Trade Your Expectations for Appreciation and Your Life will Change

Trade Your Expectations for Appreciation and Your Life Will Change

“I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations
and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.”
―Bruce Lee

People never act or respond the way we want them to, expect them to, or think they should. We expect people to behave the way we behave, that’s simply unrealistic and if we continue down that path we will constantly be disappointed. If you have no expectations, then you will be pleasantly surprised at the outcomes.  No one wants to be a clone or Mini Me of someone else.  Expect and plan for the worst and then, whatever happens, is a bonus.

Why do we expect people to behave in a certain way? Is it that we want them to act the way we do in order to validate our feelings and confirm that we are right?  I say get over it or you’re in for a lifetime of disappointment. If you have expectations that are realistic, you must share those with the other individual to gain their agreement and commitment.

If you have expectations of children, ask yourself whose expectations they really are.  Because you were a champion football player do you expect your son to be one to make up for your failures? What if that isn’t what he wants in his life.  Or if your dream was to be a Ballerina, do you expect your daughter to fill those shoes where you did not. It’s great to have high expectations. You should expect the most out of yourself and others. Holding yourself to a higher standard, even if you don’t always live up to it, pushes you to be a better person. The biggest disappointments in our lives are often the result of misplaced expectations.  This is especially true when it comes to our relationships and interactions with others.

7 Things to Stop Expecting from Others

  1. Don’t expect them to agree with you.

You deserve to be happy.  You deserve to live a life you are excited about.  Don’t let the opinions of others make you forget that.  You are not in this world to live up to the expectations of others, nor should you feel that others are here to live up to yours.  In fact, the more you approve of your own decisions in life, the less approval you need from everyone else.

  1. Don’t expect them to respect you more than you respect yourself.

True strength is in the soul and spirit. It’s about having faith and trust in who you are, and a willingness to act upon it.  Never again beg others for the love, respect, and attention that you should be showing yourself. Look in the mirror and say, “I love you, and from now on I’m going to act like it.”  It’s important to be nice to yourself.  When you practice self-love and self-respect, you give yourself the opportunity to be happy.  When you are happy, you become a better friend, a better family member, a better spouse.

  1. Stop Needing People to like you.

You might feel unwanted and unworthy to one person, but you are priceless to another.  Don’t ever forget your worth.  Spend time with those who value you.  No matter how good you are to people, there will always be a negative person who criticizes you.  Smile, ignore them and carry on. Read the book by Terry Cole-Whittaker “What you think of me is none of my business”.

 People may call you out because you’re “different.”  Different is good, different is unique and you are uniquely you. And that’s perfectly OK.  The things that make you different are the things the right people will love you for it.

  1. Stop expecting people to fit your idea of who they should be

You don’t like it when others place their expectations on you, so stop doing it to others. Loving and respecting others means allowing them to be themselves.  When you stop expecting people to be a certain way, you can begin to appreciate THEM.

  1. Why should others be expected to know what you’re thinking?

People can’t read minds.  They will never know how you feel unless you tell them.  In life, you have to communicate with others regularly and effectively and often. You have to tell people what you’re thinking otherwise they won’t know.

  1. People can’t change behaviors overnight if they can change at all

If you are expecting a specific behavior in someone you care about will disappear it probably won’t.  If you really need someone to change something, be honest and put all the cards on the table so the person knows how you feel and what you need them to do. For the most part, you can’t change people and you shouldn’t try. 

  1. Not everyone is “OK.”

Be kind because everyone you meet is fighting a battle, you know nothing about.  Just like you. Supporting, sharing and making contributions to other people is one of life’s greatest rewards.  Not being “OK” all the time, is perfectly OK.

 5 Ways changing your expectations will improve your life

  1. You take sole responsibility for your decisions. This is about me running my life, doing what I consider important. The individual who creates their own values doesn’t succumb to herd mentality.
  2. Separate your wants from should and ought to – The masses are usually tied to the shoulds. These come from thparent voice in our heads. Shoulds are by definition expectations imposed by others. When we fail to do them we feel guilty. When we do follow them we often feel angry and when an expected payoff doesn’t  materialize, our feelings of disappointment and resentment are escalated, instead focus on your wants, your values, your core beliefs, and integrity.
  3. Avoid becoming a martyr and feeling guilty or angry. All the disappointment and resentment can over time turn into martyrdom. Unfulfilled expectations continue to drag on and you feel as though your needs are not being met and that you are unappreciated which turns into resentment anger and grudges. Eventually, martyrs either have a breakdown or collapse from exhaustion. Learn to say NO and not feel guilty or obligated. It’s okay to focus on your needs and wants, it’s not selfish, it’s healthy.

  1. 4. Live in the present. The decision and choices of life come one-by-one in the moment. Expectations forever push you to look ahead, mentally entrapping you in the future. Like a chess player you’re always thinking 8 moves out – what should I do, how will others react, how will respond, how can I get them to react in the way I expect, what if they question my decision? If you don’t care, and let things play out as they will, you will feel a lot less stressed. You can’t control others and you can’t control the outcome, so stop trying to.
  2. 5. Be More at Ease – People rarely behave the way you want them to.  Hope for the best but expect less.  The magnitude of your happiness will be directly proportional to your thoughts and how you choose to think about things.  Even if a situation or relationship doesn’t work out at all, it’s still worth it if it made you feel something new, and if it taught you something new. Tempering your expectations of other people will greatly reduce unnecessary frustration and suffering, in both your life and theirs, and help you refocus on the things that truly matter.





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