3 More Ways to Stop Disappointing Yourself with People (365 Days of Spirited Living — DAY 312)
“I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.”
— Bruce Lee
Some of the biggest moments of anxiety and distress come from putting our hope in people. For example, you can expect someone to do something for you and then when they don’t do it for whatever reason, you get disappointed. Consistently being disappointed leads to major trust issues which then leads to anger that perpetuates itself into bitterness and resentment.
You don’t want to live your life being angry at all people because you’ve set so many expectations that people simply can’t or choose not to live up to. You were born to be free. Balancing your expectations of others will help lessen unnecessary burdens and reduce stress so you can spend time on the things that bring joy and fulfillment to your life.
Here are 3 ways to stop disappointing yourself when it comes to people:
1. Stop being disappointed when people don’t agree with you.
Everyone is entitled to their opinion. The opinions people form are largely based on personal values and beliefs. If you personally don’t like people to challenge your opinions, you should respect other people enough not to try to get them to change their opinions for you. The truth is, even the best of friends do not agree on everything. So do not get angry and belligerent when someone simply has a difference of opinion. You should be excited and happy about the life you are leading and in order to do that well, you cannot allow the opinions of others to make you forget about what you believe and value.
You are not put in the world to live up to the expectations of others or to agree with other people on everything. Likewise, other people are not required to live up to your expectations and agree with you on everything. If we all agreed with each other, we might have a safer, less violent, less confusing, less hate-filled world, but then almost nothing would get accomplished. Opinions are what help to make us who we are. Differences of opinion create conversation and dialogue which lead to new ideas which then lead to new ways of thinking and living. You have to fight to follow your heart and not compare yourself to other people. The more you learn to stick with your beliefs and affirm your values, the less approval you will need from other people.
2. Stop being disappointed when people don’t make you happy.
We’re taught to believe that everything is possible, but the truth is, there are some things that are simply impossible. People making you happy is just impossible. All people are imperfect and most people are so fickle that they cannot make you consistently happy every day of your life. Stop expecting that all the people in your life are there to make you happy and there to bring you total joy and answer your every beck and call. Most of the time, people are just going to screw things up. And you’re going to feel exactly that. But judging and criticizing and getting angry and upset doesn’t help the situation.
Your happiness is your responsibility 100%. Depending on people to make you happy is going to do the exact opposite and make you very disappointed. It’s a natural human goal to obtain personal happiness, but you will never obtain it through people or through things. Happiness comes by what you choose to do with your life. You need to understand that nothing about your life depends on other people. It is all up to you. And you can be happy and live life to the fullest perfectly and completely without the contribution of another person. If you’re going to do anything with happiness, be the one who has it and bring it with you when you engage with other people. Happiness comes from within, the sunshine has got to be in your soul. That way, whatever people do, you won’t be disappointed.
3. Stop being disappointed when people don’t have it all together.
Most of us like to pretend that we have it all together. People ask us how we’re doing, most of us say ‘Fine’, ‘Great’, ‘Awesome’ or any other positive words or phrases we can think of. Social media contributes to this attitude that we have to one up each other in order to feel good about ourselves. If we’re honest with ourselves, we’ll admit that we don’t have it all together. Some days we are great, but other days we are terrible. Some days we are on top of the world, but other days we are at the bottom of the ocean trying to find our way out. And that is all perfectly fine because we’re human, we make mistakes, we totally suck sometimes all because we don’t have it all together.
So, if we don’t have it all together, stop expecting other people to have it all together. They don’t. They may post beautiful pictures or feel-good words up on social media, but it isn’t but a peek into what’s really going on and how they really feel. Life throws everyone a curve ball or fast ball every once in a while. Sometimes, it throws us two or three. But you have to stop expecting people to be on top of everything all the time. Have compassion for other people and try to understand that not all people recover at the same rate, grieve the same way, handle pressure the same way, or step up to the plate as fast as you like. Focus on being a friend to people instead of setting up hurdles of expectations that are only going to get knocked down and leave you disappointed.
“Don’t forget to fall in love with yourself first.”
— Carrie Bradshaw