If you expected a great deal out of someone who ended up disappointing you then this is the article for you. Meaning of No Expectations and No Disappointments.
We have orchestrated the meaning, facts, and dos and don’ts that will definitely help you to avoid expecting from the people around you and hence prevent you from being disappointed. Put a smile on your face as we begin to explore the expectations all of us might have in common and the disappointments that taught us crucial lessons.
You might have heard this statement umpteen times as advice and might have wondered its significance. The simple definition of expectation is a ‘strong belief that something might happen or to be the case’ and disappointment is ‘A state of being led down. So ‘No expectations, No disappointment’ implies that if you don’t expect an instance to happen and it does not happen, it wouldn’t have the power to inflict grief or any sort of disappointment on you.
This statement holds absolutely true according to how human nature works. Say for example it is your birthday tomorrow and you expect your friends to throw a party for you and the next day nobody is available for your birthday, it will naturally cause disappointment or a feeling of being led down because you thought they had to value your birthday but they ended up prioritizing other activities on your special day. In simple words, if you never saw it coming and it came, you would be surprised and happy. Expectations are an open invitation to disappointment, the higher your hopes are, the more you are prone to get led down by the people around you.
Why do we expect from others?- Reasons
Let’s collectively agree that we all had that one person in our lives at one point who we expected to stick by or be there for us when we needed it the most. But they never were there, which left us heartbroken and taught us a strong point. Expectations are thoroughly pointless and we should invest our time and love in a person who truly respects us. Such is life, but at the end of the day, we should know how to move on since life goes on and make sure not to let anyone ruin the amount of positivity that you deserve in your life.
Although it is quite essential that you distance yourself from such people who were not worth the effort all along yet sometimes you also need to self introspect and lower your expectations for the ease and smoothness in your relationships and to maintain a healthy mental peace for yourself. There is a major possibility that your high expectations of a person can put a colossal strain on the relationship you two connect with, drifting you apart from them. It is often said that we shouldn’t put the burden of perfection on one relationship, because the more outcome you desire, the more its tendency surges to slip away from you.
Following are a few reasons why we, as humans, expect certain things from people:
- First being, we expect them to act in a particular way or treat us a specific way since we would have done the same for them. Remember humans are diverse and no one thinks alike. Everyone has their individual perspective, so no one owes you anything. For instance, you gave an expensive gift to your friend on their birthday and you expect to get a gift from them on your birthday as well.
- Another reason may be a past experience that you have set as a precedent for future events. Take the same example as before, say for the last 3 years someone invites you over on their birthday and so considering the past few years you expect yourself to be invited this year as well. Priorities change over a period of days, don’t expect something just because the past record reflects it.
- The third reason is the most simple of all, when someone gives you their word, if someone has been clear about their intentions since the beginning or promises you something, you automatically believe it by trusting the words. Here, remember, never trust beautifully woven words(they provide temporary happiness), trust your gut and the actions of the person you are dealing with since they are concrete and reliable for you to follow in any circumstance. For example, your best friend has promised you to get you something that you have been wanting for a long time and so you patiently wait and expect her to extend it to you.
Why you shouldn’t expect
Here is why you shouldn’t expect even the most basic things from people around you. People like your friends, best friends, your partner, and even your family. No matter how strong your bond is with the other person, you shouldn’t expect even the least from anyone because people aren’t meant to mold themselves to fulfill your desires and aspirations which is the ultimate truth regardless of how bitter it may sound.
- The world moves ahead at a great pace and no one has enough time to pause and look back or to divert their focus onto you. Everyone is engrossed in their world with humongous problems and battles to fight. So don’t expect anyone to extend any kind of warm gesture to you since everyone is focusing on themselves.
- You never know what the person you are dealing with is going through, they may have their reasons and no one is perfect.
- The simple truth lies in the consequence of expecting. You never end up happy or satisfied and the desire to have more just leads you to drown in the pool of self-pity. The end result is always grief and disappointment. Why would you put yourself in any condition of suffering?
- Expectations are just cooked-up stories in your head and nobody is bound by what you think or expect out of others. People have free will and we should respect their decisions instead of hoping for things to happen.
