The cornerstone of a healthy life is taking responsibility for your own happiness rather than blaming someone else. By setting reasonable expectations for those around you, you can manage how you react to situations and minimize disappointment. This applies to all of your relationships — not just with your lovers.
Family relationships are notoriously sticky. You’ve known your family your whole life, yet chances are, you’re continually disappointed by the same things over and over again. Rather than setting yourself up for pain and frustration, try to understand how your loved ones will behave — and don’t expect anything else from them. If you know your sister always forgets your birthday, don’t get your hopes up that this year, she’ll finally remember.
It’s okay to express your hurt when someone disappoints, especially if you can find a healthy, non-threatening way to share your feelings. But don’t expect things to change. You can’t control what someone else says or does, but you can always control how you react. Managing your expectations will allow you to bounce back from hurt and be more forgiving.
Most people want to believe that if they do their best and work hard, they’ll eventually be rewarded. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Sometimes you have a bad boss who’d rather point out your flaws then encourage your strengths. Or you’re assigned a partner who takes credit for all the work you’ve done. Or you’re employed by a corrupt company that overworks and underpays you.
If your situation is bad enough, you should make a move to a better job. But if that’s not possible, you’ll have suck up your unhappiness and try to make the most of your days. The best way to manage your expectations at work is to remember that it’s just a job. Do your best to keep the way you’re treated at work separate from your personal identify and self-worth. Make an effort to leave your stresses and frustrations at work instead of bringing them home and allowing them to effect your personal life. Remember, you work so that you can live, not the other way around.
From the moment you meet someone, there are a thousand different opportunities to have your heart broken — usually because he doesn’t live up to the ideal you have in your head. Women tend to have strong expectations for what a partner should be like, and when a man inevitably falls short, they end up disappointed.
The best way to avoid disappointment in romance is to adjust your expectation for each stage of the relationship. If you meet a great guy and he asks for your phone number, don’t start planning the wedding. Considering the number of men who don’t call when they say they will, it’s reasonable to say there’s 50/50 chance a guy will call. This type of thinking allows you to be less attached to the outcome: if he calls, great…but if not, well it’s his loss.
Even at later stages of a relationship, it’s important to let go of your unrealistic expectations. Your partner is not a fairy tale prince, but a real-life man with faults and challenges. Learn what those are and try to help him overcome them — but at the same time, adjust your own expectations. In the long run, you’ll both be less frustrated by shortcomings and more impressed with successes.
I have been working on this issue for years…I am a high expectation person. I have always thought that because I expect a lot of myself, that it’s important to expect a lot out of those that I love too.
I have learned that makes for a lonely social life, and a family life that can become very bleak. Now… I think it’s important to have healthy expectations of yourself and even our children because that creates a healthy tension. Boundaries are important for everyone, just as long as they are not over the top.
I also have been discovering that too high a self expectation level is an art killer. I can’t think about being the best at anything until I have given myself time to learn all the rules of the situation and practice new skills… not judge myself too much while in process. The most important thing that this exercise has taught me is: art has no rules that are hard and steadfast…and I don’t want to feel like crap while learning new things…talk about a mood killer! There will always be someone who is better than me and that is a good thing. We all need people to look up to, emulate and learn from.
I am cool with that today. I am also cool with people not being perfect, or living up to my personal standards…I am still not OK with people in my life that I have taken the time, trust and energy to explain a situation too, like “please don’t ignore me it makes me feel unimportant. Just tell me how you really feel, good bad or indifferent, I want to know the truth always.” To then have that person do exactly what you asked them not to do, because it causes emotional pain…I am not cool with that at all. But learning to relax around just about everything else and becoming more forgiving in the process has created a place in my brain pan that is more inviting for new people, places, experiences and things…I have room for life to happen and bloom now. That’s a good thing.
So, what are your expectation levels?
Are they healthy for your life today?
Tell Me…I’d really like to know.
Yours in expecting a good day 🙂