13 Ways Expectations Can Lead to Disappointments

Article Written By: Debbie Stokes

I was wondering why people get disappointed so easily when it comes to other people. Then I realized it’s because they haven’t prepared themselves to handle the “what if” scenarios. With that being said, I have listed some things that have helped me to avoid being so disappointed in my life. Through these steps, I have learned to let go and trust God… equipping me with the tools I need to quickly move on, if disappointments do happen.

1) When we expect everyone to see or believe our vision

Some people don’t believe or show interest in your vision because they don’t have a vision for themselves. In fact, in some instances, they refuse to believe or help you in your vision because subconsciously or blatantly, they don’t want you to move pass them. This can include family and friends, sad but true. The moment you are doing things to move to a different level, people look at you differently. Get used to it.

  • Solution: When you have a vision that’s true to your heart and you are going for it… protect it, and keep it to yourself; but if you must tell someone, only tell the people who you definitely know are in your corner with no judgement or negative opinions. Let no one separate or deter you from your dreams!

2) When we expect everyone to help us towards our vision

You have to realize “help” is a big word that asks people to act on something. Your biggest mistake is to wait on someone to do something for you because you asked. What I learned is that a lot of people are fickle and if there is nothing in it for them, they won’t help you. I found in most instances, the people closest to you (family and friends) are shockingly, the ones who are not there to help, especially in the beginning stage of pursuing your vision.

  • Solution: Don’t expect anything from people. You have to be willing to do what it takes. If you don’t know something or need answers, find someone in the field or area you are trying to go in and ask questions, hopefully, they will answer your questions. Also, you have to decide how important your dream is to you, then take whatever action is necessary to move you towards your vision and dreams. Stay focused, intentional, and go all in because the only thing that can stop you is you… and that’s when you lose.

So, keep going despite who won’t help you. If you mess up, start over again. Remember, most winners have lost many times before they’ve won. Winners never quit, so don’t you!

3) When we expect people to cheer us on

When you are in the beginning and middle stages of pursuing your vision, believe it or not, the people closest to you are not going to say things you need to hear, like: You can do it. Keep going. Push harder. Don’t give up. I’m so happy for you. You are going to make it. In most cases, they will maintain silence. So, don’t expect from people what they are not willing to give or offer.

  • Solution: Be your own best friend by consistently patting yourself on the back to say a job well done. In doing so, you will find fire inside you never knew you had allowing you to push harder than you ever have. You’ll find out things about yourself you didn’t know. The key is to build yourself up with positive thoughts and then follow through with action.

 Another suggestion, watch and listen to motivational shows and tapes, and read motivational books. It will give you the boost you need to keep pushing. As you pursue your dreams, understand things will get hard and may seem impossible at times, but you must keep going!

4) When we expect people to believe in us

This is different from the believing in your vision mentioned above. You see, for someone to believe in your vision, it’s about them believing in what you want to do. But for them to believe in you, they have to believe in you as a person… your character, your strength, the very essence of who you are, and not hold your shortcomings against you. You set the example by how you believe in yourself.

  • Solution: Tell yourself these affirmations everyday and fill in the blanks with as many words as needed. Be specific.
    • I am worthy of…….
    • I am strong because…….
    • I am able to…….
    • I can and will do…….
    • I will be……
    • I must do…….

What you tell yourself enough times, you start to believe. If you tell yourself these sayings everyday, it will help build belief in yourself without needing people to justify you. Trust me I know, because I did it. That’s how I developed my confidence. Believe in yourself no matter what!

5) When we expect everyone to be truthful

There are people among you, who for whatever reason, won’t tell you the truth and will allow you to embarrass yourself. For instance, your family and friends know you can’t sing, but they let you go around singing for money, in contest, or in the church choir; yet, they won’t tell you the truth because they don’t want to hurt your feelings. You have to know, no matter how close a person is to you, sometimes, they are not going to be honest because feelings matter, and with the truth comes consequences.

  • Solution: If people are not truthful and you want the truth, you have to first be willing to accept it, and then ask the right questions of them so you won’t create animosity towards each other.
    • Instead of asking:
      • Am I fat? Ask – If I lost a few pounds, wouldn’t it be nice?
      • Do you like my hair? Ask – Which style do you like this hairstyle or the other one better (name it)?
      • Do you like my outfit? Ask – Which style do you like better, when I dress like this or when I wear the other style (name it)?

