When we place expectations on others, we set ourselves up for disappointment. The expectations we set for our relationships and interactions create unnecessary suffering.
In life, we are all at different places on our journeys to discovery, so remember that a person’s words and actions will reflect that. Learning to temper what you expect from others will help you reduce dissatisfaction and create happier relationships.
If you want healthier interactions and to refocus on things that really matter to you, start by:
Be you. The world would be quite boring if no one ever disagreed. Every individual has a unique perspective and belief, so stop expecting them to agree with you all the time. Instead, hear them out. Dare to be yourself and follow your intuition. Don't compare yourself; stay true to your own purpose. You deserve to be happy and excited about the life you live. Don’t let others’ opinions make you change that, nor expect others to live up to yours.
People can’t read your mind. Learn to express yourself more honestly. Just because you might be more sensitive to body language and understand how others feel doesn't mean the person you are interacting with is on the same wavelength. They will never know how you feel unless you communicate it to them. So be an effective communicator. It will build stronger relationships, too.
Reflect on the way you are with yourself. How do you treat yourself? If people are treating you poorly, just understand that sometimes it's not you. Rather, the people who treat you poorly may lack a true relationship with themselves. What if people are treating you unfairly because you treat them better than yourself? Decide this minute to never beg for the attention, respect, or love that you should be showing yourself. Learn to spend time with yourself, become aware of your thoughts and show self-love.
When you stop expecting people to be a certain way, you can begin to appreciate them for who they are. Society lives and breathes expectations. It takes a lot of self-awareness to respect people for who they are – but practice makes perfect, right? You will realize every human is remarkable and carries a beautiful story that makes them amazing; it just takes patience and a pair of ears to listen.
If there’s a behavior that bothers you about someone you care for and you’re hoping it’ll change over time, it probably won't. Realize that each individual is shaped by his/her experiences from birth. We all have a different perspective on the world, depending on the environment, culture and context we grew up in and live in.
By expecting someone to change, you implicitly want to form somebody else into someone who is closer to yourself, because this way this person is more understandable to you based on your own standards and terms of living. Either accept who they are or choose to live without them. Best advice personally: get to know the other person’s reasoning and thinking, support them, and build a relationship based on this understanding. If it’s a flaw they’re aware of, support them. Gradual change will allow them to grow, and what really changes is the way you see them.
People infrequently behave the way you want them to. Instead of wasting your energy with expectations for others, save your energy and expect less. You will soon realize the unnecessary frustrations you had in your daily life. Life is a journey, and each person is on a different path with different thoughts, feelings, and experiences. It’s not for anyone to judge another, but to accept them, encourage, and love them as much as possible. Can you detach from expectations?
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Call it intuition, instinct, or a gut feeling: if we followed it, we just might be a lot happier. Intuition is a skill we are all born with, but one we submerge in the business of modern living.