The One Thing You're Doing Now That's Making You Feel Like a Failure

Instead of expectations, try acceptance I tend to have expectations that are much too high for other people (and, heck, even for myself), and all they ever lead to is a whole lot of disappointment.

But the truth is, just telling myself to lower my expectations doesn't work either, because let's face it: if you expect something, you may be setting yourself up for failure.

So lately, I've been trying a new approach introduced to me by my therapist that I think is pretty darn smart. Maybe it will work for you too.

Of course, my column is no replacement for actual therapy, but if you're in need of a little change in your point of view, you might just like what she had to say. I certainly did.

When you impose your own often unrealistic expectations on someone else, no matter how low or basic they might be, you're not only setting yourself up for disappointment -- you're also giving the other person nowhere to go but down.

Sure, they could exceed your expectations, but that's rare. That's not betting on the house. And when it comes to my own feelings, I want as sure of a bet as possible.

So what she suggested was accepting rather than expecting.

Yes, it's just that simple.

Ha. Hahahaha. Okay, not really, but wow, it really does work.

When you go into a situation with the attitude of acceptance, you can't really be disappointed, which always, at least for me anyway, leads to frustration, annoyance, even hurt.

Instead, you allow the other person (or yourself) to be a human. You give them a clean slate. You force yourself to live in the now rather than your fantasy land, which is a total impossibility.

And because the "now" hasn't happened yet, you give yourself permission to enjoy it for what it is.

Just last week I tried this with my mom when I asked her to help me out with my kids. Instead of going in with the expectation that she could take them exactly when I needed her to, I erased that from my mind and decided that whatever she could do, I would accept.

Turns out, she couldn't do everything I asked for, but she could do part of it. And rather than being frustrated, I was actually pretty thankful.

Look, it takes work. A lot of work. But if you're like me and always seem to get your feelings hurt, try this technique. You might find that you're happier. And your relationships are better.

What do you do when you're disappointed?

 

Image via HoriaVarlan/Flickr

emotional health, mental health

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the4m... the4mutts

I've done this, and it didn't work for me. At ALL! Honestly, it was the people in my life. They were the type that if nothing was expected, begged for, or demanded, that they did nothing. They're no longer in my life either.

Once, I went to a woman's house, for the first time, for dinner, and she said, "Oh, we left the fridge open last night on accident, and everything went bad because we didnt notice until about noon"

We didn't get there till 5. She didn't call, txt, email, nada. I brought food too. I suppose I COULD have been grateful that she still had us over.

But after smelling spoiled milk, B.O., looking at the food stains all over everything, watching her put her kid's naked ass on the kitchen counter, and listening to her ramble about not being able to buy a house (because she was 22 and worked part time, idiot) plus being hungry, I wasn't feeling very gracious.

I went there with an open mind, ready to get to know a new friend, and left feeling the need for a shower.

No expectations, can lead to bad things.

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