The death trap of expectationsWe all have expectations, especially with respect to interpersonal relationships. Fathers and mothers expect their children to be considerate and respectful, couples expect their partner to love and be faithful, and friends expect us to support them in every situation. Over the years we have built a web of expectations that we have passed on to others. And, of course, we also carry the expectations of others on our shoulders - in fact, sometimes we are so involved in the web of expectations that we have built that we believe that what we think, feel or do is normal. We believe everyone should act, broadly, like we do, and if they don't they judge them harshly, get angry or feel deeply disappointed.The main problem with thinking everyone should act like us is that we end up frustrated when we make ourselves I realize that reality does not correspond to our expectations. Therefore, fueling expectations is the most direct and fastest way to become unhappy.
Expectations are like a bet we are sure to winExpectations are nothing more than assumptions about the future, it is as if we are betting that something will happen. But, as with gambling, there is always the possibility that what we desire won't happen. The problem is that we never calculate this possibility, so we are disappointed when we find that we have lost the bet. But we can't blame others for letting us down, in any case, we should blame ourselves for expecting too much of them. Of course, we can't completely get rid of our expectations. This is not the goal. In fact, there are certain expectations that are "understandable", such as expecting our children to respect us or our partner to compromise with the relationship. These expectations are, in a sense, the pillars on which healthy and positive relationships are built, but there are times when expectations are unrealistic, too high, or without any basis. In this case, we must learn to minimize them since the less we expect, the more we will be able to find and receive. This idea has its foundation in Buddhist philosophy, which refers to the "waiting mind" to indicate the self-inflicting suffering people inflict upon themselves when they fill their mind with preconceived ideas and unrealistic expectations. At first glance this idea may seem pessimistic, some they may think it means not expecting anything from life or from the people around us, but in reality it consists in assuming a diametrically opposite attitude. When we reduce our expectations, but remain open to the world, without anticipating what will happen and waiting and distressed, we learn to enjoy more of the here and now. Minimizing our expectations basically means giving the opportunity. to the world and people to surprise us. It means taking a less demanding and more open attitude. In the long run it will also allow us to be happier and avoid constant disappointment and frustration.
How can we stop expecting too much from others?Instead of expecting too much from others, it would be wiser to expect more from ourselves. People are very complex and sometimes they act unpredictably, so they can let us down, in the same way that we can let them down for a thousand different reasons. Therefore, it is advisable to take a more open attitude and reduce expectations, so we will gain in peace and happiness.
1. Accept that no one is perfect, not even you. It is not necessary to assume the role of judge, no one is perfect and has the absolute truth. Accept that we are all people trying to do things as best they can, and that mistakes are part of learning, but sometimes they are painful. Don't judge others using your own yardstick, especially not before you empathize with them.
2. Respect individuality. Reducing expectations also means respecting the identity of others, leaving them the freedom to act according to their values and desires. People don't have to behave like you, let alone follow your rules. What is true for you does not necessarily have to be true for others. In fact, when we stop expecting people to be perfect, we begin to appreciate them for who they really are.
3. Accept that you don't always have to get something in return. We often behave as if we were creditors, we think that because we have done some favors, others are in debt to us. However, if we want to behave well, we better do it because we like to do it and not because we expect to receive something in return. Indeed, true happiness lies not in receiving but in giving.
4. Assume that your happiness depends on you. Sometimes, expecting something from others means holding them responsible for our happiness. We condition our happiness on their behavior, so we become dependent on their reactions. But we alone are responsible for our own happiness, so make sure your expectations aren't an excuse to stay unhappy.
5. Focus on the lesson. If at some point you have felt bad because your expectations have not come true, take advantage of this warning sign to do an examination of conscience. Were they realistic expectations? What can you learn from this situation? Take advantage of this "setback" to develop resilience and an attitude that leaves no room for expectations. In any case, make your own this sentence of Denis Waitley: "Expect the best, prepare for the worst and be ready to surprise yourself."