11 Things To Stop Expecting From Other People (Unless You Want To Be Disappointed)

11 Things To Stop Expecting From Other People (Unless You Want To Be Disappointed)

Navigating relationships and social interactions often means managing expectations. Sometimes, our disappointments stem not from people’s actions but from our own unrealistic expectations. By reevaluating what we expect from people, we can foster healthier relationships and a more contented life.

1. Expecting them to understand you

Expecting people to just “get” you can lead to frustration. People have different backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives. They might not always grasp your feelings or viewpoints. It’s important to communicate clearly and remember that misunderstanding is a normal part of human interactions. Patience and clear communication can bridge gaps in understanding, but expecting constant comprehension is unrealistic.

2. Expecting them to Always Agree with You

Expecting people to always agree with your ideas or opinions sets the stage for disappointment. Everyone has their own beliefs and thought processes. Disagreements and differing viewpoints are natural and healthy in any relationship. Rather than expecting uniformity in thought, appreciate the diversity of opinions. It’s an opportunity for growth and learning, not a sign of disunity.

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4. Expecting them to Know What You Want Without Saying

Believing that people should inherently know your needs or wants without you expressing them is a sure path to disappointment. People aren’t mind readers. Clear and direct communication is key in expressing your needs and desires. Thinking that people will just intuitively know what you want can lead to misunderstandings and unmet expectations. It’s healthier to express your needs openly than to assume they should just know.

5. Expecting them to always put you first

While it’s natural to want to be a priority to those you care about, expecting to always be put first is unrealistic. Everyone has their own life, responsibilities, and priorities. There will be times when you’re not the top priority, and that’s okay. Understanding and respecting each other’s individual lives and responsibilities is crucial for healthy relationships.

6. Expecting them to be perfect

Holding people to a standard of perfection is setting them—and yourself—up for failure. Everyone has flaws and makes mistakes. Expecting perfection from people leads to constant disappointment and can strain relationships. Embrace the imperfections in people as you would want yours to be embraced. It’s about realistic expectations and accepting people as they are.

7. Expecting them to Always Be Available

Expecting people to always be available whenever you need them is not feasible. People have their own lives, schedules, and responsibilities. It’s important to respect their time and space. While it’s great to have supportive friends and family, depending on them to always be available is unfair. Cultivate self-reliance while appreciating the time people can give you.

8. Expecting them to Fix Your Problems

Expecting people to solve your problems for you is an unfair burden to place on them. While friends and family can offer support and advice, it’s ultimately up to you to deal with your challenges. Leaning on people for help is okay, but relying on them for solutions to all your problems is not. Empower yourself by taking charge of your own issues.

9. Expecting them to Change for You

Expecting someone to change their fundamental characteristics or beliefs to suit your preferences can lead to disappointment. People change on their own terms, not because someone else wants them to. Focus on accepting people as they are, rather than hoping for them to change. True contentment in relationships comes from acceptance, not a desire to mold people to our expectations.

10. Expecting them to Always Make You Happy

Relying on people for your happiness is a heavy expectation. Happiness is a personal journey and depends more on your internal state than external factors. While others can contribute to your happiness, they shouldn’t be responsible for it. Cultivate your own sources of happiness and view the joy that people bring as a bonus, not a necessity.

11. Expecting them to Always Be Strong

Expecting people to always be strong, without moments of vulnerability or weakness, is unrealistic. Everyone has moments of struggle and weakness. Recognizing and supporting people in their vulnerable moments strengthens relationships. It’s important to offer the same empathy and support you would hope for in your times of need.

12. Expecting them to Always Take Your Side

It’s natural to want support from friends and family, but expecting them to always take your side, regardless of the situation, is unrealistic. People will have their own opinions and perspectives, which might not always align with yours. A true friend offers honest perspectives, not just agreement. Remember, sometimes the most valuable support comes in the form of constructive feedback, not blind allegiance.

Harper Stanley graduated from Eugene Lang College at The New School in NYC in 2006 with a degree in Media Studies and Literature and Critical Analysis. After graduating, she worked as an editorial assistant at The Atlantic before moving to the UK to work for the London Review of Books.

When she's not waxing poetic about literature, she's writing articles about dating, relationships, and other women's lifestyle topics to help make their lives better. While shocking, she really has somehow managed to avoid joining any social media apps — a fact she's slightly smug about.