Are My Expectations Reasonable?

Do you know what you expect from yourself and others? Expectations can be conscious and unconscious, meaning some of our expectations we are aware of, others we may not be aware of. But regardless, whether we are aware or unaware of these expectations, these expectations directly affect our behavior. Have you ever taken a look at your expectations? I routinely suggest to my patients that they make a list of their expectations of others, and their expectations of themselves. How do you know if your expectations are reasonable or unreasonable? Read on and I’ll explain ways you can evaluate your expectations.

  1. “NEVER”

    This is one word that I would definitely be on the look out for when making a list of your expectations. Whether the expectations are of yourself or others, using the word never is expectations creates unreasonable and unfair expectations. And if fact, it sets you up for disappointment, because using the NEVER in expectations is a recipe for being let down.

  2. “SHOULD”

    Watch out for this word when making your list of expectations as well. This is another word that when used in expectations doesn’t allow any room for mistakes or flexibility, which is unfair to expect of yourself and others.

  3. “HAVE TO” or “MUST”

    These words go along with the never word, because it places unfair and unreasonable expectations to for things to always be a certain way. Again, this way of thinking is not fair to anyone, doesn’t allow for mistakes or flexibility, and is a set up for disappointment.

These are just 3 examples of what to look out for when making your list of expectations. If you notice any of the above words, I would try to rephrase the expectation in a way that allows for mistakes, flexibility, and unforeseen circumstances.

Stay well and healthy and reach out anytime!