When you set expectations for other people, you are setting yourself up for disappointment. One of the biggest sources of difficulties for people is their strong desire for things to be a certain way.
Expecting too much from others may not only disappoint you but may put too much pressure on your friends and family. You know you can't help it. You have this idea of how you want the world to be. Unfortunately, reality has its own ideas. It always comes with a different plan. This plan may not ever meet people's idea of what is perfect, but it does open the door to many possibilities.
Yes, the world would be a better place if everyone did what they were supposed to do or what was morally right, but that's not always the case. And it's okay for people to recognize the negative things that are happening. It helps them keep their grounding.
Yes, it would be great if your toddler would behave herself while you are talking to a client. But that's not how a toddler's life works. Their enthusiasm for learning and curiosity about the world fuels their great desire for connection with you and others.
Yes, it would also be great if your partner in life agreed with you all the time, but that's not how things work. It's not going to happen either.
What is the problem then?
While it may be easy to go about life like you are used to, it often leads you to unwanted disappointments. Will letting go of these expectations help you? Yes!
But how do you do that?
While many find it frustrating that others are not meeting their expectations, they also find it challenging to let go of their ideals. Though they try to make it work for them, some people find it hard to let go.
The truth about this is straightforward. Teach yourself to expect nothing, and you will never be disappointed. The same goes for who you are and other people's expectations of you.
The way you are expected to act by others is their idea of who you are. But that doesn't mean you have to meet those ideals all the time or ever.
But what makes it so hard for people to let go of these emotions?
There is a massive difference between wanting people to act a certain way and accepting how they are as a person. When you let go of expectations, you're able to show forgiveness and compassion. You're able to taper your reactions more effectively.
If you hold onto your expectations, you are mad at them for their behavior. Your reaction to express your anger is going to make things worse.
If you let go of your expectations but are bothered or hurt by their actions, you can still tell them about it. You extend help so that they can change the way they act according to what is good or bad for them.
In both situations, you may be trying to extend help, but it is only in the second situation that you are truly helpful. The goal is not to reach the ideal, but to help make a change for the better. Of course, letting go of expectations doesn't mean that you're now a doormat. It just means that you are allowing others to be human.
You should be able to tell the difference between being the victim of abusive behavior and accepting that abusive behavior. Let go of the ideal of how an abusive person should act. Understanding the reason why they abuse you does not mean you should allow them to harm you continuously.
Instead, take action so their abusive actions could be dealt with accordingly. Never stay in a harmful situation. Get help as soon as you can and let the authorities deal with the abusive behavior accordingly.
If people are not able to meet your expectations, it could be agonizing to look at them live their lives. While you can always try to change them for the better, you also have to learn to accept that the world will never be as perfect as you want it to be.
You can work with other people so that you can do good and be good, but that doesn't mean they have to take your advice. If nothing else, you're teaching yourself not to agonize over things that you cannot change.
In the end, everyone must learn to accept what they cannot change.
How do you teach yourself the ways how to stop expecting?
If your version of reality is making you upset, frustrated, or angry, then it is not helping you. Tweak it a little and learn to forgive others even if they don't meet the standards you have set.
Wouldn't it be nice to allow others to be who they want to be? Think about your desire to build a healthy relationship with yourself and with others. The intent is always to show love, even when situations and characters are no longer ideal.
How do you want people to behave? Whenever you take notice of how others are acting and that they don't meet your expectations, then stop. Don't get caught up in your expectations, especially when your ideal is already harming you. Look at yourself and decide. Is the ideal still helpful to you and others?
At this time, you can always try to take on a different path. It is always your choice.
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