How Your Expectations Make You Miserable

5 min

Whether we like it or not we all have expectations placed on us by our family, relationships, society, friends, colleagues, and so many others. Most often we fall into the trap of trying to meet these expectations that we end up feeling miserable with no clue as to why.

So, what happens when you don’t meet your expectations or that of others? Do you feel terrible and unhappy? It may come as a surprise to you that the expectations you struggle to meet a great influence in how happy or sad you become.

That’s why it is important for you to know your expectations in your life make you miserable and how you can manage them.

#5 You expect people to think like you

We are all different, and you need to come to terms with it. Don’t expect people to think or behave in a way that’s appealing to you. That will only leave you with disappointments.

People encounter situations where their partner, friend, or family member expects them to think things through as they would. While some don’t share what they expect from the other person and feel the person should somehow know what is expected of them. Then they feel sad when they realize the other person isn’t meeting that expectation. Don’t get me wrong, it’s okay to expect things from people but when they fail, where does that leave you? Sad, and disappointed.


Understand that people will not always think like you, and that’s okay. It’s unrealistic to expect that much from people. Even though it’s great to find like-minds, people who share similar mindset like you, and don’t assume anyone would know what you expect of them. It’s always best communicate clearly and be mindful that you aren’t setting something unrealistic expectaions that it jeopardizes your relationship.

#4 You expect life to be fair

I was one of those people who strongly believed the world owes them for the good they do. Unfortunately, I learned the ugly truth about life and its unfairness with no regard to age, ethnicity, or status.

We don’t always get the things we deserve, such is life. Doing everything good and still bad things happen to you where you ask the question “why me?”

Haven’t you wondered why someone who is wicked, cheats, hate but still gets good things in life? While you who have been kind-hearted, honest, done a lot of good, hoping to be rewarded in life, still you face hardship, and sometimes cruelty from those you were good to.

That’s life, good things happen to bad people and sometimes bad thing happen to good people. It is without a doubt that if you keep expecting life to be fair, you will be headed for loads of disappointment.


We all wish life is fair sometimes but the reality is that it isn’t and sometimes it’s not something you can do anything about. Accept the truth of life and its unpredictability. It doesn’t mean you should stop being a good person and putting in the effort to get the things that you want out of life.

#3 You think opportunities will always come

If you think that opportunities will always come your way, you are mistaken. Believe me when I say opportunities won’t always your way until you seek them.

Truth be told, you will waste your time waiting for the right opportunity to come knocking at your door. Imagine how sad you will be when you realize you’ve wasted your years waiting for a chance never comes.

Steps to take:

Don’t wait expecting life to throw opportunities at your door. Go after them and be prepared to seize it whenever it emerges.

#2 You expect people to agree with you

Have you ever been sad because your friend disagreed with you completely on something you cared so deeply about?

Well, am sorry to burst the bubble on this one but not everyone will agree with you. Sometimes people will disagree with you just for the sake of disagreeing with you. If you believe someone dear to you should agree with your opinions or views, you will be miserable all your life.


Take a look at your life and reflect on this question; do you get offended when people don’t agree with you? If you do, then you might want to step back a bit and ponder over it.

You need to accept that you can’t force your views on others. Rather than expecting people to always agree with you on matters that concern you, seek to understand from their point of view.

Get rid of the thought you have that says “I am always right.”

#1 You expect to change people

It is hard enough to change yourself let alone changing others.

A lot of people get into relationships with the hopes that they will change their partner and believe their partner will change. When it turns out to be the opposite they end up disappointed. They learn the brutal truth that they can’t change people.

Like Garrison Wynn said, “You can’t change people but you can affect a change in them by your behavior.”

When someone really wants to change, they will make the effort to change themselves for the better.


Please Stop! Stop trying to change the others. Quit expecting your partner, friend, colleague, or family member to change.

It’s hard enough to change yourself, something you have been doing your whole life. Trying to change others is the quickest way to a life of misery and disappointment.

Change starts with you. Like a wise man said – “be the change you seek in this world“. Break free from the illusion you created, expecting others to change.

“You can’t change how people treat you or what they say about you. All you can do is change how you react to it.”-

Nicky Gumbe;

What Next?

Now that you are aware of how your expectations can make your life miserable. Keep these in mind as you set simplistic expectations for yourself and others but more importantly manage your expectations.

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Hi there, Welcome! My name is Anthony Ejiogu, Founder, and Creator of TheSuccessElite. It is my hope to be a part of your journey to self-discovery, achieving your dreams, and living up to your potential.
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