Our relationships with the people around us are dictated and influenced by many factors, including blatant or hidden expectations that we have of them. Many times, we become disappointed when the people around us don’t meet our expectations, which can cause us to develop constant resentment and misunderstanding. In order to avoid such situations, it’s important that we know how to let go of the following expectations so that we can develop healthy relationships with others.
One of the things we strive for is to get along with our environment and to feel that our relationships with the people in our lives are running smoothly. Many people make the mistake of thinking that in order for this to happen, it is important for people around them to approve of their actions. While it is nice to know that people in our lives see our actions positively, it isn’t always possible, and there is no reason why we should avoid certain things just because we fear the reaction of the environment.
You must understand that all people are fundamentally different from each other and therefore, won’t always agree on everything, especially with regard to certain worldviews and ways in which to behave in life. Continue on your chosen path and don’t expect people to agree with you at all times because you’ll end up disappointed. Instead, trust that people close to you will accept you as you are, and those who don’t, probably don’t need to be in your life.
Just as you don’t want others to try to change you, you shouldn’t expect anyone to change themselves or their behavior for you. If you expect the people around you to behave a certain way at all times, you're sorely mistaken. Furthermore, you may get into arguments with these people and eventually you might become resentful of them. You can narrow this gap between fantasy and reality if you just stop expecting people to act the way you think they should. Once you do this, you’ll feel much better and you’ll start appreciating the people around you as they deserve. Moreover, when you stop wasting your time trying to change others, you’ll get to know them better and discover things that might surpass any of your expectations.
Many times we yearn for a sense of love and respect from our environment and even feel weak without it. There are some people who are even willing to grovel in order to get them from their environment, something which causes the completely opposite. In order to gain affection and respect from those around us we must first love and respect ourselves, and only then expect others to feel this way. If you don’t, you’ll only project your insecurity, which will cause others to respond to it.
Develop respect and love for yourself so that you aren’t disappointed by your surroundings, and realize that the respect you need to pursue is the one you feel toward yourself. Stand in front of the mirror every day, tell yourself that you love who you are and start acting accordingly, and do your best to treat yourself in a way that will inspire in you, and in the people in your life, respect for you.
None of us are perfect, and sometimes there are people in our lives who tend to remind us of this fact and make us feel bad about ourselves. Many of us try to please those people at all costs, just to receive affection and friendship. In reality, this is impossible, since negative people will always have something bad to say, and it has nothing to do with your character but with theirs. Invest your time and energy in nurturing relationships with people who are worth your time and don’t get caught up in others’ negativity. The race to please them and to expect their affection and respect will end in disappointment and heartbreak, and you have to break the chain of this unreasonable expectation.
How many times did you get into a fight with your partner just because you wanted something and they didn’t understand what it was? Many of us have been in a similar situation, and if we’re honest with ourselves, it usually comes from us expecting our partner to “read our minds” and know what we're thinking. When this doesn’t happen, as it obviously can’t, the feeling of anger slowly creeps in and leads to quite a few fights.
When you really delve into this expectation it becomes clear how unfair it is. No one, no matter how well they know us, can know what goes on in our heads. It is important that you avoided expecting others to read your mind because they’ll fail every time, at no fault of their own. Instead, use your ability to speak to express what you want - you may not get it, but at least you won’t have had a double disappointment of a shattered expectation along with your request being shot down.
We all know people who have a habit or feature that we want with all our might to change and think it will happen at any moment. If you don’t like a certain behavior, talk about it! You can’t expect people to change their habits just because they annoy you or don’t suit you. If the annoying behavior persists and you feel that you are unable to live with it, you may want to consider the nature of the relationship between you and that same person. If a behavior isn’t particularly pleasant, but you can live with it, the offending person is probably worth your patience and these habits will soon seem marginal.
As we reach certain ages and stages of life, we begin to expect life to be peaceful and think that other people should also be calm and relaxed at all times. Unfortunately, life doesn’t work this way, and many people hide a lot of pain that floods them and affects their behavior. They may look depressed and start distancing themselves from us in order to avoid more pain, something that can rock our peaceful bliss. When the people around you shatter the bubble of which everything in your life is fine, don’t be disappointed. Instead, support them in their struggles and help them feel that the water can be calm and pleasant. Put your expectations aside and support people who are precious to you, who may not always be at their best.