It may sound far too simplistic, but most of our frustrations and disappointments come from unrealistic expectations. If someone or something doesn’t meet our expectations, we are disappointed. If that person or situation continues to disappoint or frustrate you, then it’s time to adjust your expectations. Most of the time, we can predict how a loved one or workmate will behave, so we shouldn’t be surprised. Yet, we often fail to lower our expectations.
Couples are often telling me how frustrating they find their partner’s behaviour. Yet when we talk about the past, the very personality trait that attracted them in the first place is the one that drives them crazy now.
The ambitious 30 year old is now frustrating because they are a “workaholic”
The once gentle man is frustrating because he is not masculine enough
The 25 year old woman who was so capable is now seen as a control freak
Accepting our partner’s faults is one way to adjust our expectations. Another fertile area for frustration is in the workplace. How many meetings have left you feeling totally exasperated? Do you have a colleague whose behaviour constantly pushes all your buttons? Most of us are frustrated or disappointed by the same people every day or the same situations each time they happen. Going to work is so much easier if you quickly check your expectations at the start of each day or at least before you meet with a difficult colleague.
Once you have thought realistically about a person or a situation, your levels of frustration and disappointment should drop. If they don’t, then you’ve reached that point where you need to make a decision about whether or not to stay.