You get the picture. The whole idea is to ask questions in a way to get the constructive truth, as opposed to the hurtful or negative truth. On the other hand, there will be people who are going to come out and criticize you without sugarcoating a thing. That is a part of life and how some people are. If you understand that, you can turn their negative into a positive by turning their question around. In doing so, their comments won’t have so much power. So, when they say: You look fat? Say… “I don’t like to call it fat I call it overweight, and I am working on losing weight. Thank you for noticing but catch me in 30 days,” and then smile. In doing it that way, you have taken their power away. What you ask and how you respond to people matter!

6) When we expect everyone to honor our space

NO ONE will honor your space if you don’t honor your space. Let me say that again… no one will honor your space if you don’t honor your space; this includes: your spouse, mother, father, sister, brother, child, friend, neighbor or co-worker.

The reality is that people by nature are nosey and intrusive when it comes to each other’s lives. They will tend to say anything to you even if you didn’t ask for their comment. In fact, they will get involved in your conversations, relationships, and personal business without you asking. The problem is people will do what they do in your life because you allow it by never saying anything, and until you set limits, they will keep bombarding your life and space.

  • Solution: You have to decide what you want your space to look like and be like, and then set boundaries. Make it known to people you will not allow negativity in your space. If you don’t set boundaries or limits, people will never know when they have crossed the line until it’s too late.

It is vital that you stick to these boundaries for everyone. The best way to teach a person how to treat you is to treat yourself that way, and let that be an example to others. Always remember, you teach people how to treat you, so if there are no rules set, then you leave yourself open for people to abuse your space. Plant the rules to enjoy your space!

7) When we expect people to love us the way we want

How many times has this statement been misunderstood in marriages or relationships? So often, women go into marriages thinking men will change or grow to love them more. They think if they can mold him things will get better. The first mistake is you can’t make someone love you or control the degree to which they love you… what you see is what you get.

It is not your job to change a person or vice versa. It is your job to see a person for who they are, and then choose whether you will accept them that way. The second mistake is defining what love is for someone. You have to know love’s meaning is different for everybody. It is not your place to tell that person how he or she should love or what love is to that person. A person can only love to their capabilities, so honor where they are in their understanding of love. You are headed for a downward spiral when you try to control love in your relationship or marriage.

  • Solution: I’ve been with the same guy for 41 years, and what I’ve learned from the beginning of our relationship is you define how the union will be by how you both see things in the world, how you see yourselves, and by what you both believe. So, the first thing I would say is to know who you are, what you want, and what you will or will not accept before you get into a relationship.

 Once you know that and are ready to get in a relationship, you must understand who the other person is, what they want, and what they will or will not accept. When the two of you fully understand yourselves and each other, then you are ready to connect.

As in expectation number eight written above, the two of you have to be willing to honor each other’s space in order to grow together in the relationship, and as an individual within the relationship. When you can understand each other, honor each other’s space, and respect each other, the love will naturally grow because it’s not built off of words, but actions. Love is an action word and shouldn’t be treated like an “idea” of how to feel!

8) When we expect people to listen to us

This statement is a big one because when we talk, we always want someone to pay attention and validate us, to acknowledge they heard what we were saying. The worst feeling in the world is when you speak and no one listens. It can make you feel insignificant. For whatever reason, some people can be rude and uncaring, but the truth is they are not obligated to listen to you. It’s their choice.

  • Solution: Read more to become better informed, so you can engage in meaningful social conversations. Converse with people who know more than you so you can become more knowledgeable. The best way to get people’s attention when you talk is to know what you’re talking about, be sure you engage the listeners, and be sure you are saying the right things to the right people. For ex: you don’t want to talk to women about cars or basketball, it just won’t work. You would talk to them about the topics that interests them.

It is important to know the things that spark conversation within a particular group, and then start the conversation. The reason people won’t listen to you is because they think you are uninformed about that subject. If you are timid or unsure, you may seem boring or uninteresting to others; however, if you increase your knowledge, you can increase your chances of being included in the conversation. Let your voice be heard!

9) When we expect the road to be easy

Nothing worth it is ever easy. If the road is too easy beware of the hazards that might exist. In life, you will be tested time and time again. It is up to you to choose whether to be broken and discouraged by the test, or to use the test as fuel to ignite you to push harder and grow more. But understand this, whichever road you are on now has helped to mold you, and taught you to be who you are on this day, at this hour, in this minute. My suggestion to you if you decide to go harder is to pull full speed ahead knowing, “you got this.” Also, be grateful for the experiences you’ve had and with what you learned along the way.

  • Solution: First things first, put on your whole armor of God and develop a prayer life. No person going into battle should be unprepared. Just like warriors, they armor down and pick up their weapons. God will be your weapon and fight your battles if you allow him, so armor up. Next, you should do research before you act because sometimes the warning signs are right in front of you.

