Expectations lead to disappointments
I recently wrote an Instagram post about expectations. Expectation is defined as ‘a strong belief that something will happen or be the case’. As humans we often have high expectations. On ourselves, our family, our friends, our work colleagues and even complete strangers.
Disappointment, defined as ‘sadness or displeasure caused by the non-fulfilment of one’s hopes or expectations’. The fact the word expectations is in the definition leads me to the fact expectations lead to disappointments.
Expectations can cause great strain on relationships. Relationships with yourself, your other half, your friends and your family.
How many times have you felt disappointed because something didn’t pan out the way you expected? Someone didn’t do something you thought they would? You didn’t look or act a way you expected to? I can tell you now, this happens to me almost daily. I hate to admit it; I am the worst when it comes to expectations. I often feel disappointed in myself or others for the most ridiculous things. Take just this week for example; I had the expectation that my husband would have the house so clean on his two days off over the weekend and I wouldn’t have to do anything on Monday when I had a day off. This is an expectation I often have, and have had for years now. Every single time I am disappointed. Did I ask him to clean the house? No. Did I ask him to clean up the yard? No, but he did that instead of the house. How was he to know I would have preferred the toilet be cleaned than the dog shit? Often more than not I expect people to read my mind and when they don’t I feel let down and not valued.
Expectations ruin relationships
How often have you felt disappointed because you expected your best friend to go out for drinks with you at the last minute then to find out she or he already has plans. Tell me this, have you expected yourself to look or feel a certain way and when you don’t, you are so disappointed in yourself and you beat yourself up about it? How many times have to expected to get a `bunch of flowers from your lover only to be disappointed as you have come home to nothing but a messy house, dinner not cooked and 5 loads of washing to fold instead? Stop expecting the world from people. Start communicating with those you love.
If you want a clean house, voice this. If you want to spend more time with your friend, tell them. If you want a bunch of flowers, tell someone or better yet buy them for yourself (trust me, I’ve learned). Communication is key. Communication can be defined as the act or process of communicating; fact of being communicated. the imparting or interchange of thoughts, opinions, or information by speech, writing, or signs.
Communication is needed in all relationships, without it we are all just walking around aimlessly assuming things and expecting things.
Have you ever felt like you are working your butt off at work yet you aren’t getting paid what you expect to me paid? Do you then feel disappointed each pay day? Ask for that pay rise or look for another job. Stop expecting things from people when at the end of the day you are in control of your own life. Communicate your expectation. Or better yet eliminate all expectations. Live your life with hopes and dreams sure, however, having expectations can only lead to disappointments.
I bet I am not the only one who has heard from parents, a colleague/boss or a school teacher: ‘I expected better from you, I am extremely disappointed’. Doesn’t it feel so much worse when someone says they are disappointed in you? Yet we do it all the time towards ourselves. In a world of social media, comparison and high expectations, we need to take a step back and chill out. Expectations lead to disappointments. I am the first to admit my expectations are way too high; on myself, on my husband, on my son and on my life. My goal now is to the first step is to lower those expectations and ultimately eliminating my expectations to help not only my relationship with others but the relationship I have with myself. Who’s with me? Even Shakespeare said ‘Expectation is the root of all heartaches’. Let’s not let our expectations of people and ourselves rule our lives and relationships one by one.