Expectations lead to disappointment

Expectations lead to disappointment

“Expectations are premeditated resentments”. It took me years to understand and accept this quote, which is part of the AA twelve-step program. In fact, despite acknowledging it, I still have a hard time fully getting, embracing and living in peace with this knowledge. But I try.

I used to strongly believe that expectations are everything in life, the source of our happiness and accomplishments. I used to judge hardly people with no or close to zero expectations. And I used to resent those who did not live up to my grand expectations.

I am angry because she was not thankful enough.

I am upset! Ηe did not return the favour.

I can’t believe she did not offer me a gift proportional to mine.

I am mad with his lack of commitment to our previous agreements.

I was expecting more support from her.

I wasn’t expecting that my hard work and loyalty would not be recognised.

He is my partner; he should know what I think/feel.

The truth is we place too high hopes on others. We expect people to behave the way we believe is the right one. To respond in the fashion, we have imagined they ought to and for which we are convinced is appropriate.

We, essentially, ask people to attune to our imaginary

thinking. Therefore disappointment is most likely

the final result of our expectations.

Moving to Germany, I used to nurture high expectations when it came to hospitality. Coming from a country with a long history and tradition in hosting, I had a tough time making peace with anything less than traditional Greek hospitality. People here naturally maintain different social standards, very dissimilar to the Greek ones and hosting dinners or parties; it’s a contrasting experience to the one I was familiar with. Do I still get upset from time to time with these disparate standards? Yes, and I recognise this as my personal struggle. Therefore I make steps toward reshaping my expectations. I am the one who has the power to make me frustrated, not the others. And, by acknowledging this, miraculously, a considerable burden is lifted off my shoulders.

People are complicated. The human mind is complex. Why do we really expect others to act according to our will? To read our minds? Let us keep our expectations to ourselves for us to grow. Whether we get disappointed by human nature or not, it is solely our own problem and issue. Expecting people to apologise for not living up to our implicit, unverbalised expectations is petty and purely unrealistic; it won’t get us anywhere.

On the contrary, uttering our expectations is one way to receive the outcome we hope to get. To be clear and direct is the way to go. Nevertheless, don’t expect people to conform to your hopes and desires just because you verbalised them. Each has its own agenda to follow based on personal interests and gains. In the case of mutual interests and thus compatibility, expectations are likely to be fulfilled successfully.

However, you have a higher chance of avoiding disappointment from expecting people to attend to your imaginary thinking by enunciating your anticipations.

Let go of your expectations, and you will be better prepared to encounter frustration, disappointment and anger. Focus on yourself. Are you doing the right thing? Are you satisfied with your actions, behaviour and responses to challenging situations? This is the essence of expectations; to not be surprised by the outcome but to keep an open mind to what is coming ahead.

2 thoughts on “Expectations lead to disappointment”

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *