“Expectations were like fine pottery. The harder you held them, the more likely they were to crack.”,Brandon Sanderson
Have you ever heard “that ‘bro the problem with you is you expect so much ‘ And that’s the reason you get hurt.?” Before going further, I would first like to welcome you all to this discussion. About yet another issue that I have been facing and know that this might be a problem for you too. I know there are a number of articles and people out there who might be talking about this topic. My words might be negligible but this won’t stop me from sharing because as I have heard somewhere and will quote the same..“खुशियां बांटने से बढ़ती हैं और दुख बांटने से घटता है”
Expectations are everywhere
‘Expectations‘ a word that I have never been able to understand properly. It has the capability to make you happy and sad at the same time. The pages describing the journey of my life are full of this word expectation. Whichever relation you might be dealing with intimate, friendship, parent child, employer-employee you are dealing with expectations. Expectations from ourselves from others is what we all have.
People keep on telling me, bro you need to keep low expectations in terms of relationships, you need to keep high expectations in terms of achievements, you need to keep low expectations in terms of happiness and a confused person like me is sitting blank and thinking why don’t you give me a guide which describes precisely that okay you need to keep low expectations in this matter and high in this.
You say that in case of relationships we should keep low expectations but I want to question, you people call yourselves as mine, then how am I supposed to keep scales and barriers on my hopes from you.
Understand about “expectations”
I used to think once, I’ll stop hoping that things will happen in a certain way, people will react in a certain way, the way I want them to be. That will be the time I will stop getting hurt. However, how can you control or stop an emotion that you have been growing unknowingly inside you from your childhood itself? Remember how you guys used to expect that just like movies or the princess stories which you have been hearing, a prince or in case boys a princess will come out of nowhere and everything will just get into place like magic.
I don’t know about you people but for me I had to find a solution to this. A solution that might not solve my problem completely but, at least point me to the direction where I could find the light. Hence, I started my quest to find it, beginning with understanding what I am dealing with.
Meaning of Expectations
The expectation is neither a promise nor an argument. It is a conjecture based upon strong assumptions that what the future might hold. Expectations embodies all vitalizing emotions and sentiments – motivation, hope, anticipation, trust, vulnerability, excitement etc. It can be low or high, can be everything or nothing at all, and can be either light or dark. It is just like a sinking experience.
In short, we can say expectations can be, we hoping things or people or situations to happen, react or occur in a way we want it or it is beneficial to us.
Expectations can be classified into two forms
1- Personal one (the expectations that we place on ourselves)
2- The expectations we place on others like friends, relatives, situations, parents etc.
Expectations from ourselves means, we have laid for ourselves certain goals that are supposed to be achieved in a certain limit of time. The urge to attain a certain goal or fulfill a certain expectation makes us behave and act in a way that will benefit us. However, the problem occurs when the reality of your own behavior falls short of your standards, your expectations will not match the reality of the world. Hence, we become the reason for our own heartbreak, disturbed well being. Now the question is if expecting will hurt us then don’t you think not expecting at all will slow down our development.
Now comes the other one. Forget about not being able to fulfill a personal expectation, which is more in our control, a lot of us place unimaginable expectations on others.
“We’re wired to expect the world to be brighter and more meaningful and more obviously interesting than it actually is. And when we realize it isn’t, we start looking around for the real world.”
The odds of the expectation that we have placed on others to turn into our favor is exceptionally low and despite knowing this fact we people hope that it will land into our favor. ‘ it’s like knowing that there is a pothole ahead in our path but instead of changing our direction we hope that somebody will fill it or move it for us.“
Expectations vs Reality
So, next time you get upset because someone else’s behavior did not match your expectations, know that you are being played by your own mind. Because, at the end of the day, you cannot control other’s reality. Despite this fact, placing your own happiness at the mercy of someone else’s behavior is the quickest way to feel bitter and resentful.
Isn’t that insane? But what is more insane is that we are not supposed to expect from the people whom we consider our well-wishers than what are we supposed to do? It is very clear that we can’t stop this emotion from ruining our mind but what we can do is learn.
Learn to be good to others but not expect anything in return. Know it, that no matter how small an achievement it is, we should celebrate. Understand, that happiness is an elusive little thing and it will leave us no matter what but we need not get sad but should keep our quest of finding it on.
Like these little steps I have curated some ways which guided me and hope that it will help you people too.
How to balance the Expectations
Now we know what exactly we are dealing with and now is the time to suit up and prepare ourselves to face this invisible evil.
The first step towards the win is that we need to treat ourselves kindly. To take care of others, we need to treat our broken pieces and become strong.
When we start accepting ourselves the way we are (including flaws) the foundation of our friendship with ourselves becomes deep and strong. When we accept ourselves then what others think won’t matter and hence their harsh words or expectations won’t hurt us..According to a research, compassionate acts towards ourselves release the ‘feel-good’ hormones.
2-Change the way of you think
Let me be straight, no matter how hard you try to change yourselves, there will be people out there who will bring you down. And, you can’t do anything in cases like these. You can’t control the way they think. But, what you can do is, you can choose how you talk to yourself. The best person whom you can talk to is you yourself. So, be kind to yourself and motivate yourself. Tell yourself that your Moto is to do good and not to expect that others will appreciate it. You need to make your inner self happy by doing good, not others.
3-Don’t remain quiet always
As I said, there will be people who will try to control you. You will order you to react in a way that your inner self won’t allow at situations like these, learn to speak. Not necessarily in a harsh way but in a way that it will make them understand properly that they need to be in their limits. Let them know that not everyone has the right to let you know how to live, eat, react etc.
4-Live and let live.
Expectations are an illusion. They add useless pressure to everyone. When you remove your anticipations, preconceptions and expectations, you can do the same for others. Living the life, you love is liberating — you don’t feel the pressure to please others. Similarly, you won’t need to impose your will on others either.
5-Don’t judge anyone.
Judgment adds frustration, and negativity — perfectionists are never happy. When you let go of expectations, you create space to enjoy the here and now.
There are people out there who can’t accept the way you are and hence except you to change. As I said earlier once you become confident about yourselves than what others think won’t affect you. It it will be easier for you to accept others the way they are (including their flaws).
Concluding it, I just wanna say, you can’t live without expectations. You can live without an imbalance of expectations but what you should do is learn to balance them.
“Don’t eliminate expectations, learn to balance them against reality”
Instead of running from it and getting yourself hurt again and again, learn to face it and solve it, no matter how long it takes. This problem can only be solved with continued effort, which involves mutual consensus, communication, compromise, and growth. It requires negotiation and hard work. So, learn to fight not to hide