If we don’t come to expect, we will never be disappointed when our expectations of other people fail or fall short.
We all have and deal with expectations, particularly expectations of others. Expectations are part of life’s rich tapestry of course, but it’s only when others let us down and we end up dealing with disappointment that we have to deal with failed expectations too. Failed expectations will always bring about disappointment, there’s no getting away from that.
So how do we deal with expectations and disappointments so we’re not carrying either for longer than we have to? I think the answer lies in our ability to experience and understand our emotional reactions to some of those disappointing experiences through our expectations. We need to take the pressure off.
When we feel an experience, good or bad, we can emotionally figure out what that experience means, even if comes in on the back of an expectation. Whatever the circumstances, it’s important we stand back, at least for a little while so that we can work out a way forward.
As much as it’s tempting to make a decision to move on from a disappointing experience, it’s even more important to know how to deal with those disappointing experiences. We need to understand how and why we got to that stage. We need to be able to manage our emotions and we can only do that when we’re calm and collected. Only then will we be in a position to act.
Unfortunately, and it’s a human failing, but we tend to take most of what we experience, personally. We tend to attribute negative experiences to personal failings, instead of separating the two issues. In reality of course, life simply does what it’s meant to do, but sometimes we add to that by misunderstanding the situation or we haven’t thought things through long enough, to consider the various possibilities or opportunities.
Perhaps we must come to look at the bigger picture and think differently, or try another path that helps bring about the right outcome, even if those disappointments come about through failed expectations.