The cornerstone of a healthy life is taking responsibility for your own happiness rather than blaming someone else. By setting reasonable expectations for those around you, you can manage how you react to situations and minimize disappointment. This applies to all of your relationships — not just with your lovers.
Family relationships are notoriously sticky. You’ve known your family your whole life, yet chances are, you’re continually disappointed by the same things over and over again. Rather than setting yourself up for pain and frustration, try to understand how your loved ones will behave — and don’t expect anything else from them. If you know your sister always forgets your birthday, don’t get your hopes up that this year, she’ll finally remember.
It’s okay to express your hurt when someone disappoints, especially if you can find a healthy, non-threatening way to share your feelings. But don’t expect things to change. You can’t control what someone else says or does, but you can always control how you react. Managing your expectations will allow you to bounce back from hurt and be more forgiving.
Most people want to believe that if they do their best and work hard, they’ll eventually be rewarded. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Sometimes you have a bad boss who’d rather point out your flaws then encourage your strengths. Or you’re assigned a partner who takes credit for all the work you’ve done. Or you’re employed by a corrupt company that overworks and underpays you.
If your situation is bad enough, you should make a move to a better job. But if that’s not possible, you’ll have suck up your unhappiness and try to make the most of your days. The best way to manage your expectations at work is to remember that it’s just a job. Do your best to keep the way you’re treated at work separate from your personal identify and self-worth. Make an effort to leave your stresses and frustrations at work instead of bringing them home and allowing them to affect your personal life. Remember, you work so that you can live, not the other way around.
From the moment you meet someone, there are a thousand different opportunities to have your heart broken — usually because he doesn’t live up to the ideal you have in your head. Women tend to have strong expectations for what a partner should be like, and when a man inevitably falls short, they end up disappointed.
The best way to avoid disappointment in romance is to adjust your expectation for each stage of the relationship. If you meet a great guy and he asks for your phone number, don’t start planning the wedding. Considering the number of men who don’t call when they say they will, it’s reasonable to say there’s 50/50 chance a guy will call. This type of thinking allows you to be less attached to the outcome: if he calls, great