I know it might seem a little bit difficult to learn how to stop expecting too much from people, but it’s actually not that hard to understand and accept that. Human relationships are often extremely complex and that’s why unrealistic expectations regarding other people’s behavior can cause you disappointment, frustration, resentment or even anger. In order to avoid all that, it’s much easier to just learn how to stop expecting too much from people, so you will be able to rethink your attitude towards others and live a happier, healthier and more fulfilled life. Here is what you should know:
1. Realize That Nobody’s Perfect
The first step you should take if you want to learn how to stop expecting too much from people is to simply realize and accept the fact that nobody’s perfect and that everyone makes mistakes every now and then. You’re not perfect either, so why would you expect that from somebody else? No one can fulfill everyone’s expectations, no matter how hard they try to do it. One simply can’t please everybody, so try to accept that and just move on!
2. Let Go of Unrealistic Expectations
Learn to recognize those unrealistic expectations you might have in regard to other people’s behavior and let them go! This type of thinking is not good for your health either, because studies show that “people who harbor unrealistic expectations are especially prone to anxiety, depression and unhappiness.” Try to be more realistic sometimes, because this will increase your overall psychological health, thus you will feel happier.
3. Recognize the Difference between Expectations and Dependence
Try not to mix expectations with dependence, because these two concepts are in fact very different from one another. If you depend too much on one person, you’ll risk getting your feelings hurt. Never make your happiness other people’s responsibility! Sometimes it’s good to expect certain things, because you will fell more motivated to reach your goals. Just be careful not to cross that thin line between expectations and dependence, because by doing it, you won’t be making the right choice.
4. Rethink Childhood Expectations
If you pay very close attention, you’ll notice that most of your childhood expectations are in fact unrealistic. We all dream about having the perfect job when we grow up, the perfect family or the perfect life. Well, things don’t always turn out this way and usually, we have to face a lot of obstacles along the way in order to accomplish our dreams. Studies show that children with parents who always expected them to be perfect often lack in self-confidence in their early adulthood. If you are one of them, try to discover if you learned this habit in your childhood and try to correct it, so you’ll be able to really enjoy the beautiful things in life and not worry about pleasing everybody else.
5. Learn to Expect Nothing in Return
When you are doing something nice for someone, do it for yourself and try not to expect something in return! This way, you won’t get disappointed and you won’t get your feelings hurt. Be nice because you want to be nice, because you feel this way and not because you have to! Once you acknowledge and accept that, you will feel more relaxed and you’ll be able to focus on your own happiness and on fulfilling your dreams.
6. Don’t Expect People to Read Your Mind
Never expect anyone to know how you are feeling if you haven’t told them that. People can’t read minds and even if you think that they should know you well enough to be able to decipher your behavior, I must tell you that you are wrong. People's emotional landscapes are entirely different from your own, so don’t held them accountable for something they didn’t do!
7. Ask for Advice
If you think that all those unrealistic expectations you had, caused you a lot of problems lately, go and talk to one of your loved ones and simply ask for their advice. Learn from their experience and discover new ways to deal with the problems you are facing. That advice might mean more to you just because it comes from someone whom you love and trust, and might help you feel better in no time. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help when you need it, because the sooner you do it, the better you will feel.
8. Help Others
Another best way to stop expecting too much from other people is by focusing your efforts towards helping others without expecting anything in return. Volunteer or simply do a good deed every day! Help others because you want to make them happy and you will also feel happier doing it. I love what Albert Ellis, this very famous psychotherapist, once said: "Where is it written that others must act the way we want them to? It may be preferable, but not necessary."
9. Try to Be More Realistic
Idries Shah once said that “If, from time to time, you give up expectation, you will be able to perceive what it is you are getting,” and he couldn’t be more right! Learn how to be more realistic and think about the negative traits people might have. Nobody’s perfect, so don’t focus only on the positive traits of their character. Be realistic and accept the fact that people might hurt you sometimes, but they might not do it intentionally.
Sometimes, it can be quite hard not to have certain unrealistic expectations, because we simply go with the flow and we end up getting hurt. It’s not impossible to learn how to stop expecting too much from people, you just need to put a little effort into it and have a little patience because not all good things happen over night. Can you give me a hand and tell us what other things we can do in order to protect ourselves from getting hurt by always expecting too much from others? Please share your advice with us in the comments section!