A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Expectations

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I have been disappointed a lot lately. I'm not talking little disappoints. I'm talking punched in the gut disappointments. (These disappointments are not in relation to Paul's surgery or our cancelled trip. I realize it is totally normal to be upset about those things.)

It seems like whenever I am disappointed, it is because my expectations have not been met. I'm particularly talking about expectations I set for other people. That is right, I set expectations for others and then when they are not met, I am extremely disappointed. It's ridiculous! I can't control other people, but when they don't act/react the way I expect them to, I feel horrible.


This is a fairly new realization I made, and I feel like it is valid. But it's also kind of harsh. Does this mean I simply can't count on anyone, or maybe I am just counting on the wrong people?

What are your thoughts on this topic? What do you do when people disappoint you? Is it all their fault, or is it your own fault for setting expectations in which you have no control over?

20 comments:

  1. This is a great post and I needed to read it. I get disappointed in people, too. I try not to get too upset about it, but sometimes it does really bring me down. I tend to just blame myself and think "don't expect people to be exactly how you want them". But I am telling you, it is something that never truly goes away. It will continue to happen (hopefully not a lot with the people you surround yourself with...) Here is what I try to tell myself "everyone is doing the best they know how". Whether or not that is true, I don't know but it makes me feel better :)

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    1. You know what, it is probably true what you said- they are doing the best they know how. As long a they are innately good people (which they probably are, because if they weren't why would someone like you or I make room in our lives for them), they prob are just doing the best they can. Thank you for your thoughts on this subject!

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  2. I am so with you on that. I've been reading a really good book about stress and how to live a more stress-free life. I came to the realization that this is a huge stress trigger for me, when I have too high of an expectation in others. It's something I've been really working on, but believe me it's not that easy to let go...it's going to be a work in progress! But I know that if I ever want to live a happier life, I have to let go of that.

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    1. It's crazy and I guess just proves that happy people CHOOSE to be happy because they let go of the things that bring them down. Now certainly there are deal breakers in any sort of relationship, but letting go and accepting that certain things/people/situations could certainly make someone happier and less stressed than just honing in on things that cannot be changed. Thanks for your thoughts! I read your blog about trying to be more Type B and how you were reading that book... I suppose it's us Type A people that are more likely to set high expectations for others!

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  3. It is hard to rely on others. I have had a few people really disappoint me as well recently. Sometimes I have learned that I put the expectations I have on myself on others. I expect others to treat me and interact with me as I would -- and that sometimes doesn't happen. So, I have to lower my expectations of those certain people. I have a friend that I know will not ask about me, my day, my family, etc. I realize this and instead of expecting her to change, try to roll with it. Does that sound bad? Lower my expectations? Well, if I don't, I am constantly disappointed in others. Good luck!

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    1. You are very insightful that you realized you hold others up to the same standards as you hold yourself. And I know people like you described- genuinely nice people but just won't ask any questions about me or my life. I have done similar- lowered my expectations for that particular person and realize I can be their friend but they are not someone I could really lean on or have a deep connection with. And I guess that's okay- I don't want deep connections with everyone I know haha! Thanks for your thoughtful comment.

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  4. Wow this is a deep one and complex. Lets start w/family, if you read my post about my dad being an amputee you know my childhood was a bit sad. he struggled w/anger and actually got himself into trouble often, and my mom was trying to keep up I just ran wild. When I was younger I resented that we were dirt poor, etc...in my 20's realized how crazy selfish I had been and forgiveness is very freeing. When my dad died I was sorry I couldn't have found a way to make it better. Next, church...i use to be very active and I have been out now for double digit years over expectations I imposed on folks, really, and I am trying to go back but it's a slow journey. At least I am wiser now and I know I have let down people over the years in many ways that I never intended so I can just chill when stuff isn't quite right.

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    1. With age and experience and time away from the situation, it is easy to look back and realize that we should have responded in different ways. But when you're in the situation (especially when you're younger) it's hard to look at it objectively! Good luck getting back into your church community. Slow and steady. :)

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  5. I set expectations, too. My husband used to tell me that my expectations were too high - especially when it came to our boys when they were younger. I think it is because I expect a lot of myself and just feel like everyone is the same!
    Sorry you have had so many harsh disappointments lately!

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    1. I think this falls in line with what Tonya was saying- when we expect a lot of ourselves we figure everyone should be that way. We should do what I tell my students... "Worry about yourself." hehehehe

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  6. I definitely know what you mean. I set expectations for others and am not only disappointed when they aren't met, but I get angry too. My heart starts being fast and I'm sure my blood pressure skyrockets. It can't be healthy!

    Maybe we should take up yoga? :)

    I like what Susan said about people doing their best ... but sometimes I feel like people are just being lazy (I am talking about at my place of employment here, hah).

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    1. I can't do yoga I cannot stand all that calmness!!!! (haha I'm totally serious! I have to watch The View while I do my post run stretching to counteract the relaxing nature of stretching) I figured you were talking about your work. I honestly think that is different. You must rise to the expectations of your job, company, boss, whatever and people will get mad if you don't pull your own weight. I get angry when things are work related but disappointed if they're more friend related.

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  7. I am definitely the same way. I think this stems from me trying to be the best person I can be and I am a people pleaser, so I generally live up/rise above expectations. When people don't do the same, I feel disappointed. I've finally come to the conclusion and have started realizing that I shouldn't let others determine how I feel. It's something I am constantly working at and I have been extremely happy these past few months, so I think it might be kind of working.

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    1. That is awesome you are able to do that. I am generally that way but there are just certain people or situations where I feel like I am in high school again! But yeah, all I would have to do is not let them make me feel that way and I am sure I would be happier. Thanks for your thoughts!

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  8. We all do this, I think, but there are two types of people who do it more...and you're both. You're someone who puts in full effort and is determined, and you're a teacher! Your job is to have high expectations, and because you expect so much from yourself - and give it your all to achieve it - you assume others will do the same.

    I've definitely experienced this. I'm constantly disappointed in the lack of effort in students, for example. But I've learned that with people I LOVE who do this constantly, I have had to readjust my attitude toward them so that I can still love them but not be hurt by them. And those I don't love? I cut them from my life. There's no reason to allow them to keep adding stress to my life!

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    1. True, family and people you love, you can't just cut them out so the attitude adjustment- geez it is such an emotionally mature thing to do! I guess it would be good for me to also realize I am sure I disappoint people all the time and people prob change their attitude about ME so they can love ME. I still feel like there are certain friends (not close friends) who are impossible to cut out because we're part of the same social/work circle. However those people should probably be easier for me to just be like "eh, this is how they are, and I don't have to deal with them too often so I should just let it go and then maybe go home and laugh about it."

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  9. Oooh, you are so right about 'expectations are just resentments waiting to happen.' If I'm feeling bitchy I'll 'expect something to happen and when it does/or doesn't (depending on the situation) I get my nasty bitch face on. Poor Matt (lol). And I think that I am 'too nice' sometimes....like when I'd bend over backwards for someone, since I'm a pleaser, and they don't reciprocate. What?!

    Thanks for letting me rant! LOL

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    1. NBF- Nasty bitch face. I've been there haha. Rant anytime. I feel like I am a pleaser too sometimes, or I fall into that role when I'm around certain people, if that makes sense.

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  10. one of my favorite books about this is crucial confrontations. i'm terrible when it comes to dealing with people who let me down. it was so helpful to me in outlining a specific approach to communicating expectations and what to do when people disappoint me. loved it!

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    1. I think I should check that book out. Thanks for the rec!

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