If you are disappointed in everyone around you try this: Expect LESS from everyone else and expect MORE from yourself.
Disappointment is defined as the feeling of sadness or displeasure caused by the nonfulfillment of one’s hopes or expectations.
Expectation is defined as a strong belief that something will happen or be the case in the future.
“Gratitude is the key to happiness and anything that undermines gratitude must undermine happiness. And nothing undermines gratitude as much as expectations. The more expectations you have, the less gratitude you will have.” ~ Dennis Prager
When I am disappointed I feel anything but grateful. It can bring upon many negative feelings such as jealousy, sadness and rage. As a teenager my Step-Father, Gary, used to get the biggest kick out of singing the Rolling Stones, “You Can’t Always Get What you Want”, and watching me stomp off to my room. This happened often as we did not have a lot of money and Gary was extremely strict. I would be so disappointed in him for not letting me have what I wanted that sometimes I believed that I hated him!
When I grew up I could stay up as late as I wanted. I could afford new jeans or a ticket to the Bruce Springsteen concert. I could do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. With all of my freedom, I was still disappointed in other people, ALL THE TIME.
I have been doing research on happiness for the past two years and what I have found as the largest common denominator to achieve happiness is gratitude. Then something clicked. I linked my disappointments with my unhappiness. The next step was to figure out what I was so disappointed about.
Things that have disappointed me:
- Not receiving the gift I wanted on my birthday
- Not being recognized for a job well done
- Having to take the trash out – Again!
- Not being invited to a party
- Not being complimented on my appearance
Mary Ann describes expectations as “planned disappointment”. You can read more here: http://simplemarriage.net/expectations-equal-unhappiness/
What’s the deal? Why couldn’t people just live up to what I expected of them? It was time to take responsibility for my own happiness! The ironic part is when I got exactly what I expected I rarely felt surprised, happy or grateful anyway.
Some feelings I had when I got exactly what I expected
Stopping this cycle was not easy. I had to bite my tongue, do more myself and work on my own self-esteem so that I did not need to have these expectations anymore. When I started expecting less from others I started giving more to myself. I realized that I could not continue to expect others to make my happiness for me. I had to learn to get rid of all these expectations.
Read about tossing your expectations in the ocean here: http://zenhabits.net/ah/
Once I realized that I am the only one responsible for my happiness I started appreciating the things that people would do for me. This shift in energy has given me more confidence, happiness and joy, and for that I am extremely grateful. It also makes me want to do more for others, when they least expect it!
What things do you expect from others that you could give to yourself instead? What could you give to others that they would never expect?