Whether we realize it or not, we place certain expectations on people; our parents, our siblings, our children, our spouses, our friends, our coworkers – you get the idea. And quite often, with those expectations, we are left feeling VERY disappointed.

For example, when Andrea and I started this blog, I had the expectation that our family and friends would always read our blog and actively participate in what we love doing. I mean, support from our family and friends is an expectation most of us place upon those people, right?

As time and blog posts went on, I became disappointed at the people who WEREN’T reading the blog. For Christ’s sake, these friends and family should be supporting us and they aren’t giving us the time of day! Of course, this is just one example of what I am talking about. And to clarify, I am sure I have not met someones expectations of what they had for me, either.

So why do we continue to do this? Why do we continue to place these expectations on people? I don’t know that answer anymore. But here is what I have learned from all of this.

Instead of placing these expectations on everyone, start looking inward at yourself. Releasing these expectations and looking at yourself are both VERY HARD to do, but you have to in order to let go of the disappointment. And while you will still be a little disappointed in the beginning when someone doesn’t meet your expectations, the more you let go of the expectations and look at yourself, the easier it will be to get past the disappointment. The sting won’t last as long. And you’ll realize, that just maybe, these are not the people who you need or want support from, in any aspect of your life.

And here’s the part where it gets real…that’s o.k!

Ask yourself, “what do I want out of these relationships?” Take some time to re-evaluate your relationships. Nurture the ones that mean something to you, and have open communication about how you want that relationship to thrive and grow so both parties know what expectations are out there.

This one will take some time, and it’s definitely not easy. But no one said being awesome was easy.


  1. Christine says

    Some of the hardest lessons teach us the most. We are all students in the classroom of life and managing expectations — those we place on ourselves and others — could be an Olympic sport. But who takes home the gold depends on who chooses to lighten their load. It is an enormous burden to carry the weight of disappointment in others who do not meet our self set goals for them. Carrying pain, harboring angst or burning bridges is not a winning combination. Might feel good in the moment, but not for long.

    Letting go, loosening the grip of unrealistic expectations (the over reach) is a huge part of truly growing up. Some days, people just suck. It’s sad but true. Other times, the stars align and what we hope for happens. People surprise us and go above and beyond. Magic? Nope, life. keeping track of who disappoints or doesnt show up in our personal playground (perhaps even our pity parties – we all throw them) is a losing solitary game. Trying to see the view from 30,000 feet can bring perspective. The kinder gentler (some say naive others say sanity-saving) way to keep calm and carry on.

    And for the record, your great blog came out during one of the challenging work and busiest family times, health scares I’ve had in a decade. Just too much stuff. Nothing personal. Had to let go of adding on the to do list, even if that meant letting others down. healthier and more sane for it. And that’s often the key, right? realizing that when people dont act in a certain way, it typically is in no way a personal affront: just a casualty of all too busy world.

    Keep up the good work, keep words flowing and keep light the weight of worry. Someone once offended my younger self by telling me worry was a useless emotion: until I realized he was older and wiser and quite right! Same with letting people who cant meet your expectations ruin your day, mood, even relationship.

    My mother was right: we all need to lighten up. Applies to so many aspects of our lives. Finally “getting” that lesson and happy (tho often soooo hard) to be a life long learner.

  2. von says

    I usually do not comment simply because I did not want to appear to be the ‘ever-hovering’ mother/aunt. In general, I agree with what you both have to say. Occasionally I do not, but fear my comments will be viewed as too critical. Whatever. You tel do a fine job here and I commend you for your chutzpah. Did you not see a fb post recently by Nada Radovan Karas? She was paraphrasing her late mother? If you depend on family…

  3. Denise says

    Thank you both for your comments. It was difficult to write for fear of finger pointing. That was not the intent. This has been a topic Andrea & I have discussed for quite some time. In general, not necessarily equating it with the blog.

    I hope got the point across somewhat. In the end, the disappointment will be there. Knowing that alone is a bit disheartening, but it allows me to take a different approach to handling it when it slaps me in the face.

    Thank you both for the feedback.

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