I have developed, or have had very unrealistic expectations that i project on to my loved ones. This affects my relationship with them and causes me unnecessary pain and distress. I do not know how to handle this or change things. I try to keep my expectations in check, but nothing has worked so far. Please help me with this. I need help understanding how to keep my expectations realistic and that it is unfair of me to expect others to live up to it. But every time they don't, it upsets me way too much. I do not understand why i am this way. Is there any way to figure all this out? I've hurt my loved ones over this, and i have hurt myself.
Doctor Answers (2) on Unrealistic expectations
Unrealistic expectations are part and parcel of the process of growing up. Our brain tends to put everything we know & have experienced in generalized categories & label some as right and others as wrong. Our belief system as its created in the beginning is stereotypical. We all tend to carry some or the other unrealistic expectations. For ex: Expecting life to be always pleasant, Expecting a person to behave exactly in the same way, he/she would have behaved the last time, Expectation for every politician to be corrupt and so on. As and when our level of exposure as well as experiences increase our belief system broadens and we realize that every single aspect in life happens to be on a scale and isn't completely good or bad. We tend to start accepting the variations. That exactly is the emotional & psychological growth. Right now, the fact that you have recognized some of your expectations to be unrealistic in itself is a big thing. You are 50% done if you could recognize all those expectations and note them down. Then start questioning yourself on if you tend to meet those expectations all the time..?? If you happened to meet it while younger..?? If you could falter even a single time, others also need to be excused for faltering at their end. End of the day, you have to remember that you are the only one whose thoughts, emotions & perceptions you can access. You can control only that you can access. So you can change only yourself. Others can change though by watching you change. Every time you overcome your expectations from others & change it to self-expectation, you would feel great. Others would automatically respond if you treat yourself in the way, you want to be treated by others . In the process of developing tolerance you would realize how nice it is to be living with people who aren't your clones and carry their own perceptions. Every time your expectations upset you, remember that you are trying to create a 24 hour day instead of 12 hours of day and other 12 of night. Nature itself expects you to be right just half the time. Continue working on yourself & consult a psychologist/Counselor/Therapist if your expectations bother you all the same.
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