7 Things You Should Stop Expecting From Others

Many of our most disappointing experiences directly result from unrealistic expectations—especially regarding the people in our lives.

If you’re able to examine and adjust what you assume others will do or provide, you can become more self-sufficient, realistic and positive. In addition, you’ll be better able to focus on the things that matter most.

Here are seven things you should stop expecting from others, starting today.

1. Agreement

Don’t allow the opinions of others to undermine the fact that you deserve to be happy. You don’t need to live the life that other people want for you—let your decisions be based on your own approval, rather than anyone else’s.

Follow your own design, and let intuition guide you towards fulfillment. If you stay true to your own purpose, you can find success. By the same token, however, remember that other people do not need your approval when living the lives they have chosen.

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2. More Respect Than You Afford Yourself

Don’t expect others to ground your self-esteem and give you confidence when you struggle to find this internally. Work to acknowledge your own value, and trust that you deserve not only respect but also love and understanding.

Practice self­­-love by identifying and meeting your own needs, even when that means saying “no” to other. When you’re able to offer this depth of respect to yourself, you’ll be surprised by how quickly other people’s respect levels begin to fall in line with your own (though you should continue to look inwards for self-esteem, regardless of how much positive feedback others provide you).

3. Purely Positive Regard

Expecting (or even needing) everyone to like you is extremely dangerous to your mental well-being, once again allowing the whims and personal hang-ups of others to determine your value.

Regardless of how wonderful, beautiful and talented you are, there will always be people who dislike or criticize you—and this says much more about them than it does about you. For example, you may remind someone of a significant, hurtful figure from the past, or your success may inspire jealousy.

Ignore the negativity directed at you, and gravitate towards those who treat you kindly, appreciate you and love your unique traits.

4. Fulfillment Of Your Template

Basically, you need to stop expecting other people to fit your idea of who they are. Holding onto a rigid perspective of who people are allowed to be will not only lead you towards disappointment but also communicates a lack of respect for the real identity of others.

When you love someone, allow them to be themselves and appreciate them for their authentic self. By accepting you don’t know everything about someone else, you actually open yourself up to getting to know them much better—leading to more meaningful, connected relationships.

5. Mindreading Abilities

People can’t just immediately tune into what you’re thinking. This means you have to communicate openly and honestly, making your real feelings clear.

For example, your boss doesn’t know you’re hoping to be promoted soon because you’ve never made it obvious that career advancement is important to you, and that attractive new person in your life doesn’t realize you’d love to go out because you’ve never actually communicated any interest!

The lesson here is simple: if you want something to change, you’ll need to tell people what you’re thinking. By all means be tactful and thoughtful in your presentation, but aim for transparency at all times.

6. Sudden Change

If someone in your life has a particular trait that you secretly hope will eventually disappear, it’s important to realize that it probably won’t. If some type of significant change is necessary in order for a friendship or relationship to continue, be clear and honest about this and let the person know what you need.

However, as noted above, it’s not helpful to try and constrain people within your template of what you believe they should be. As such, you should generally avoid trying to change people—if you can’t accept them for how they are, perhaps you’re better off without them in our life.

Interestingly, it’s when we’re accepting and loving with others that they are actually most likely to change and grow in positive ways.

7. Constantly Being “Okay”

Just as you have your own internal struggles, so too does everyone you meet. When you expect others to be on an even keel all the time, you fail to see that they’re just as complex and nuanced as you are.

Nurture others, offer them compassion, and look to see whether they really are okay (instead of simply assuming they are). While you shouldn’t devote all your resources to caring for others, entering into mutually supportive relationships paves the way for a happier life and more significant personal development—but this can only occur if you’re willing to look past the old assumption that everyone is doing fine.


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