Think about it, if you could have avoided certain roads you may have found yourself in a better place in life. Therefore, decide the road you want to take, develop and equip yourself, and then go for it. The bottom line is you will value what you worked harder to get. You know the saying, No pain, no gain… no struggle, no reward!

10) When we expect too much too fast

The worst thing you can do is to take shortcuts. It is during the shortcuts where you get the most headaches and heartaches, and don’t appreciate the struggle, or value the process. Now, I get when people give you advice to make things easier, but when you totally avoid the learning stage, you won’t be prepared when obstacles find their way into the midst of your perceived success. And believe me, when a house is not built on a firm foundation or with the proper supplies, any strong storm can knock it down. You want your ground to be un-sinking, unwavering, and immovable.

  • Solution: You must become a student of what you want to do before you can be an expert. Being a student is learning everything you can by researching, getting training, or finding a mentor. Sometimes it may require you to volunteer, work for free, or go back to school. You have to do what it takes. With being a student in mind, there may be time saved when you learn from mentors because they have been through it and can shorten the learning curve, however, you still have to honor the learning process. “You have to be willing to put in the work.”

11) When we expect people to say “yes”

You should never live your life thinking people will always give you what you want. Understand that “YES” is a big word and takes so much out of people because it usually requires something of them like their time, gifts, talents, or possessions; something most people don’t want to do or give up. It could be they are not buying into what you are asking; whatever the reason, it is their right and you have to accept they don’t have to answer yes just because you asked. At the same time, you have to look at are you saying “no” to the same people you are trying to get a yes from. If so, that could be your problem.

  • Solution: Don’t do things with the expectation people will agree with you, or that they owe you a yes. You can ask, but don’t expect them to always be willing to help, then you will have no reason to be disappointed or upset. “A person’s lack of confirmation must not limit your validation.”

12) When we expect people to like us

What you must realize is that everyone will not like you. This is the hardest thing I had to understand because I’m always nice to people. I smile. I speak. I say encouraging things, but what I realized is that everybody doesn’t feel like I feel, so it’s their choice if they choose to like me or not.

Sometimes, we will never know the reason why people don’t like us. It could be because of the things going on in their lives which makes them unhappy. It could be jealousy. It could even be for no reason at all. Whatever the reason, they don’t have to like you and you have to accept that fact. What you need to do is learn to maneuver around those awkward situations… for instance, like if your teacher, boss, or a neighbor doesn’t like you.

  • Solution: Be sure you like yourself first and don’t stop being who you are. Practice self-care and self-love. God never said everybody would like you… everybody didn’t like Jesus, but what you have to do is put yourself around people who believe in you, like you, trust you, and uplift you. Believe it or not, your environment and what you allow to go into your heart and spirit can build you up or tear you down, so find ways to be lifted. The ones who like you… be thankful, and the ones who don’t… keep your distance. Sometimes people pretend to like you, so watch out for that kind too. The best thing you can do is to trust your gut! In most instances, it won’t steer you wrong.

13) When we expect people to be dependable

People will be people. A person will only give of themselves what is in their heart and mind to give, no matter how much their mouth says otherwise. You know how the saying goes, “A person’s truth is in their actions, not their words.” This statement is so true, and it’s too bad we don’t pay attention to a person’s actions in the beginning. If we did, we could save ourselves so much heartache. How many times have you had a person to promise something and all you received was an empty promise? Unfortunately, this is common, but there are some ways you can shield yourself from suffering repeated disappointments.

  • Solution: Rely on yourself. If you can’t do that, then you can’t possibly expect it from others. My motto is, “If it’s to be, it’s up to me.” That’s not saying I don’t want help, but it ensures no matter what, I will and can get it done. Secondly, know the person you are making plans with because if you are not on the same page it can’t possibly work. Lastly, stop asking people of a different understanding or level to help.

Remember, no matter how much you put an orange and a lemon together, the taste will always clash. The same holds true for people and their thinking… creatives gel with creatives, business people gel with business people, entrepreneurs understand entrepreneurs. You get the picture. The best thing you can do is to become self-reliant, that way you can avoid the unnecessary disappointments of other people.

With that said… if you fail, or stop, or give up; it’s your own doing and you have to live with the consequences of your choices. On the other hand, if you connect with like-minded people, you can increase your chances of finding people who are dependable, minimizing your disappointments. At the end of the day, the only person you can depend on is you!

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2 thoughts on “13 Ways Expectations Can Lead to Disappointments”

  1. Thank you for this article. I found the tips very helpful about managing my expectations with people. I needed to read this!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Yolanda,

      Thank you so much for commenting. I’m glad you found the tips helpful because they have always helped me in my life. Using the tips I shared have really managed to keep stress out of my life.

      Thanks for supporting!


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