Friends have to be on my side at all times if I do not get in touch, others have to call me to hear how I am, if I leave a job to a colleague or just work with him, everything must be flawless. Do these thoughts seem familiar to you? Then you probably belong to every kind of person who places high expectations on others.
They expect nothing less than the absolute best and always. In the long run, nobody can fulfill this, and so the resulting conflict is inevitable and recurring. Why high expectations of others are so often not worth it, what expectations you should have of others and how you learn to let them go …
High expectations lead to frustration and grief
Expectations are quite normal and belong to the coexistence of the people. No matter in which situation we meet someone else, we always have certain expectations of that person. From the boss is expected to keep track and delegate tasks, the colleagues should support and work well in a team, when meeting a friend, we expect him to be punctual, from the partner we expect loyalty, and from other people, we generally want to be treated with decency and respect.
There is nothing wrong with expectations like in this example. They show how we imagine living together and which values and characteristics are anchored in our personality. It becomes problematic if you have far too high expectations for other things like your partner should read your every wish from your eyes and from the colleagues you expect a wholly elaborated concept that only needs to be presented.
Such high expectations for others usually arise when they are also put to themselves. If you expect nothing but perfection from yourself, you will apply this standard to other people. In both cases, the high expectations inevitably lead to frustration and grief.
It is just not possible to fulfill them. The more you expect from others, the more inevitable it is that your expectations will be disappointed. What follows is the feeling that you can not count on anyone. A predicament that you have created by your high expectations.
It is more beneficial for one’s own mood and overall satisfaction to lower one’s own expectations. Unfortunately, that’s not so easy …
Tips to let high expectations for others
High expectations of others have mostly set in their own thoughts for years. The harder it is to let go and return to a normal level. Hard, maybe, but luckily not impossible. The very realization that your expectations are too high and perhaps wholly unrealistic is the beginning of recovery.
To take advantage of the impulse, here are some tips to help you release your high expectations to others:
Expect less of yourself
Whoever backs off the expectations of oneself can also let go of his high expectations of others. Learn to settle for what you have and be more grateful. The more you succeed, the less you expect from others.
Make the consequences clear
Constant disputes over unfulfilled expectations, frustration over the situation and problems in building long-term relationships. These are just a few of the disadvantages to high expectations. In the worst case, the constant disappointment can lead to depression. Is it really worth it?
Focus on clear and open communication
To lower expectations, it can help to speak them out openly and talk about them with the people they are approached with. Explain as much as possible what you expect and listen in peace to what the other has to say. In such an exchange you can quickly see if your expectations are too high – and you can correct them directly downwards.
Take hold of your own nose
Turn the tables around once: Imagine being confronted with expectations that you can not possibly fulfill, anytime, anywhere. This is where you bring your family, friends, and colleagues. Be aware of what it creates for pressure and stress.