We have a kind of “emotional battery” that we use when experiencing certain feelings. Positive experiences fill us up, while negative ones drain us. When our expectations are not met, Moments can also make us feel overwhelmed, sad, or confused. Therefore, if they are too high, we often feel these emotions.
Inflated expectations manifest as attitudes or limits to our thinking. For example, we expect others to be honest with us because we behave this way towards them. But our expectations do not always correspond to reality, which disappoints and upsets us.
Reasonable “standards” of expectations from other people shift the responsibility for their actions to themselves. We will share 7 ways to deal with high expectations to experience less negative emotions.
Give up the habit of guessing
Try not to assume how the situation should be resolved and how the person should act for it to be right from your point of view. Try to “catch yourself” when making assumptions and replacing those thoughts. Instead, think something like, “I’ll have to wait and see how things go.”
The truth is that people are not good at predicting things. And a “guess” is almost the same as a prediction. Remind yourself that predictions don’t always come true – and it’s not just about the weather or stock betting.
Focus more on staying in the present you are dealing with. Mindfulness is a good practice for dealing with assumptions.
Avoid thinking that someone owes you something
Fight the feelings and thoughts that others owe you something. Nobody owes anything to anyone.
It doesn’t matter how much you do for others, how kind and generous you are, how good a friend you are. Other people may not appreciate it or even realize how much you are doing for them or how you position yourself in it.
Avoid the habit of giving or doing something in the hope that you will receive something in return. It is worth giving up high expectations and learning gratitude – by the way, this is one of the habits of happy people. We talked about these habits in more detail here.
Consider the worst-case scenario
There is a practice in philosophy called “negative visualization”. Its idea is to think about how things can go wrong. This is done so that we are already emotionally prepared to deal with it if it does happen.
For example: “I’m going to get this job because I’ve been interviewed, I’m qualified, and I’m working hard.” You’ll be upset if you don’t get a job offer.
To cope with your high expectations, you can think about what will happen if you do not get a job. And if the company chooses another candidate, you will already know a rough plan of action instead of devoting all your free time to disappointment and sadness.
Remind yourself that you can’t always influence the outcome
Unfortunately, hard work and high expectations do not necessarily mean good results. Do everything in your power to achieve your goal, but realize that you can control and influence far from everything.
The key “mental switch” is to separate cause and effect.
For example, you may express your feelings to another person, expecting them to feel the same way about you and want to be with you. But the cause (showing feelings) may not be relevant to the effect (that he wants to be with you) if he doesn’t feel the same emotions for you.
Therefore, do not overestimate – you need to leave room for what can go wrong and think about how to deal with it.
Don’t accept other people’s expectations
Consider whether the high expectations are your own. Often they can be a consequence of the influence of the environment of society on us.
We can go to a restaurant or watch movies based on recommendations from our friends. If the reviews were unequivocally positive, we would have corresponding expectations. To lower your expectations, think about whether you like the food, like in the recommended restaurant, or the movie genre that you were offered to watch.
Try not to allow yourself to believe in something just because your friends and those around you believe it. They can’t predict results the way you can.
Learn to empathize with others and understand them
Each of us faces problems and difficulties in life that need to be solved. Therefore, others are unlikely to have time to live up to our expectations.
But by putting yourself in their shoes and trying to understand what they might be going through at any given time, you can be more realistic about their actions, behaviour, and attitude towards you. They may want to be a good friend or partner but don’t have enough communication experience. Those close to you may try to live up to your expectations but fail because they do not match their worldview, feelings, or capabilities.
For example, you can expect an expensive birthday present from a friend. And when you don’t get what you hoped for, you get upset and offended. Be sure to analyze why this happened – perhaps a friend was laid off at work or had to spend money on treatment or an expensive urgent purchase. And the very fact that she still gave you a gift and thought about you should affect the current situation.
Learn by doing
You can gradually lower your expectations as you watch reality unfold. It is useful to ask how it differs from what you imagined in your head.
When you again encounter situations you have already experienced, you can bring your thoughts back to the discrepancy between past expectations and reality to bring your current expectations in line with what is happening.
If your expectations come closer to reality, disappointment will decrease.