Human relationships are extremely complex. If you find yourself being continuously disappointed by the people in your life, perhaps you are doing them a disservice by expecting something that they cannot deliver.
Unrealistic expectations often lead to anger, frustration and resentment. By rethinking your attitude toward others, you can find yourself happier in your relationships and life.
Here are some exercises and attitudes that can help you to stop expecting too much from people.
1. Revise your expectations of people
Studies have shown that people who harbour unrealistic expectations are especially prone to anxiety, depression and unhappiness. Being more realistic may increase your contentment and overall psychological health.
2. Rethink childhood expectations
Many of us think in terms of perfection when we are younger, but as adults we learn that perfect people, a perfect job and the perfect body simply do not exist.
Children with a parent who expects too much of them often lack self-confidence during adolescence. They may judge themselves by other people’s standards to be too â??perfectâ??. If you learned this habit when you were young, try rather to give approval, compliments and reassurance in place of criticism or expectations.
3. Recognize the difference between expectation and dependence
People are often harder on those who are close to them. When we depend too much on them, there are more personal consequences when they don’t come through for us. Reassess whether you have expected too much of them, and whether you need to try to be more patient and accommodating.
4. Find complimentary qualities in the people you love
Make a point of finding complimentary qualities in the people you love. It is easier to get a realistic view of someone’s personality than try to change a trait to suit your requirements.
5. Choose an activity that focuses on others
Attend a support group, volunteer at a shelter, help out at a hospital or any other activity that gives you a chance to view real people and help them. Choose an activity where you are in a supporting role, rather than an organizing role. A problem with unrealistic expectations may signal that you are too focused on yourself.
6. Do not be influenced by the often unrealistic view of the world
Watch real-life dramas with real-life people on television and in movies, rather than shows depicting an unrealistic view of the world.
7. Never expect someone to guess how you’re feeling
Many times we expect people to understand how we feel just by looking or talking to us. Emotional landscapes differ, so people should not be held accountable for something of which they are unaware.
8. Consider realistic expectations as a valuable skill set
As soon as you have redefined your expectations of people, use those skills when dealing with business, work, or personal decisions and interactions.
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