“If she just started doing ……………. then all would be good”!

“I should be further along than this”

“Why doesn’t he listen, really listen?”

Hearing a theme here? All expectations of yourself or of your partner creates disappointment, heart break and in time erodes relationships.  Women in therapy hugging woman friend

Having realistic expectations helps you accept the flaws of others and creates less pain in you.  We need to take responsibility for our own life’s before we can expect others to do the same.

We all have expectations in our lives of what we want and who we want to become.  That is great on some level, but I believe the key to true happiness lies within realistic expectations.  I would be the first to say that I’ve struggled with this and perhaps that’s why I’m writing about it.  Over the years I’ve had high expectations of the people close to me and of myself.  Its only caused me pain and heartache and a lot of headaches as I’ve tried to work it all out in my head.  The monkey mind, the constant inner chatter trying to solve an issue or problem.

We often think how you treat someone is how you should be treated and when you’re not your disappointed.

“There are two ways to be happy: develop and expand your reality or lower your expectations.”

Having realistic expectations creates more room in yourself to accept the flaws in others and taking responsibility for our own lives and our own decisions before we can expect others to do the same.

A large part of my work is marriage counselling and I see this very regularly when a person is totally focused on the other as to the change they need to make.  Learning to bring it back to yourself and the changes you need to make in yourself is crucial for lowering your expectations.

One of the biggest challengers is learning to accept people just as they are.  Who are we to say someone should change.  They should change if they want to, if they choose to, when they want to.

Giving because you want to and choose to is very different to giving because you have expectations of what you will receive in return and when you don’t your disappointed.

When we have expectations of others we tend to not be very present and able to enjoy what’s happening right in that moment.  Readjusting your expectations is crucial.  Acceptance of others is a much simpler way to live and to have an open mind and heart.

It starts with a decision and starts with you maintaining accurate awareness of your own realities before you even look out there to others.

Anger and resentment can begin to build when we have expectations of what we want the other person to be.  The fault actually lies in you as you are putting pressure on them.  Do you have any control with that?    No of course not.

Its very freeing when you choose to actively work towards acceptance.

You have 3 choices when your wanting someone to change, when you have your expectations.

1.    Continue to live in the pain of living with expectations that aren’t met

2.    Leave

3.    Work with yourself, let go of expectations.

Being open to learning how to live without expectations is the first step.  Being open to acceptance and what comes with this is. 

In conclusion sometimes we cannot accept, perhaps being treated disrespectfully, hoping for more support, love, understanding.  With this a decision needs to be made as living with expectations that are not reached is a very painful way to live long term. Sometimes Counselling can be very helpful to connect with your own awareness and reality and what you want moving forward.