Unrealistic Expectations

 

When I went to Five Sisters Ranch for an elective 2-week therapy retreat, there was a group session one day and in that session the director was pointing out each of our biggest obstacles. She couldn’t figure me out at first but the she suddenly burst out with this – I have unrealistic expectations. Wow – she pinned me good!  I had never considered that before; I just thought that everyone else should love and care as much as I do. Come to find out, I was wrong.

I used to think that people should love me as much as I love them, that they should care as much as I do, that they should treat me with respect as I do them. I used to build up what moments and occasions should be only to be highly disappointed when it didn’t meet my expectations. I recently heard a term for this: anticipointment! I build up so much expectation of what should be, anticipating something great, only to be let down and disappointed.

The truth is though, it wasn’t the moment or the people involved that let me down – I let myself down by having unrealistic expectations. It’s a hard concept to accept but I have to admit that I see it in myself. Maybe it’s part of the perfectionist in me – I expect everything to be perfect. But nothing is perfect. I need to learn to accept what is instead of what it should have been. This has been key in my recent path to start healing.

Acceptance. Could it be that acceptance is one of the most difficult things to do? I think so – hell, I know so. But once you can, as I finally have with many things, the world opens up a little, things look a little brighter, the weight lifts some. You start to enjoy moments for what they are and people for who they are. I am working on this and it feels good. I won’t lie – it’s not easy. I am just trying to be more aware of when I have expectations that are too high or unrealistic and then to take a step back.

Awareness and acceptance – what a powerful duo. 🙂

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14 thoughts on “Unrealistic Expectations

    1. I think it is definitely possible with a little work and willingness. I know it’s not easy but I am really trying to just breathe in those moments and trying to step back a little and be more aware of what I am doing. I hope you can do the same! HUGS!

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  1. I also have realized that I have high expectations. I want to be treated how I treat others and I want the love and respect that I give to them. I’ve been disappointed and heartbroken many times because I expect too much. I’ve put myself into solitude because I don’t wish to be around the people who keep letting me down. What’s worse, I think, is when you keep allowing the people who let you down to continually hurt you. I’m all about giving second chances and third, fourth, fifth. I may have learned that I expect too much, but I also know that I have the right to expect respect and don’t need to continue to be around those who don’t give it to me.
    hugs

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    1. Oh, I completely agree with you there! There is a huge line when it comes to being treated with utter disrespect and being treated badly. As you know, I have left behind the people like that in my life.

      I think for me, the unrealistic expectations comes more into place with events and holidays, where I want them to be perfect. But I have had to come to realize that my idea of perfect is not everyone else’s. I am also trying to learn that just because someone can’t show love the way I do, it doesn’t mean they don’t love me. This is a difficult one though. I don’t know if I will ever truly get THAT in my head, especially after my childhood.

      Just a couple quick examples of where I see this in me: I hated my wedding but my husband loved it. I get easily disappointed with holidays but my husband and step-son always think the festive occasions were great. Those are some big examples but it has led me to believe that I need to appreciate moments when I am in them instead of seeing what isn’t there or what didn’t happen right. I think life would be a lot happier that way.

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