Lowering my expectations

If I were to make one change this year it would be to lower my expectations. When it comes to life, we put countless expectations out there, whether it’s through a person, place or thing. We anticipate people will do things, make things happen and then feel let down when they don’t.

And whilst people have their own expectations of us and how they expect us to behave and we meet their expectations, our expectations of them meeting the same exacting standards to us, don’t happen. That’s another reason why we must lower our expectations. The more expectations we have, the harder we will fall and the more demoralised we will become.

Emotional happiness is often implicated by the expectations we place on ourselves. Unfortunately, the expectations we place on ourselves are usually the expectations our family place on us and we in turn then place those expectations on others. It stands to reason the less we expect, emotionally the happier we will be.

I tend to go with the wait and see how things work out scenario, so I don’t anticipate or come to expect, even for myself. That way I’m not disappointed or demoralised if something doesn’t work out. Sadly, we tend to add expectations to just about everything.

But when it comes to others, perhaps they cannot always give of themselves in the same way we can. That’s also another reason why we must learn to lower our expectations. If others could give in the same way we give, they would.

But we’re all capable of learning more and mustn’t give up on that.

3 Jan, 2017

6 thoughts on “Lowering my expectations

  1. I miscalculate things sometimes, but I do my best thinking when I’m wounded, so do you Ilana.

    Then we become sober and realize our expectations weren’t really high enough; that’s how we often get hurt.

    1. Thanks Tim. I agree. Being wounded so many times brings us to a place where we have no choice but to think things through and evaluate where we are; either to safeguard ourselves from not being wounded again, or by preparing ourselves for more of the same.

      This is all I have known sadly, but I always choose not to see or take someone else’s problem as my own. When we raise the bar, I believe we will always be disappointed, but because we know our customers, we half know what to expect.

      And because we know what to expect, we can anticipate better how we might respond, as a means of protecting ourselves.

  2. I’m often told my expectations are unreasonably high and that I am almost certain for disappointment, so I can see why you might want to lower expectations.

    People let you down, it’s what we do to one another. It shouldn’t be like that and doesn’t have to be like that, but in my experience, it’s just that way unfortunately.

    1. Thanks. If our expectations are too high, it’s almost impossible not to meet with disappointment at some point. Personally I think it depends on the individual.

      ‘People let you down, it’s what we do to one another,’ unless we opt out of course. There are some good people in the world. Not all of us will do this, but appreciate your point of view. It may seem like that sometimes, but perhaps it also depends on us and our behaviour.

      When we look at what’s going on in the world, it’s easy to see why you’ve drawn this conclusion. Perhaps we must all work a little harder to change the way we see and do things and help those who clearly struggle more than we do.

      We must bring more empathy, more understanding and compassion into this scenario. These elements are sadly lacking.

  3. Yes, my second resolution would be to lower my expectations, of myself and others. I was always forced to depend on people like my parents, who promised so much but provided so little.

    The reality is that I don’t have to depend on others anymore, nor should I since they will always let me down, whether they actually mean to or not. I also realized just now that I don’t really have any goals to work towards, so it’s no wonder I feel like I’m drowning most of the time.

    Depending on others to make us happy is the worst thing to do, since they won’t always be able to do just that. My mother expected me to make her happy when it shouldn’t be up to a child to be forced to do so.

    I need to stop having such high expectations for someone or something to magically make me happy, since my world doesn’t work that way. I have had everything in the world to be happy about and still felt like there was something missing.

    What I really want is the life I never had a chance to have, which isn’t going to happen. My girlfriend isn’t going to turn into a sane, rational person overnight since I think she kind of likes her brand of crazy.

    I can’t expect people to not be who and what they are just because that’s the way I want them to be. I can’t expect life to all of a sudden to be fair when it hasn’t ever and probably never will be.

    I have to learn to accept the way things are rather than expecting them to be the way I want them to be.

    1. Thanks Randy. Yes, it’s hard when we’ve missed out on so much and still crave for the things we didn’t get to experience. I know that feeling well.

      I have learned though, through my own journey that it’s important to make ourselves happy first and not to put too many expectations on ourselves. We also must learn not to come to expect or expect others to fill the gap, we clearly need to fill.

      Life isn’t fair and you certainly have had your fair share of neglect and abuse, but you still have time to make any changes you want to make.

      A New Year is a good starting point. It’s a different mindset and various adjustments along the way. I wouldn’t be writing for or doing the Diary without my own adjustments.

      I believe you can do it. I’m here if you need me Randy.

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Ilana x