Managing the Expectations of Others Can Make Your Life Easier

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If you’re like a lot of people, you expect a lot from yourself, and this goes a long way in helping you achieve your goals. But what if you feel pressure from other people because they, too, have expectations for your life?

This can easily add stress to anyone’s life, and regardless of how motivated or confident you feel, these expectations can weigh you down and stop you from fulfilling your goals.

Fortunately, once you learn to manage others’ expectations, the load will lighten and you’ll feel better about your future.

Managing the Expectations of Others

It is vital that you learn to manage the expectations of others because if you don’t, it will cause a lot of unnecessary pressure and stress that can actually stop you from fulfilling certain dreams.

Even worse, it can cause your self-confidence to suffer, which can easily ruin your dreams. You might even stop aiming for your goals, which wouldn’t be pleasant.

The good news is, you can learn how to manage expectations that come from other people by following a few simple tips, including the following:

1.  Check Your Own Attitude

Sometimes if you feel like other people are expecting too much from you, it is because you are expecting too much from them. This is more commonplace than you think and usually involves passing judgment on other people.

Have you ever heard the expression, “judge not lest ye be judged”? If you take a good look at your own motives, it might tell you what the problem is.

Fortunately, you can change this situation easily. Sometimes other people aren’t really expecting unrealistic things from you. Instead, they are reacting to you expecting too much from them.

If you find that you’re doing this to people, the solution is simple: just stop doing it. Don’t worry about what others are doing and just concentrate on yourself.

2.  Realize That Your Opinions and Feelings Are Valid

If someone is expecting too much from you and you feel as if those expectations are unrealistic, you shouldn’t be afraid to voice your opinion on the matter.

Use your voice to be affirmative but never defensive, and make clear your wants and needs. It’s very possible that if you do this just a few times, other people won’t expect so much from you in the future.

This is especially important if coworkers and supervisors have expectations that seem unrealistic, unfair, or even cruel. Speak up, in other words.

Don’t be rude or obnoxious but do be firm so that the other party realizes exactly what you’re saying. And don’t be hesitant about the reasons why you believe the expectations are too much for you to handle.

3.  Take Things in the Way They Were Intended

Oftentimes, we get the wrong impression when we find out that other people have certain expectations of us.

Our first reaction sometimes is to get defensive, but instead of doing that, take a good look at the expectations themselves and ascertain where they’re coming from and what they are. It could be that these people’s expectations are not negative or unrealistic, but honest and realistic.

Also keep in mind that their expectations are just that — their expectations. In other words, just because they expect you to act a certain way or do a certain thing, it isn’t necessarily the right thing for you.

Be confident enough to separate realistic expectations from unrealistic ones and realize that you owe it to yourself to do what’s best for you.

4.  Know What You Want Out of Life

If you spend some time getting to know yourself, you’ll be able to recognize when someone else’s expectations aren’t the right thing to do.

The more you know yourself, the easier it will be to reject others’ expectations when they aren’t right for you. If you don’t truly know yourself, you might be tempted to believe that those expectations are the right thing to do.

To get to know yourself better, keep a journal, meditate, and spend time alone as often as possible. Quiet time by yourself is the best way to get to know yourself so you can determine exactly what type of person you are and what you might want out of your life.

Regardless of your current age, doing this is both simple and necessary for a fulfilled life.

Why Should You Sometimes Ignore Others’ Expectations of You?

Other people’s expectations can be difficult to satisfy but more importantly, they may simply not be what’s right for you.

If you pay more attention to others’ expectations than you should, the first thing that could happen is that it might be much more difficult to make good decisions in your life. Listening to others’ expectations can actually rob you of that capability.

Many of us have heard the expression, “expectations are premeditated resentments,” and this is certainly true. Listening to others’ expectations and taking them seriously can cause you to have major resentment and anger, which can both affect your daily life and even your mental state.

For many different reasons, it is simply not a good idea to ignore your own expectations instead of others’.

Finally, taking seriously the expectations of others while ignoring your own can cause depression and sadness, not to mention the feeling that you’ve lost control over your life.

You might feel afraid or conflicted when others have expectations of you that you know deep inside are not right. You should never risk ruining your mental health due to others’ expectations of you.

What Else Can You Do?

You have a right to set your own expectations for your life and not go along with someone else’s expectations, which are often unrealistic anyway.

Instead of being resentful or bitter about the situation, you should first realize that you deserve to live a life that makes you happy. If you listen to others’ expectations, that might not be possible because they may expect you to do something you don’t want to do.

If you find someone is doing this to you, be it a friend or even a coworker or boss, you should first realize that you have the right and maybe even a responsibility to ignore it when you know it doesn’t jive with your own expectations.

Everyone deserves to be happy, and letting someone else know that their expectations aren’t what you want for yourself is an acceptable response.

You should also evaluate the particular expectation and make sure that your hesitancy is not coming from the wrong place. Is the person with the expectation someone you don’t like?

Always look at the expectation on its own to decide for yourself if it’s a realistic one or one that you’d agree with if it was coming from someone else.


Other people’s expectations can ruin your life if you let them. To avoid this, be confident enough to realize when the expectation is not what you want, take it in the way it was intended, and get to know yourself better so you’ll know the difference between good and bad expectations.

Learn to judge the expectation on that alone and not on how you feel about the people themselves.

You deserve to have expectations of yourself if this is what you want, but you don’t have to put up with unrealistic expectations from others.


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