Thursday, July 03, 2008

Great Expectations

Expectations are dangerous. They are thresholds that define how we are supposed to feel. We’re satisfied when they’re reached, happy when they’re exceeded, disappointed when they’re unachieved. They are what make the difference between optimists, pessimists and realists.

Expectations are most dangerous when it comes to people, because on most occasions people don’t know what to expect from themselves, and mostly they don’t know what you expect from them.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that whenever you expect good things from people, you can end up being disappointed, but the worst kind of disappointment is when you realize that the people you expect most from, have nothing more to give.

5 comments:

haijekov said...

welcome aboard bro :)

actually what i believe is also worse is when u discover that YOU are guilty of the same thing ... towards people that actually value you.

Will E. said...

You're right haijekov, despite my own self image of a superman, I'm guilty of that as well ... if I am to be honest with myself.

I guess sometimes.. oh well.. that's for another post..

LouLou said...

I think this view is a bit too absolutionist. It's not an either/or situation.

You can't avoid having some level of expectation from everyone. And I don't know anyone who has either always failed me or always lived up to my expectations. It's usually a combination of both.

Sometimes people come through for you. And sometimes they don't for all sorts of reasons.

In the end, it's all about the balance. The people I believe in have failed me occasionally but when that has happened, they had already built up enough 'credit' from all the times they hadn't failed me before, that I can't just lose faith in them for having disappointed me once. So I look at the big picture and choose to forgive the lapses and continue to believe in them. After all, I'm not perfect myself and I have disappointed them too on occasion and they forgave me so how can I not reciprocate?

If you look at the big picture though and the pattern is that X tends to disappoint so much that they've exhausted their credit with you if they ever had it, then yes it is time to assume they have nothing to give and stop investing in them to avoid disappointment.

Bottom line, there will always be disappointment in human affairs. It is just a matter of degree.

Mayo said...

"the worst kind of disappointment is when you realize that the people you expect most from, have nothing more to give"

People's ability to give is usually limited. The thing is when you work hard to give people and they continue to treat you the same way, even if you have walked out of your way to help them.

Would you give even if you expect nothing in return?

misteca said...

A friend of mine told me 'disappointment is a function of expectation'.
I couldn't agree more.