It’s easy to get caught up in our expectations as humans. Expectations are what help us to establish boundaries and demand respect from our friends and family. However, you should be wary of expecting the following 15 things from others if you want to have healthy & happy relationships.
A long time ago, I realized that I was in a constant state of stress, panic, and overwhelm. I expected so much of myself and others, that I had reached a point in which if everything wasn’t exactly as I had expected, I would have a nervous breakdown. Over the years, I have become aware of this monkey on my back, and let go of my expectations as much as possible.
If you are struggling with your expectations, check out the following lists. I have added a list of healthy expectations (boundaries) to compare the unhealthy ones to. At the end of the day though- you can only truly hold yourself accountable, because we are all on different journeys, and we are all experiencing different parts of our path.
1. Don’t expect others to fulfill you.
This is a huge one. I cannot tell you how many times I have been in a relationship (regardless of whether it was a friendship or romantic connection) and expected the other person to help me to feel whole. And when they fell short, I was beyond devastated. Over the years, I have discovered that fulfillment comes from within. There is nothing outside of ourselves that can lead us to feel whole, and you cannot put that burden on another living being without damaging both of you.
2. Don’t expect others to always understand you.
It’s normal to want to be understood, but the moment you start expecting others to understand you is the moment you are going to end up disappointed. We are all going through a complex journey in life, and I don’t know about you, but there are times that I don’t even understand myself. And I know that every single other person in the world can relate to that. So, if someone is struggling to understand you, help them, or find satisfaction in striving to find your inner peace and understanding.
3. Don’t expect others to be perfect.
No one is perfect, not even you. And if you think you are perfect, you may need to do some soul searching. If someone is leaving you disappointed because they aren’t able to do what you expect, you may need to ask yourself if you are holding them to a standard that is unreasonable or unreachable.
4. Don’t expect others to apologize every time.
You will end up hurt beyond measure if you expect everyone else to have the same heart as you. This is a hard one for me, but I know it to be true. You will waste your life and vital life energy waiting on people to apologize for things they either A. didn’t realize they did, or B. knew they did, but don’t care to apologize. So, move forward from the situation, not for the other person, but for your sanity and peace.
5. Don’t expect others to solve all of your problems.
Oftentimes, when we cannot find a solution to our problems, we reach out to others. And while there is nothing wrong with asking for help- you cannot expect people to be able to solve all of your problems. Deep down, only you know the true solution to the problems in your life, and, likely, someone else’s solution to your problems won’t work.
6. Don’t expect others to change.
People do change. People change all the time. It makes me so mad when I hear people say that people don’t change because the entire purpose of living is to evolve and grow. But, I will agree that people don’t change because they are expected to. People change because they want to adapt and grow. Putting pressure on someone to change will likely do the opposite of what you want. Instead of pushing someone to change, accept them for how they are, while holding space for them & their growth in your heart.
7. Don’t expect others to treat you the way you treat them.
You will break your heart waiting for others to respect and value you in the same way you respect and value them. It’s a hard truth to face, but people don’t live by the golden rule in all cases. Yes, many do, but many people won’t and if you hold your breath waiting on them to treat you like you treat them, you will fall over dead.
8. Don’t expect others to have it all together.
When we are doing well in our lives, it is easy to expect others to live up to the same standard. But don’t get caught up in that mindset. Instead, understand that we are all in different places in our life and on our journeys, and help lift others instead of tearing them down when they fall short of living up to perfection.
9. Don’t expect others to always act with fairness.
As a Libra, this is a hard one for me. People don’t always play fair, and more often than not, they will knock you down to get what they want. If you are waiting for others to act with fairness- you will likely end up disappointed.
10. Don’t expect others to read your mind.
Communication is so important in relationships, friendships, and connections with family. Telepathy is not a common thing, and we are all experiencing our reality. Be compassionate towards others, and be understanding when they don’t intuitively understand where you are at. Instead, communicate your feelings and thoughts to them, and that way, there won’t be any questions. You will waste a lot of time and energy waiting on people to read your mind.
11. Don’t expect others to match your efforts & energy.
Yet another hard one for me, I have to constantly remind myself that no matter how much effort and work I put in, I cannot expect that from others. Stop expecting others to be you. They aren’t, and they are in a different place than you are right now.
12. Don’t expect others to have the same heart as you.
Have you ever done something from the bottom of your heart for someone else, and wondered why they wouldn’t even do half as much for you? While it’s human to want others to love you and to have the same heart as you- if you expect other people to have the same heart as you, you will end up devastated.
13. Don’t expect others to always be able to help you.
Life is busy, chaotic, and difficult to say the least. And while it’s natural to want help sometimes, there will be times when you need help, and no one is there to provide it. At the end of the day, you truly cannot depend on anyone but yourself.
14. Don’t expect others to fit into a mold.
Have you ever witnessed someone who was trying to mold another person into who they wanted them to be, without stopping to think of what the other person might want for themselves? Don’t be that person. We are all unique individuals, with different talents, personalities, and agendas. Do not try to fit people into a mold they weren’t made to fit.
15. Don’t expect others to align with you.
Looking for support from others is natural, and so is trying to find someone to who we can relate. But people aren’t always going to agree with you or align with you- and that’s okay. If we sat in an echo chamber of our own opinions being voiced back to us by the people we love, we’d never be forced to grow or improve. So if someone doesn’t align with you, ask yourself why.
I know that is a long list- but checking your expectations is EVERYTHING. You may be asking yourself what you should expect from others.
Here are 5 healthy expectations to have for others.
1. Expect others to respect you and your boundaries.
While you can’t shape others, or demand they love you, you can most definitely expect that they respect you. Respect is the fundamental framework for any friendship, relationship, or family connection. Without it, everything else goes right out the window.
2. Expect others to fail sometimes.
People fail. And that’s okay. It’s more than okay- because if someone fails, it means they are trying. Show me someone who has never failed, and I will call you a liar.
3. Expect others to have bad days.
Without darkness, we’d have nothing to compare to the light. People are going to have great days, but they will have bad days as well. Expect this, and be there for the people you love when you notice them going through something difficult.
4. Expect others to be imperfect.
Our imperfections make us beautiful- as cliche as that sounds. Did you know that our ability to connect with others is intrinsic to our ability (and theirs) to be vulnerable and real about their shame and their struggles? Brenne Brown, a research professor from the University of Houston conducted a study on connection, and her study lead her to come to understand how imperfection and vulnerability were the leading factors in how deeply people connected. Check out this amazing Ted Talk to understand what I am talking about:
5. Expect others to disagree with you at times.
Disagreements are fundamental to growth and learning. If someone is disagreeing with you, instead of becoming defensive, question your stance and maintain an open mind. You may find that the walls start breaking down- and blocks you had put between you and understanding a different side of things may fall in the best possible way. It’s okay to be open to the notion that you aren’t always going to be right because you aren’t always going to be right.