- Expectations are simply a trail of imagination that plays tricks on our mind which doesn’t last long, it hurts you but always teaches you a vital lesson on living.
How do expectations affect our mental and physical health?
Till now we have discussed all important definitions, meanings, why we actually expect from people and why we simply shouldn’t do the same. But the important question is what is the aftermath that we aren’t ready to acknowledge. Now, we are clear on how expectations result in disappointment, grief, and stress, and nothing better. Furthermore, another question arises on how exactly the aforementioned consequences are directly or indirectly affecting our mental and physical health?
Before answering the crucial question, let’s approve of the fact that expectations are brewed in our restless minds or what we believe could happen. They are mere future predictions that we make on no reliable or concrete source. It is a bubble we create to design what we aspire our future to look like. It may seem fun and satisfy us at the time but needless to say, it is just timely satisfaction that you derive because when that bubble bursts it can have some serious repercussions that we wouldn’t have ever imagined.
Gautam Budha once said ‘Man’s desires and expectations are the major reason for their frustrations, aggressions, and disappointments.’
Let’s first discuss the deterioration of our mental health in the process of developing expectations. We know they are completely based on false imagination rather than solid facts. Now the process where we create our expectations from varied people around us which provides us with temporary pleasure and the process of seeing those hopes go down the drain, we might experience ourselves in a bad space where we tend to isolate ourselves and start believing that we aren’t wanted or loved because things didn’t turn out as you have planned and that might be a lot for your mind to adjust to. The more expectations you have, the more let down you will feel and the more your mental health will suffer.
Now let’s discuss how it impacts your physical health as well. According to the famous fiction book ‘ikigai- a way of living, stress is an enemy to our human body and it further provides the reasoning on how stress can interfere with our complex human mechanisms and result in early aging.
Pathogens are the foreign parts that enter our body, when they enter our body, the antibodies present inside to try to protect our body by killing such pathogens, in the process of killing them it also kills some good cells as well. Stress also enters our body as a foreign particle and our antibodies react the same way as it does to the pathogens. While trying to attack stress it kills a lot of good cells of our body leading us to age prematurely.
How to not expect much from people and still value the person/relationship?
Expectations sometimes naturally come along in a relationship when you both mutually respect or prioritize each other the most. It is your happy place and it’s more like a give and takes relationship. Yet when you extend something for example a simple effort to be there and you do not get the same in return, no wonder it is devastating.
It certainly becomes difficult when you don’t see your efforts being reciprocated in a relationship you respect the most yet you have to accept the fact that humans aren’t alike. There is a wide variety of people that will think far from what you think. Yet I would say acceptance is the key, if you believe that person is not actually selfish and is just different from who you are(you are probably more kind or affectionate than the other person, that doesn’t make you a better person or a bad one) then probably you will stop worrying about such things. Accept yourself, your flaws, your person and their flaws, most importantly the relationship you both connect with.
Acceptance comes with a matter of time and healthy communication between the two. If you expect something in particular from a person, be direct about it and put your intentions clearly so that your high hopes don’t become an obstacle in your important relationship. Hence clear communication and accepting differences are the keys.
How to be self-sufficient and stay optimistic?
I would say it is very simple: stop worrying about what the future might hold or what value can people add to your life and start fully appreciating and living the present moment as it is served to you. Stop making changes or predicting the happy things that you may come along with. Leave the idea of your life is perfect.
Accept your flaws and the struggles in your life. Be grateful for what surrounds you and be aware of how much you deserve. Give yourself the love you expect from others, go out to eat by yourself, Wear outfits for yourself, give your taste palette something different every day and most essentially believe in yourself. Talk to people, get to know them, know about the battles that they face. No one’s more miserable life should be liable to make your misery less or make you grateful. Yet it just extends a sense of security and togetherness that we all have challenges to face and we are simply together in this.
There are a few ways to stay optimistic and start focusing on yourself than desiring something else to fill the void within us:
- Start writing down positive affirmations in a journal/notebook, believe it or not, it really tricks your mind somehow, that it starts believing your affirmations as the truth and creates good energy around you that pushes your luck. The power of manifestation is incredibly strong and changes your life for the better.
- Read books, as many books as you have. It is said that books are a man’s best friend because they have no expectations and no demands. Let books add great value to your life and refill the positive energy that has been sucked up by people around you.
