn’t mean you are exempted from disappointments in life.
Tell me, what happens when you don’t reach your expectations? Do you feel terrible and unhappy? Do you also feel sad that someone you may love, cherish, respect doesn’t meet your expectations? The expectations you set for yourself and others have a direct impact on how happy or sad you become.
That’s why it is important for you to know how your expectations and that of others can make you feel miserable.
Here are 5 reasons why your expectations in your life could make you miserable and how you can manage them.
#5 You believe people should think like you
We are all different, and you need to come to terms with it. You cannot expect others to think as you do. Expecting people to think or behave in a certain manner only leaves you with disappointments.
Trust me, you don’t want to end up sad because you placed your expectations on others even without them knowing. Most relationships face this challenge where one partner expects the other to think through things like they would without talking to them about it or what they would expect from each other. Then they feel sad, and emotional because their partner’s way of thinking wasn’t as they had hoped.
Steps to take:
Understand that you cannot expect others to be like, think like you, or act as you do and it is crucial you come to terms with this for your wellbeing. It pays to communicate your expectations to your partner and more importantly ones that aren’t so high or unrealistic that it jeopardizes your relationship. So, it is important that you pay attention to what you expect of others subconsciously.
#4 You expect life to be fair
A significant number of people strongly believe that the world owes them something, for the good they have done. Unfortunately, they learn the ugly truth about life and it’s unfairness with no regard to age, ethnicity, or status.
We don’t always get the things we deserve, such is life. Doing everything good and still bad things happen to you where you ask the question “why me?”
Haven’t you ever wondered why someone who can be a jerk, tricky, or cruel still gets good things they want in life? Whereas you who have been kind-hearted, honest, done a lot of good, hoping to be rewarded in life or be helped but still face more hardship, cruelty even from those they did well to. Only to wake up to the truth that they have been living with an unrealistic expectation from the world, that’s because life is not fair.
Some are born with a silver spoon, others aren’t. The rich get richer, the poor get poorer, people lose their loved ones to mishaps in life, innocent babies die prematurely to mention but a few. It is without a doubt that if you keep expecting life to be fair, you will be headed for loads of disappointment.
Step to take:
We all wish life is fair sometimes but the reality is that it isn’t and sometimes it’s not something you can do anything about but accept the truth. That doesn’t mean because you did good, only good things should happen in your life. You must embrace the truth of life and its unpredictability.
#3 You expect opportunities to come to you
If you think that opportunities will always come to you, you are mistaken. Believe me when I say opportunities won’t just come to you unless you seek it.
Truth be told, you will waste your time waiting for the right opportunity to come knocking at your door. Imagine how sad you will feel when you wait and it never comes.
Steps to take:
To prevent yourself from being miserable all your life, a good tip is to annul the thought of waiting for opportunities to come to you. Rather, make the effort to seek out new opportunities in whatever field you are interested in.
Embrace a growth mindset by continuously looking for opportunities as you prepare to seize them whenever they emerge.
#2 You expect people to agree with you
Have you ever been sad because your friend, partner, or family member disagreed with you completely on something you cared so deeply about?
Well am sorry to burst the bubble on this one but not everyone will agree with you. Sometimes people will disagree with you just for the sake of disagreeing with you. If you believe someone dear to you should agree with your opinions or views, you will be miserable all your life.
Steps to take:
Take a look at your life and reflect on this question; do you get offended when people don’t agree with you? If you do, then you might want to step back a bit and ponder over it.
You need to accept that you can’t force your opinions on others. Rather than expecting people to always agree with you on matters that concern you, seek to understand from their point of view.
Get rid of the thought you have that says “I am alway right.”
#1 You think you can change people
Garrison Wynn said, “You can’t change people but you can affect a change in them by your behavior.” It is hard enough to change yourself let alone changing others.
This is common in relationships where one of the partners hopes to change something about their partner only to leave the relationship disappointed and heartbroken. Trying to change someone is exhausting, and only a few know this.
A lot of people get into relationships with the hopes that they will change their partner, or believe their partner will change. When it turns out to be the opposite they end up disappointed, oftentimes heartbroken. They learn to brutal truth that they can’t change people. When someone really wants to change, they will change themselves for the better.
Steps to take:
Stop! Stop trying to change the world and others. Quit expecting your partner, friend, colleague, or family member to change.
It’s hard enough to change yourself, something you have been doing your whole life. Trying to change others is the quickest way to a life of misery and disappointment.
The only person you change is you. Like a wise man said – “be the change your seek in this world“. Break free from the illusion that you can change others and expecting them to change.
Now that you are aware of the most prominent reasons why your expectations can make your life miserable. Keep these in mind as you set simplistic expectations for yourself and others but more importantly manage your expectations.