Punting under the Bridge of Sighs

If You Decrease Your Expectations Then You Can Boost Your Happiness

Have you ever had a situation or an occasion which you expected to be great and then it was good but not as good as you thought it would be?

Especially as a kid you expect something to be really fun like your birthday party but then it’s just good. It’s good because you got presents and a lot of people were there, but at the end it wasn’t as fun the whole time as you thought it would be.

Expecting too much of something or somebody can lead to being disappointed by a good thing or person.

We expect too much.

Not every party or occasion has to be the funniest or the best. Not everything is great all the time.

That’s how life is.

Wouldn’t it be better to expect nothing at all?

“My expectations were reduced to zero when I was 21. Everything since then has been a bonus.”

[The Science of Second-Guessing (New York Times Magazine Interview, December 12, 2004)]”
― Stephen Hawking

 

Expectations can destroy a relationship

“I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.”
― Bruce Lee

Every person is different. So every person expects different things from their friends, family or relationship.

Every person made different experiences with relationships.

For me, it’s clear that I can expect full support from my family for whatever it is that happens in my life.

I know that and I appreciate it because I experienced this support and I will do the same for them.

But that’s not the case for everyone.

A lot of arguments in a relationships are starting because one person expected the other person to do something.

For example, a girl expects her boyfriend to be there for her when she’s sick. If she’s sick, she can’t go to the pharmacy or grocery shopping and nobody else is near to help her, then for her it’s totally normal that he will help her and take care of her.

For some guys it wouldn’t even come to their mind to take care of her.

Because she is a caring person and it would be totally normal for her to take care of a loved one when he is sick, but for him it wouldn’t even come to his mind to do something like that.

And it’s not his fault that he isn’t thinking of that.

 

Other people made other experiences and think different

“When you stop expecting people to be perfect, you can like them for who they are.”
― Donald Miller, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years

He never made this experience of caring for another person when she’s sick.

He maybe thinks she’ll be fine and doesn’t want to get sick either.

Then the girl is disappointed and doubt him, even though it wasn’t his fault.

And it wasn’t the fault of the girl either to expect it because that’s what she experienced earlier in life.

 

Communication is the key

That’s why communication is so important in a relationship.

I’m really bad at this because I’m a little shy and I was never good in communicating my feelings. But I’m working on it 😉

The other person doesn’t know what you’re thinking.

So you have to tell him what you’re thinking, what you’re experienced and what you’re expecting.

 

Expectations aren’t always bad

Expectations are also a good thing because without them we would accept every mediocre or bad thing in the world and live with it.

But we expect our life to be great and don’t accept bad things and situations. We don’t accept bad food, bad movies or bad relationships.

We expect good food, good movies and good relationships.

We expect good friends and a nice family.

And we would do anything to achieve it.

Without expectations we wouldn’t be motivated to do anything at all, because we would accept what we get and nothing better.

 

Attachment is the bad thing here

Expectations of a situation or a thing are a good thing, because you’ll be motivated to fulfill those expectations.

But being attached to a perfect picture in your mind of this situation or this thing is not motivating anymore.

Being attached to a picture in your mind about something being perfect can destroy that thing, the experience and the mood of everybody around you, including you.

This attachment happens a lot at weddings. The bride wants it to be perfect and if it isn’t she is in a bad mood the whole weeks before, the day and the weeks afterwards.

If it’s not 100% perfect, she will destroy the good feeling which a wedding should spread.

But it doesn’t have to be exactly like your picture in your mind, because already more than 50% are great and every flaw will make the situation even better and more memorable or even more fun.

 

How something should be

Everyone has a different picture in their mind how something, the world or a person should be.

Because everybody thinks differently.

Let go of your narrow picture of the world and how it should be.

It’s much more fun without being attached to a perfect picture.

The great thing about life and the world is, that it’s not perfect at all.

 

Conclusion

Expectations aren’t as bad as you think they are but the other person doesn’t know yours so tell them or don’t expect them.

Nobody is perfect. Neither is life or the world.

So don’t get attached to the perfect picture you have in your mind about how something should be.

Life doesn’t work like that. And you will just get disappointed by all the non-perfect things.

Just enjoy life how it is.

 

“You are your own worst enemy. If you can learn to stop expecting impossible perfection, in yourself and others, you may find the happiness that has always eluded you.”
― Lisa Kleypas, Love in the Afternoon