Expectations: Premeditated Resentments

When I had a Tumblr I constantly saw posts regarding “expectations vs. reality” on my dashboard. Naturally, the reality is never as good because we as human beings tend to set high expectations for ourselves and sometimes others. Or maybe that’s just human beings such as myself who have a little bit of a perfectionism problem.

I don’t remember who said it but there’s a quote that goes something like “expect nothing and you’ll never be disappointed.” I actually think several people said that in some way, but that’s not the point.

It makes sense. Disappointment usually stems from some kind of expectation, whether it’s of ourselves or of others.

Have you ever asked someone an important question and expect that person to answer a certain way? I feel like we’ve all done that… Sometimes the answer is better than expected and you suddenly feel like you could do anything. Sometimes the answer falls short and you’re simply left with disappointment, no matter how much you try to act like it doesn’t matter. Maybe this is a slippery slope but disappointment usually leads to some kind of resentment towards ourselves or to others.

So would it be better to never expect anything and live without the chance of disappointment, or always expect something and have just as much chance of the preferable feeling?

I don’t know. That’s why I’m asking.

I’m trying to remember the last time I didn’t expect anything; but those are usually with things that seem trivial to me. When applying for universities, even though I verbally admitted to not caring about whether or not I got into a certain campus, I secretly expected to be admitted into all of them. It’s so unrealistic, and I knew it at the time, but I couldn’t help it. So when I didn’t get into a certain university, I was pretty depressed about it and I cried… for a few days.

As for a time when I didn’t expect something… I really can’t think of one. I guess I just constantly, sometimes unintentionally, assume a certain outcome, one that’s to my favor. It’s not as easy as it sounds to lower expectations… so it’s even more difficult to eliminate them completely.


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