The thing with expectations

Is the key to more happiness really keeping your expectations low? What can you actually expect from yourself and others? Is there something like healthy or realistic expectations?

Not to give away the essence of this article, but I think the answers to these questions are: hell no, a lot and yes.

There are countless quotes and texts to be found online that advise you to keep your expectations low. If you don’t have expectations, you can never be disappointed. The best way to avoid heartbreak is to not expect anything from anyone. No expectations, no disappointment. Makes sense, I thought.

But then again wait! What’s the bottom line of this way of thinking? Should I not feel disappointed when a good friend lets me down? Should I not expect affection from my boyfriend? Should I not look forward to my next trip?

Seriously, I have thought this through all week and I am going to keep having my expectations. And I think you should too!

I know, I know. The keep-‘em-low supporters among you may ask at this point: Why do you set yourself up for disappointment like this?

And my answer would be: life is going to have disappointments.

And yes, they may result from holding yourself or someone else to an unrealistic standard. And yes, it definitely won’t hurt to question whether your expectations are reasonable or not.

But I am convinced – if you don’t expect to be treated in a certain way, you will end up with no self-respect. And if you have low expectations for yourself, you will never reach for the higher levels.

The complex thing with expectations is that they vary from person to person. What is considered common courtesy in the view of one person might not appear important to another.

We all have different personal values and beliefs and then expect people to act according to them. Otherwise we feel irritated, disappointed, frustrated. It goes without saying that our expectations will sooner or later clash with somebody else’s.

I guess there is no universal solution how to deal with unmet expectations. We all have our own needs and levels of experience. That said, I think that we should keep questioning our expectations, be appreciative as much as possible and accept that things don’t always happen as we expect them.

But yes, I am going to keep having my expectations.

What about you?

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