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Understanding the Disappointment Equation


"I try not to expect things from people because that's how they let me down."

New Year, new mindset. At least that's what's going around right? Give it another week and most of the people who are all talk around the start of the new year will fall back into routine. It's sad, but they're annoying and it's true. I on the other hand am not slowing down. Being happy and doing something worth remembering come 2018 is high on my list.

With these goals in mind I've been trying to pay close attention to how other happy people are so d*mn happy.

One word; EXPECTATIONS.

As in lower, of course. Having no expectations at all can cause more harm than good. But I've learned that a good balance of expectations as they relate to reality, can have a better outcome. Try to rethink the equation as reality over expectation instead of the other way around.

Meeting new people, for example. The reality is that they don't know you and that they could either like or dislike you for any reason. So the expectation that everyone will like you leaves you open to the disappointment when people don't. The same can be said if you go in on the negative (like I do) and think they won't like you. Not so much a disappointment that way around but it still saves you some grief.

Maybe this is better...

The Dangers of High Expectations are as follows;

  1. Complete and Utter Disappointment 99.9% of the time. Some things can surprise you and meet your expectations, but it's very rare. Going into situations, friendships, and relationships with an open mind instead of expectations saves you a lot of grief. Expecting perfection from a human interaction is not the same as purchasing a highly rated washing machine. It isn't going to work as expected 100% of the time. And no one wants to be with or around anyone who expects more of them than what they can give.
  2. Stress. Yes, you read that right. Expectations put you on edge. Imagine you're watching a horror movie. As the main character inches towards the basement door, hand outstretched, you expect something big and scary to pop out as soon as the door is opened. This expectation is met with absolutely nothing and you and everyone else in the theater just released a breath you didn't even know you were holding. Now imagine feeling like this around everyone and about everything all the time.
  3. Failed Relationships because yes, you are the high maintenance one. I believe in the old fashion roles just as much as anyone. But expecting too much from your partner causes resentment and (hello!) disappointment. HINT: Don't expect things from your partner that they've never done before. Just like how I've given up expecting my toilet seat to be returned to it's original position... If they haven't been doing it from the beginning, or working on it since the first time you brought it up, move on or let it go. 

The list goes on of course. But I'm just really trying to drive the point home. Basically, our unhappiness and disappointment comes from ourselves most of the time. We set expectations of ourselves and others way too high and we're letting ourselves down.

Take a step back and breathe. Don't expect, just do; let it be.

This happiness thing really shouldn't be so hard.

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