What did you expect?
Ever been really disappointed when something didn’t go the way you’d planned? Who hasn’t, right? Maybe it started with expectations. Here’s what I mean.
Expectations can be deceiving. You don’t realize you have them until they aren’t met and you’re either in tears or seething with anger. Expectations can be realistic or unrealistic, and they can be about yourself or somebody else.
You know those kind of expectations. The ones where you think the weather will be comfortable and clear, and your friend, date, partner or family member will be right on time because they know time is important to you, and you’re outfit will be perfect for the occasion. Instead there’s a torrential storm, your dinner date is 30 minutes late, you spill something on your outfit and they overcook your meal. It’s what happens next that makes the difference. If those expectations were unrealistic, you decide that the universe is out to get you and nobody likes you, and you never ever get what you want anymore. So you may as well go home, eat the whole box of ice cream and just go to bed.
Realistic expectations stay away from the catastrophizing about the meaning of it all. Sometimes it storms unexpectedly – especially in summer in Florida – somebody else has a bad day and is running late or had a bad night on the job. And all of those things are out of your control. It doesn’t mean it wasn’t disappointing and you had hoped the evening would go differently, but it also doesn’t mean you’ll never have a good evening that went perfectly.
A lot of things today come up short of what we hoped they’d be. It’s the meaning we assign to it all that can make all the difference. Chalking it up to post-pandemic life, an off night, or time to find another restaurant and hedge against disappointment and sadness that can lead to depression, anxiety and self-blame. The glass isn’t only half empty, it’s half full as well.
If all the disappointments and unmet expectations are piling up in your life, maybe it’s time to unpack a few of them. Accepting that life is changing often includes grieving over what has been lost. It can help to have somebody to talk to about it. Give us a call at 850.450.7223 or make an appointment today.