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How high expectations can hurt you and your relationship

Have you ever been told that you expect too much?
Our life is full of expectations from ourselves and from others.
Whichever relationship you might be dealing with; intimate, friendship, parent-child, employee- employer, you are dealing with expectations every day.
However, if your expectations are higher than normal you might be at risk of hurting yourself or your relationship.
One of the keys to happiness is managing your expectations in life.
Here are some questions you should ask about expectations:
1- How much to expect, and how much is too much?
2- How high expectations can hurt you and your relationship?
3- How to control your high expectations?
4- How to deal with people who expect too much from you?
1 – To figure out how much you expect from others answer the following questions:
1- Are you constantly upset with people because they do not meet your expectations?
2- Are you mostly frustrate with your family or friends because they do not understand you?
3- Are you told that you are too sensitive?
4- Do people promise you to do things then do not follow through on those promises?
5- Is it always their fault not yours?
6- Do you often feel people let you down?
7- Do you often pay attention and obsess over details?
8- Is it hard for you to forgive others when they let you down?
9- Do you like to have control over how things are done? Is it hard for you to let others do things as they wish?
10- The amount of requests you have from others are more than what others request you.
If you answered, “yes” to 5 or more questions you have very high expectations in life. This means you are most likely living a very stressful life and should readjust your expectations.

2- How high expectations can hurt you and your relationship.

Unrealistic expectations
High expectations prevent you from enjoying experiences in life with others. How many times have you attended a gathering that ended up with frustration and anger towards someone there? Situations like these could sometimes force you to avoid certain gatherings or avoid contact with the person who could not respect your expectations. Here is where that problem arises, there is going to be more than one person who cannot meet your expectations. If you cannot cope with this dilemma, you will at some point end up feeling frustrated with many people in your life. This includes your parents, your siblings, your spouse, or friends.
Matter of fact, your disappointment can break out in different way such as trying to change the person who failed to fulfill your expectations or increase anger towards them. This by itself can hurt others and push them away from you. Remember, you are hurting them and causing stress for them.
Also, high expectations usually come with controlling outcomes and people. By pointing out the details of their mistakes, you make people apprehensive to be around you or avoid sharing their feelings with you. This can cause social stress and anxiety for you and others.
High expectations cause some psychological issues such as:
Low self-esteem
Fear of intimacy
Fear of failure
Fear of change.

3- How can you control your high expectations?
By reading, this article thus far must mean you are concerned about your expectations.

You can use some strategies to control your high expectations such as:
1- Be realistic
If you have high expectations know that some of your expectations are not realistic. Having realistic expectations can help you accept others for who they are with their flaws and strengths. You might say, but all my expectations are real and not that complicated. They might look realistic to you but in reality unrealistic for others based on the situation and the time.
2- Give without expectation
Why should you always expect a certain behavior or personality from others? Try to love others and be nice to them without focusing on your expectations.
3- Diagnose your expectation categories (Expectations Inventory)
Create a weekly journal and try to think about your expectations and requests from others.

These tips can help you:
a) Remember those moments that you felt annoyed, frustrated, or let down. What were the expectations behind your feelings?
b) Think about those tasks that people promise you to do but usually do not follow through.
c) Track your expectations down in real life every day. Count your daily expectations and their categories. For example: expecting spouse to always be romantic, he should always buy me a gift…
d) Ask your family or friends to tell you about your unrealistic expectations.
Once the week is over and you have tacked your expectations, it is time to ask yourself a few questions:
1- Is it what I really want and does it make me happy?
2- Are my family and friends happy about these expectations?
3- How these expectations serve me?
4- How these expectations hold me back?
5- How these expectations are hurting my relationships with other?
6- How can I let my unrealistic expectation go?
7- What did I gain so far from these expectations and what did I lose because of them?
8- What will I lose and what will I gain by letting these expectations go?
9- Am I to the standard of what others expect?
10- Do I want to let these expectations control my life?

Try to answer these questions to the best of your ability so they can help you to decrease your expectations.

4- How can you deal with people who expect too much from you?
In some cases it is not about you, sometimes you are dealing with someone who has high expectations. Do you know how to cope with that? Do you often get frustrated of their high expectations?
Here are some tips that can help you:
a) Make sure you completely understand what people expect from you. Sometimes their expectations are not as bad as they look.
b) Make sure you are not the reason that people expect more from you. Sometimes because you have set your standards too high people expect more from you, or because you failed to meet their expectations that you already promised.
c) If you feel their expectations are unrealistic, then communicate with them and share your feelings with them. Discuss with them what your limits are and how much you can fulfill their requests.

If you manage your expectations in your life, you will find that life becomes much less stressful therefore more enjoyable.

Author: Seyed Hadi Yassin

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