Do you easily get disappointed in life?
Over the years, I have observed in many cases, the cause of disappointment in relationships is usually on account of either expectation or comparison. Or both.
Can you avoid it?
You only need to resist the lure of expectation and comparison. Let me explain.
No Expectation, No Cry
When you set expectations and the end result does not match those, you are upset. Growing up in our kind of families (read Indian), we are conditioned to expect from our near and dear ones. We have set goals for them in our mind, which they may or may not be fully aware of. When those goals are not met, we are unhappy.
In India, we tend to be extravagant with our expectations. Children take parents for granted and have expectations from them which they believe is their birthright.
Parents are equally to blame. They allow such expectations to be formed instead of nipping them in the bud.
Parents expect from their children too.
Then there are expectations between husband and wife. And in-laws. The list is endless.
It can get exhausting living up to them.
Why not throw them in the bin and live a life devoid of expectations?
Life would be so much more carefree, wouldn’t it?
The second recipe to prevent disappointment is to avoid comparison. We compare ourselves with others who we feel are better off than us. We obsess about keeping up with the Joneses. It could be a bigger house, fancier car, higher paid job, better opportunity etc.
It serves no good purpose. On the contrary, it induces depression.
We compare our loved ones with others who we feel are more privileged, successful or talented. Such comparisons rarely have positive consequences. They usually result in discomfort, discord or despair.
Why indulge in a practice which serves no positive purpose only because it has passed on from one generation to another? Chances are you have seen your parents do it and felt wronged then. And now you have followed the practice with your next generation. Why?
Shun it. And feel the difference.
Pros & Cons
Some will argue that expectation and comparison can be healthy if they are used for goal setting and may lead to improvement.
Those who feel encouraged or motivated to excel, by comparison and expectation, are welcome to do so. But few use it constructively to achieve positive results. The majority suffer because they can’t handle it properly. Many are known to be psychologically scarred on account of such constant comparisons. Friendships are ruined because of a deep sense of insecurity arising out of such comparisons. Overall, it hurts more people than it benefits.
Avoiding comparison and expectation may not be easy as they have become habits for us. But habits can be broken. I have, and greatly benefitted as a result. I recommend you try it. And share your experience.