- Physical workout helps you with healthy blood circulation and stimulating each part of your body. Even the slightest movement of the body like walking, gardening, or jogging can help produce happy hormones which help you stay satisfied and healthy throughout the day.
- As much as a human body needs a physical workout it also equally needs a mental workout. Mind is not meant to be idle and for it to properly and effectively function it needs a workout i.e. any activity involving the use of the brain. Solving sudoku, playing chess, taking tests, or learning some language or concept can help stimulate your brain and help you stay happy and focused.
A step towards such healthy habits might change your life for the better. They certainly hold great power in changing circumstances and providing opportunities. Stop giving that power to people who have disappointed you. Invest and commit to the activities which unquestionably provide you with an extremely healthy outcome.
If you have been expecting from a person and have been disappointed several times you need to communicate directly with the person. If you already have communicated your expectations and disappointments with the person before and they still continue to hurt you then you have to make peace with the fact that the person probably doesn’t respect your opinions or feelings enough.
Don’t expect much, it will end up ripping your heart. Expectations aren’t reality but our brewed-up predictions of the future. Live in the present, be in charge of what you can control, and be grateful for each second and opportunity that life offers you. Don’t expect much and let life surprise you for what it has in store for you. It’s always for one’s better.
Frequently asked questions
Q1) Do expectations lead to disappointment?
A1) Expectations arise when we anticipate something happening in the near future and more often than not, life takes different twists and turns in the most unexpected ways and our hopes come to an end with a crash. Since life can’t be a constant reflection of what you believe should happen. When our desires aren’t fulfilled it leads to severe disappointment and feeling of being unwanted or unloved. But you must go on and expect nothing to be happy and live your life to the best potential.
Q2) What emotion is disappointment?
A2) Disappointment is the feeling of being led down by someone or something after you expect a lot out of the person/situation. It is a feeling of grief and a void that remains unfulfilled. Your desire out of something being not met is what disappointment is all about.
Q3) Why are high expectations bad?
A3) keeping high expectations and fantasizing about life and your future is overall unhealthy, mostly in terms of mental health but also in terms of physical health as well. It leads to premature aging. Life is a journey of unexpected events and you shouldn’t set a picture of how life is supposed to be. Life isn’t a bed of roses, so sooner or later it will end up disappointing your fantasy world. When reality hits and our dreams fail we often end up feeling depressed, isolated, anxious, unwanted, and unloved.
Q3) What is the difference between regret and disappointment?
A3) Regret is something that you have done in the past that you now realize you shouldn’t have done probably because it was thoughtless, silly, or just not it. It is connected to the past and what you have already done. For example, if you overslept a day before your exam, you would say “I regret that I overslept that day”. Disappointment is the feeling of being led down or feeling unsatisfied or unfulfilled. It is mostly connected to the future and the aspirations you had regarding it, which did not get fulfilled leading you to disappointment. For example, if you expected yourself to score well in a maths test and instead you fail in the same test, you would say “I am so disappointed in myself that I failed this test”.
Q4) How do you manage expectations and disappointments?
A4) To begin with we shouldn’t expect even the least out of anyone but we naturally tend to expect from people who are close to us and that’s quite normal, however, the aftermath of it i.e. the disappointment that we later face might put us in a state of depression, anxiety or isolation. At times like these we should maintain our inner peace and move on from it and you can only move on if you accept that all people tend to devote themselves to you, as you do to others. Acceptance comes with time and so in the meantime you can stay optimistic as much as you can by journaling, reading books, physical exercise, and mental exercise(taking quizzes, playing chess, etc.)
Q5) How to express disappointment?
A5) I would say the most simple way to express is to communicate with the person directly if the person doesn’t yet realize that you have been hurt. Yet, it is absolutely understandable if you don’t want to have to ask them to realize and keep quiet about the whole situation. In such a scenario you could express it in multiple ways like talking it out with your parents, other friends, or anyone you feel confident confiding in. Sharing reduces stress to a great level and would definitely calm your anxiety. Another way is to write all about it in your journal/notebook if you do not wish to share it with a person, it will keep your secret safe and sound and help maintain your peace with it.