One of the reasons we get hurt or disappointed is our expectations, if the outcome is different from what we expected, we feel bad, even if it’s not a bad outcome. We want the results or outcomes to be exactly the way we expect, and we won’t accept, even if the result is better in some way.
You must think that we should be able to predict how we might feel in certain situations, but it’s not always true. One study found that newlywed couples expect to have higher happiness levels for the first four years of marriage, but in truth, their happiness levels decrease in that period.
Generally, people believe that a good job, a big house, perfect relation, or good bank balance would give us permanent happiness, but they may only provide us temporary happiness. Our expectations make us think that our goals would do for us more than what they do.
The novel is about the character Pip, who gets a lot of money from a secret benefactor, and he thinks that this money would help him get his dream girl. Soon enough, he learns that money is not everything and he has taken so many things for granted. His expectations prevented him from getting happiness from his reality.
We don’t appreciate what we have, because we want more, or we compare what we have with what we want. This idea is also supported by many studies. One study showed that people who were reminded of their wealth spent less time savoring the chocolate bar and hence received less enjoyment than people who were not exposed to a reminder of wealth. This study reminds us to enjoy our lives more and appreciate everything we have. We shouldn’t consistently think of what we don’t have or what we could have. This study also shows that our thoughts or expectations can cause us to get less happiness from something others are enjoying more.
We might expect our jobs to be exactly like what we imagined in school or our love life to be like what we see in movies. Such expectations can result in stress and sometimes even depression. Social media also plays a great role in giving people unrealistic expectations. We compare our worst moments with what we see on social media, which are usually others’ best moments.
You need to build awareness to avoid unrealistic expectations. In any situation, you need to determine what you expect to happen and then see where these expectations come from and if they are realistic. If the expectations are not met, you should ask yourself whether the expectations were realistic.