Are we expecting too much of others?
Coming back to visit my family and friends, after a long time living outside my own country where I was born, has made me realize just how many difficulties I used to have in my life when I was living here. Then I started to question myself as to whether we are creating our own difficulties, unknowingly?
Especially if you are living in a busy city it can be very hard to understand that you are living in a permanent state of stress. And it can be impossible to see how much effect it has on our lives. One of the most common issues that I see is that so many of us never really take our own responsibilities and we excessively blame others for whatever issues we are having. This can be very damaging in both ways.
Do you think that your own problems are always someone else’s fault? You may say of course not, but probably some of them are. And most likely you’ll say this because when one thing happened it was clear that it was caused by something else specific happening. It’s often very hard though to know what the real cause of something is, and personally I think that whatever issues we may have or had are no actually one’s fault.
If you think about it I am sure you had some situations in your past that have now become much better. Whatever we may be facing now, we can try and realize that it’s no one’s fault and just focus on how to solve the issues. I am in Turkey right now, and seeing a place that I know so well but can now see with a certain separation and distance, makes it easy to see how much people are wasting their time and focusing only on their problems and who caused them. Time is very precious, it’s painful to see anyone losing their energy unnecessarily.
I personally believe that if we are expecting someone else to do a job that really we should be doing then we may end up blaming others. Should we then lower our expectations, and maybe be much happier and much less stressed? The dictionary defines expectation as a “strong belief that something will happen or be the case”. What if we remove our expectations but take our own responsibilities? When we keep expecting we can stop accepting reality, and ultimately feel disappointed and frustrated.
This is pretty easy for me to write about, but it definitely may not be so easy to do. My intention here is just to give you something to think about, and maybe you can start to question how your expectations are affecting you and ultimately you can improve something in your life.
What specifically can you do? Here are some ideas:
- Talk with other people clear and openly.
- Think about yourself and take care of yourself first, so that you are then able to take care of others.
- Get your own responsibility for what is happening in your life.
- Don’t blame or judge anyone — including yourself.
- Remember that everyone just does what they know in their current situation.
- Learn from your mistakes.
- Focus on the solution.
- Believe your inner voice, but don’t make decisions when you are sad or angry.
- Remind yourself and try to live a little more aware every day. We are all here to live happily and healthy.
“Live Your Life for You, Not to Please Expectations”; https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-adaptive-mind/201810/live-your-life-you-not-please-expectations
“When do the expectations of others matter? Experimental evidence on distributional justice and guilt aversion”; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7752945/