Have You Been Hurt By Your Expectations?

Man In Mourning

The truth is that we can be hurt by our own expectations.

We all have expectations.

If you are the type of person who is unsure that they have expectations, I highly suggest that you read further.

What Is Expectation?

Here are two definitions of expectation from the Oxford Dictionary:

  1. A strong belief that something will happen or be the case.
  2. The belief that someone will or should achieve something.

Therefore, we will either have self-expectations or expectations from others.

A Closer Look At Self-Expectations

Self-expectations are the standards that you set upon yourself. If those expectations of yours are unrealistic, you will end up being disappointed.

Self-confidence is important in this situation.

As long as your expectations are reasonable, you will not end up being disappointed if things failed to work out in your favour.

All that is required is you being kind to yourself.

What Are Your Expectations From Others And Other’s Expectations From You?

My friend, the list is a long one, but I will talk about the important ones.

You expect honesty, unconditional love, total trust, non-judgementalism, and you also expect people to change overnight.

You want people to agree with you on everything.

You expect others to know what is on your mind in advance.

Other people also expect the same things from you.

The Greater The Depth Of The Relationship Is The Greater Of The Intensity Of The Expectations

Come to think of it, minimum expectations in one’s relationship lead to greater happiness.

Maybe, the fault lies with the way in which we were brought up. We were psychologically conditioned into studying hard at school, getting a good job after we have graduated from school, finding a loving spouse, having wonderful kids, becoming rich, etcetera.

We were brought up to expect things!

The Categories Of Expectations

The categories of expectations are:

  • Material
  • Spiritual
  • Intellectual
  • Emotional
  • Unreasonable/reasonable

I am not going to deal with them in detail because you already know what they are.

Which Category Of Expectation Is Better?

Unfortunately, I cannot provide you with an answer to this.

I can only speculate that the intention of expecting something, deprives one of their happiness.

Are Expectation And Hope The Same?

No, my friend. They are different.

Expectation entangles you in the world of disappointment since you feel that you are being deprived of something.

Hope gives you an opportunity to think in a proper way; if your wishes are not fulfilled, you will accept the outcome because you were prepared for it mentally.

Are Goals And Expectations The Same?

To some extent, yes.

Goals can be considered as a form of expectation since goals are the reason why we work hard to achieve what we wish to become.

With the goal in mind, one can devise a better plan to achieve it; this helps in the area of bringing their goal to fruition.

Are Expectations Always A Bad Thing?

No, my friend.

There is nothing wrong with wishing for something.

Sadly, most of the expectations go beyond wishing.

Expectations have both good and bad sides.

But remember, 90% of our problems are caused by expectations.

Expectations Can Be Problematic

The problem with all of us is that we create a picture in our head of what is supposed to happen and get screwed because things did not turn out the way we expected them to.

However, there is a simple formula; which is to expect the unexpected.

Then again, someone jokingly said, “Even the unexpected becomes part of the expectation.”

Life’s Secret

“The Secret of happiness is low expectations.” ― Barry Schwartz

Easier said than done!

Helpful Things To Consider

Let us not get disappointed in each and every negative situation (Life is too short for that).

“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

Let us live a decent life; one which involves respecting and loving each other.

Let there be more giving than more taking.

The Take-Home Message

“To exist in this vast universe for a speck of time is the great gift of life. Our tiny sliver of time is our gift of life. It is our only life. The universe will go on, indifferent to our brief existence, but while we are here we touch not just part of that vastness, but also the lives around us. Life is the gift each of us has been given. Each life is our own and no one else’s. It is precious beyond all counting. It is the greatest value we can have. Cherish it for what it truly is… Your life is yours alone. Rise up and live it.” ― Terry Goodkind

Thank you.

Namaste. 🙏🙏🙏

About the guest author:

Dr. Sridhar is the man behind Philosophy Through Photography.

This deep thinker from India wears many hats; he is a physician, a blogger, a philosopher and an amateur photographer.

Published by philosophy through photography

My philosophy is: Life is hard, but God is good. Try not to confuse the two. Anne F. Beiler

41 thoughts on “Have You Been Hurt By Your Expectations?

  1. There’s a lot here to think about and absorb in this post. I’ve learned so much these past few years, including that the expectation that I had that my spouse would keep our marriage vows and promise to be faithful. I kept my part, he did not. I expected that he would, but I guess I really didn’t know him. What I didn’t expect was the duplicity and the lies and the betrayal. Many lessons learned, though. I can’t force someone to act with integrity. We all have free will, and we all make life choices and decisions that might have unintended consequences. What I expect from myself is a lot more self respect and learning how to protect myself with safe boundaries. Thank you for making me think!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post. I think our expectations of ourselves are the most important ones. We are responsible only for ourselves. We cannot control what others do or think. So we should not have expectations of other people though at times that is hard to do, I know and often try 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. What an excellent post! There are times I feel our expectations of ourselves may be too harsh, which can carry over to what we expect of others. With that said, expectations of others shouldn’t be greater than of our expectations of ourselves.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I wonder if this has anything to do with the fact that modern societies have made traditional communities (or ancient tribes) obsolete. However, the feeling of belonging and inclusion, the enjoyment of the tight-knit tribal environment with 200 close relatives and friends is always there and cannot be diminished. So we turn to relationship and friendship, the consequence of which is that we put too much pressure on the relationship.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Haoyando for your thoughts.

