The psychology behind expectations image

The psychology behind expectations

We reason together trying to dissolve expectations that can frustrate us and damage relationships

How many times have we heard the phrases: I thought it was different, I thought it was different, or did I expect thatโ€ฆ?

These sentences reflect a situation that has happened to everyone in life, that is when we load our expectation on an event or someone, that often almost imperceptible inner reasoning, for which things, from events to other people's behavior, should go according to a certain plan, what we have in our head to be exact. When this doesn't happen we can feel frustrated and disappointed.

We all have expectations, some are real, some are exaggerated. Charging people and situations with exaggerated expectation becomes harmful if it is persistent. It could result in frustration, in the loss of self-confidence and worse still affect the people around us.

It is possible to get rid of it but with a little training, it is not easy but it is about establishing a new habit.

Many times we tend to create expectations in personal relationships which are often based on our past experiences and our experience. We actually use them as a tool to try to predict the future, almost indicators to protect ourselves.

Why expectation doesn't work.

Expectation does not work because it is one-way, we create it and direct it to something or someone without taking into account all the other factors that can affect the result.

It is like closing the thought and saying: It will go like this! Without even starting. If directed, for example, towards another person, it works even less, because it is not taken into account that on the other side there may be dynamics that we cannot see.

There are situations where the other person, for example, may never have found himself and therefore we will not be able to know how he would really react.

So how can we create an expectation without it becoming a given?

What we believe in our heads that can happen can be very different from what actually happens. Expectation, the exaggerated one, has the same chances of success as a lottery. How many times have we "felt betrayed by a person" because he should have acted in a certain way and he didn't?

Or even things of lesser importance like going to a football match with the expectation that it will be a winning match. In both cases, if it does not go as we expect and we remain attached to this idea that everything should have gone differently, the feelings of frustration and anger are just around the corner.

Where do the expectations come from.

Expectations can generally be found rooted in different situations. Let's analyze them:

Hereditary expectations or by "contagion".

This form of expectation is inherited in the family or in socio / cultural contexts. For example, the belief that one or a partner cannot go to the disco alone comes from the expectations of other people who have been cheated on. It turns into a fear of being betrayed if a person goes to spend time in contexts other than usual ones.

The idea is created that when a person is in a couple he does not go or should not go there. Another example could be that of the professional sphere of children where a father proud of his inherited profession in turn expects a son to continue the father's business.

Even that a friend or friend should behave in a certain way falls within this form of expectation which is generally accompanied by the thought: "friends must behave this way". Obviously there are plausible exceptions, but generally everything we try to project onto other people in terms of expectation that does not arise from our direct thoughts is hereditary or has been passed on to us.

The limiting expectations

This type of expectation is of the "freezing" type, it literally prevents you from embarking on any path where the end is not seen.

Some typical examples that I will express in sentence form are:

Here too we see that not all the factors that could influence the specific experience are considered but despite this we decide to remain frozen out of fear or expectation of being disappointed.

Negative expectations of closing or "tagging".

In this case they are expressed towards people we do not know at all, in fact they are used in work, thought or racial contexts.

They are expressed more or less like this:

In this case, the relationship is blocked or a label is placed even before I know a person I always sink in and in a unidirectional way that is not ascertained.

The expectations of perfectionism.

The latter are harmful in the workplace when taken to the extreme both if they are created towards us and towards others.

Something can be done expecting less and in a balanced way.

Expectations can preclude experiences, limit relationships, and cause repeated disappointments in various areas. Surely they should at least be re-evaluated by wondering if "by chance" it is possible that everything is different from what we expect. I leave you two sentences taken from some sites that can give a different perspective.

I have no expectations, because they only lead to great disappointments. "

By Michael Landon

In reality , as they say, "In medio stat virtus", "Virtue lies in the middle", in the sense that one should neither "fly low" nor "fly too high", but seek a right and healthy balance without exaggerating . So nurture adequate expectations, adhering to the reality of things , for what it actually is.


From our point of view, we recommend building the new "habit of intercepting" expectation, observing it in a detached way and asking yourself a couple of questions to understand if it is rooted in reality or if it arises from a hypothesis, a belief, etc. simple advice but it is very powerful, it may happen at the beginning simply to notice the automatism and turn around. In many cases you will find that you have done well not to get carried away by your expectations.

If you suffer from severe frustration from expectations or you realize you have a serious problem, do not hesitate to contact a specialist in your area.

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