Lots of people need to know how to stop expecting too much. When you expect too much you inevitably set yourself up for disappointment because you are placing your happiness in other peoples’s hands. Whether you’re expecting too much from your partner, your family, life in general, your job, or friends, stop. Here’s how.
Your happiness is yours to keep. But when you gamble your happiness on the expectations of others, you’re making a losing bet.
Other people are going to let you down sometimes. Sure, they don’t “mean to”. It’s not like they go out of their way to disappoint you, right? But nevertheless, the people in your life are going to let you down from time to time.
That’s why you need to learn how to stop expecting too much in life and from others, whether they’re friends, family, boyfriend, girlfriend, whoever. We need to learn to let ourselves be happy. Because we deserve happiness.
Every time you expect too much from others you’re handing over the keys to your own happiness.
Expect your boyfriend to have booked that fancy restaurant at the weekend and, yeah, you may well end up disappointed.
Expect your boss to give you a raise and you may be let down.
Expect your friends to be there when you need them and you may find yourself alone when it hits the fan.
The smarter way is to expect nothing. That way, your boyfriend / girlfriend can’t let you down. If they don’t book the restaurant, hey, no biggie. And if they do book the restaurant, well–what a lovely surprise!
When you go into things with zero expectations you’re placing a hand that’s guaranteed to win the game. Zero expectations means zero disappointment. And zero expectations also means that if something good happens you’re genuinely happy for it.
It’s a total win / win.
People who live without expectation are happier than everyone else.
Have you ever noticed how the happiest people in life generally expect nothing, while miserable people expect too much?
Truly happy people; you can give them an obviously pants present and they will still appreciate it. They’re the type of people who genuinely believe “it’s the thought that counts”. They’re the people who live mindfully, the ones who appreciate the little things and who live for the moment.
And then there’s all those unhappy people. Spoiled brats, for instance. You give a spoiled brat a PS4 for Christmas and they’re angry that you chose the wrong color. What kind of bullshit mentality is that?
You can always tell when you’re dealing with a person of high expectations or not.
People with high expectations make you feel like you’ve let them down even when you’ve done absolutely everything for them. Happy people with low expectations, on the other hand, let you know that they’re just happy to be with you no matter what.
The smart way is to let people be themselves, not to try and force them.
There’s a real ugly truth about people who expect too much from others. They’re trying to force people into being what they think they should be.
You expect your girlfriend to have dinner on the table for you when you get home. Because in your mind that’s what a good girlfriends does. But dude, did you consider that maybe your girlfriend has her own things going on and doesn’t have time to make your dinner? No. You’re trying to force her to be what you think she should be. That’s not cool.
Expecting people to do what you want them to do is basically like being a mini-Hitler. Seriously. What gives you, or anyone, the right to expect other people to do anything?
The smarter, healthier, and happier way is to expect nothing.
If you just erase the word “expect” from your vocabulary and replace it with “accept” you’ll be far happier.
“I expect you to make my dinner”? No. “I accept that you didn’t have time to make dinner”.
“I expect you to buy me nice presents”? No. “I accept that you got what you could afford [and thanks!]”
“I expect you to be here on time?” No. “I accept that you are busy and got delayed”.
Kill that word, “Expect”, and replace it with “Accept”. You’ll be far happier.
And another thing about expectations…
Do you want your happiness to depend on the actions of others?
When you expect things from others you’re basically signing a contract the other party has no intention of signing.
When you expect your husband to make enough money to take you on a luxury vacation next month, you’re signing a contract in your own mind. You’re saying “This luxury vacation has to happen”. Only problem is, no one else is signing that. No one else is even reading your contract.
And when people don’t meet those expectations that you’ve secretly created in your own brain, you get mad about it.
That’s borderline-sociopathic. I mean who decides, in their own head, what will happen in the future, then doesn’t tell anyone, and then gets upset or angry when that imagined-future doesn’t happen?
A smarter strategy is to not place any expectations on anyone. That way everything remains firmly in your own hands. Your happiness isn’t at the mercy of other people’s actions. It’s entirely within your control.
Your happiness is for you to maintain
So, let’s just agree that expectations are a bad idea. I won’t expect anything from you. You won’t expect anything from me. And then there’s no way we can be disappointed. And at the same time, because we’re not expecting anything, should one of us do something nice, we’ll be appreciate of it.
That has to be a smarter, better way, doesn’t it?