      The problem with tight knit family is with the numbers.
      More the number of family members greater the expectations, mistrust and disappointments.

      Outsiders can never know these disappointments.

      Even in the case 0f a couple( just 2 persons) there is too much expectation from one another.

      Even genuine friendship suffers good understanding because of unreasonable expectations.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This is a very deep and very detailed article, dear Philo. I do agree with most of it; however, when people enter into a relationship, whether personal or working one, the one strategy that helps, according to most psychology manuals, is stating expectations of each other ahead of time.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Even though many psychology manuals are less than helpful, I beg to disagree on this point, dear Philo. Expectations don’t have to create pressure, yet they should be expressed clearly. Let’s say a young couple is in love and planning to get married. He wants his wife to start having children right away, while she is thinking of education and carreer first. If this is not stated beforehand, they will be in trouble very soon. What if she is materialistic, and played up to it while dating by showering her with presents, but in reality he is more interested in spiritual pursuits that striving for more financial gains. Trouble on the horizon! I can give you many examples, but I am sure you understand the gist of it.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Dear Dolly, always a pleasure to hear from you.

          Agree 100% with what you said about the couple.

          All is well that ends well is the general statement. And nothing wrong with telling the partner what is expected of him or her in the beginning itself.

          But in reality, it’s a different story.

          If each person expresses what he or she expects from the other in advance, chances are that one may misunderstand this as ‘pressure point or even one being selfish’ at the beginning itself!

          Even when they accept the conditions each one imposed on the other…no guarantee that things will move that smoothly.

          Ultimately the true relationship boils down to ‘mutual adjustments’ or ‘give & take policy’ even sacrifices and simply put it ‘suppression of expectations’.

          Finally, the age of the persons, their mental maturity and the bringing up all come into the play.

          Feel free to correct me and I love the same.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Ah, dear Philo, I think we have different cultural experiences and perspectives. Statistically, more than 60% of the first-time marriages end up in divorce during the first year. Mutual adjustments are fine in theory, but compromises usually leave both parties less than satisfied. By the same token, any supressed feelings inevitably backfire when the initial passion and desire dssipates, as it inevitably does. That initial passion should transform into mutual respect, trust, and understanding. If reasonable expectations are not stated beforehand, relationships collapse at this exact stage.
            Reasonable expectations are not impositions and are far from selfish; they are based on cultural norms and values that might be different from one person to another. The indubitable axiom is that behaviors could change, but values don’t. When values are challenged, people might try to adjust their behaviors (to give and take, as you call it), but this effort will generate resentment which corrodes relationships.
            I agree with you about upbringing, which is the basis of those cultural norms and values. As to mental maturity, I beg to disagree. Cognitive development is quite different from emotional development and/or social development. Often, a highly mentally mature person is emotionally underdeveloped. In relationships, emotions take preference over rationality; that’s why expectations have to be discussed before strong emotional attachments have formed.
            I apologize for a long discourse, dear friend, but this is what I have worked with for many years.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Wow!

              I loved every sentence Dolly.

              So much wealth of knowledge!
              I couldn’t agree more on ‘ the reasonable expectation ‘ where bothe parties agree in total.

              Yes.Emotions can influence cognitive process.

              Always a pleasure to lear from your teachings.

              I am richly benefitted.
              Thank you

              Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you for posting this, such an amazing way to organize these thoughts. I think I struggle most with expecting a lot from myself, I can always ignore unrealistic expectations from others. This has really given me something to think about. I like your inclusion of the “The Categories Of Expectations”.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Interesting post, I agree that a lot of the reasons for why people end up feeling let down because of their own expectations of themselves, is because of high standards people have been born and raised into.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. As a Mom the hardest expectations for me have been those set for my children. Even from a very young age, I expect my kids to act or behave a certain way, and horrified when they do not. Yet, I can’t just throw away those expectations as it is my job to teach social norms and appropriate behaviors. ..Constant disappointment but occasional satisfaction too!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Excellent post Dr. Sridhar!
    I have a rule about Expectations. If I can not meet my own Expectation in a situation than I do not put that Expectation on anyone else.
    It does not always work I admit but for the most part (I’d say 95%) I do not get ‘let down’ by others.
    Thank you for a wonderful post. You always get me thinking about things.
    Sincerely, Sherri-Ellen T-D.

    Liked by 1 person

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