The expectations of others and how they affect us

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Louise Hay
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The expectations of others and how they affect us

The expectations of others presuppose, in many cases, the loss of originality and personality of the individual who suffers them.

Last update: May 11, 2019

The expectations of others presuppose, in many cases, the loss of originality and personality of the individual who suffers them. Depending on the stage of life he is in, they will affect him in one way or another.


Expectations are preconceived ideas that help us manage the huge amount of data we are exposed to. That is to say, they help us better understand the environment around us, better enduring the uncertainty of not knowing all the details in order to make a decision.


At the same time, they help us to maintain some emotional stability, seeing that they offer us the information we need to know how to approach events that may occur. In that sense, expectations are really useful, but we have to accept that they may not be real. As a result, they won't always materialize and we don't have to feel like a failure because of it.

The expectations of others can influence us to such an extent that we lose our originality.

Why do we create expectations?

Expectations are useful for understanding the world around us and for becoming an integral part of it. We are mostly the result of continuous remodeling, starting with our childhood. In fact, this shaping takes place on the basis of the model of parents, guardians, teachers, friends and other people who accompany us on our life path.


survival guarantee humans need to live in harmony with others

Likewise, we ourselves create expectations of others, which not only helps others adapt, but also allows us to stop adapting ourselves to shape others instead. This turns into a parallel game of changes, the causes of which alternate.



Acceptance of reality

We all have a personality, more or less defined, which influences us internally, interpersonally and in many other aspects of life. This means that, however aware of the dynamics of the functioning of prejudices, we will not always be persuaded by the changes that others want to make on us. Just then the strength of the personality comes into play.

For this, the truth is that we cannot adapt to everyone, as not all people expect the same from us. Consequently, we will benefit from accepting an idea: we cannot please everyone. At the same time, it is also not our duty to meet the expectations of others.

The effects of other people's expectations

We may find ourselves facing an important difficulty: Expectations we don't think we meet or don't meet come from people on whom our stability depends emotional, family, working. If, as a result of the Pygmalion effect, a boss gets a negative idea of ​​an employee, he will act accordingly, although the employee is not at fault.

If we expect more at the start of a relationship than will actually happen, it is likely that that relationship will not develop in a healthy and positive way, and that it gives way to frustration, recrimination and other negative emotions.

In the field of education, it has been shown that pupils valued by teachers enjoy advantages during their training: they get more attention, get feedback more often, and when they make mistakes they are given more opportunities to remedy.


Is it in our power to change the expectations of others?

As complicated as it is, we can influence the image others have of us. If this image is negative, we can change the way they think with our actions.


Nevertheless, it is not always possible to change the expectations of others, so the best thing will be to invest our energies in order to influence the expectations of the people we care about: family, friends, work colleagues. Our stability largely depends on them.


As human beings, it is easier for us to make mistakes than to do the right thing, so it's easy to get a negative idea of ​​others. But it is important to try to reverse this trend, given that, all in all, we tend to confirm that image we have created with our behaviors. So, if we think that the person in front of us is grumpy, the chances are that we ourselves will behave in this way and that therefore the other will end up confirming our expectations.


By keeping the influence of expectations in check, we will only contribute to our health. On the other hand, it is good to try to limit negative expectations about others, especially if they are unfounded. In this way, we will avoid that others have a negative idea about us.

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