Select Page

Are My Expectations Too High?

Are My Expectations Too High?

You may find yourself googling “Are my expectations too high?”

or at least feel internally conflicted with the answer. If you find yourself on this page, then most likely someone or everyone has disappointed you. Maybe someone has told you directly that you’re too needy, or maybe you just find yourself feeling alone and disappointed most of the time. I know that when I have asked myself this question, it usually would lead to a dark road of self-punishment and guilt.

In our culture, we pride ourselves on “not settling,” yet we also aren’t really encouraged to ask for support either. That’s a huge conflict, isn’t it? Are we setting if we find ourselves in a relationship with someone that refuses to tend to our emotional needs, or are we just being too needy? Are we settling if we find ourselves in a relationship with someone that tries their best to tend to our emotional needs, (but just doesn’t quite hit the bar perfectly), or are we just being too picky? What determines healthy expectations versus unhealthy ones?

Our culture often sees having high expectations as a negative that usually indicates that you are too picky; that you are selfish and/or take too much from others. Sometimes, this can be valid and true. Sometimes, context is important and you have reasonable requests that are being gaslighted by a manipulative person. Regardless, if you notice that you are often feeling misunderstood, alone, and don’t have a lot of support, then it may be a good time to explore more about your needs from others and the health of your current relationships.

Most often, “having too high of expectations” comes from a subconscious space filled with unprocessed pain from the past that is being projected onto others. An example can be subconscious insecurities that lead you to be overly critical of others. This can show up when you are dating and find yourself easily turned off by everyone you go on a date with or having an extensive list of criteria for others to meet.

Another example can be needing a lot of comfort and security from others, which is often due to unmet childhood needs from abandonment, abuse, or neglect. Unfortunately, however, it shows up, it usually works against us and becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. This can be a vicious cycle that causes a lot of turmoil both internally, as well as in your relationships.

You may find yourself reading this blog because you feel stuck in guilt, anger, resentment, and/or depression because you keep finding yourself in the vicious cycle of loneliness and disappointment. This is extremely tough! Here are some ways to identify whether or not your expectations are too high in an unhealthy way, or are appropriate standards to request in a healthy relationship.

Possible Indicators That Your Expectations Are Too High In An Unhealthy Way:
  • You have a painful history that you may not have fully addressed.
  • You find yourself disappointed in others more often than you are grateful for them and their actions.
  • You feel disrespected a lot.
  • You are disgusted with most people.
  • You don’t have a lot of compassion, especially for those that have hurt you or have done something you deem as “wrong.”
  • You are very judgmental of others.
  • You are very self-critical.
  • You don’t know how to self-soothe or talk yourself out of the fear of rejection, abandonment, and/or not being accepted.
  • You don’t easily feel comforted by anything, even if you ask for something specific.
  • You don’t easily feel happy or it’s often short-lived.
  • You’re a perfectionist and demand perfection from others.
  • You expect that everyone should behave the way that you want them to.
  • You struggle with forgiveness.
  • You struggle with giving people the benefit of the doubt.
  • You often feel resentment and anger towards others.
  • You expect people to treat you the way you treat them.
  • You nit-pick and often can’t let things go.
  • You think there is a perfect relationship out there.
  • You never cut yourself slack.

If you find yourself in most of these, it may be a good time to explore support with a trained professional that can help you better cope and manage triggers in a healthy way.

So, are your expectations too high and that is causing the problem? Most likely, yes. But, this doesn’t mean your expectations are not valid, or that the feelings you have underneath those expectations aren’t profoundly important, because they are. It means that you are subconsciously expecting others to provide you with something they are incapable of giving you fully.

Generally speaking, this isn’t because they don’t care, but because what you are often needing from others, you need to give to yourself first. If you are too judgmental and don’t let anyone in, you need to start giving yourself grace for being imperfect and for making mistakes. If you demand a lot from others, you need to start focusing on patience and compassion for others’ complicated journeys. Either way, you have to practice self-love.

Possible Indicators That Your Expectations Are Not Too High And In Fact, Are Healthy
  • You think intimacy in your relationships consists of mutual sharing and you ask your partner/friends to open up about themselves. In
  • turn, you like to be asked about yourself and want to feel safe expressing it.
  • You often like to go to your partner/friends for emotional support when you’re feeling upset. This looks like wanting their genuine
  • presence and lending an ear.
  • You request open communication from the people who are closest to you, (but forgive and work through moments when it may be challenging).
  • You let yourself be vulnerable without needing someone to “fix” or soothe you.
  • You expect that a mutually set agreement will be taken seriously.
  • You expect that a personal healthy boundary will be honored.
  • You trust unconditionally and hope that others do, too.
  • You expect the ones closest to you consistently show up for you, (but you give them grace when they aren’t and try to understand what may be going on for them).
  • You forgive.
  • You exercise grace and compassion for others, even when they disappoint you.
  • You understand that relationships aren’t tit for tat, but you do have needs within the relationship that honor your feelings. You are equally open to hearing others’ needs as well.
  • You do your best and hope that others will, too. (But again, you’re flexible when they can’t).
  • You exercise self-love, compassion, and grace when you aren’t at your “best.”

If the people in your relationship(s) make you feel bad for having these expectations/needs and requests, then you may want to start identifying the health of your relationship(s) with a professional.

From an alternate source of Psychology…

Psychological issues connected to high expectations often come connected to other issues, including perfectionism low self-esteem (failing at what you expect confirms your low beliefs of yourself) negative core beliefs (I have to be perfect to be loved, the world is dangerous so I need to be in control) fear of intimacy (by expecting too much of others you have a perfect excuse to push them away) fear of failure (which can lead to setting yourself up to fail, unconsciously proving your fear valid) fear of change (if I focus on things going the way I want they won’t change) Unrealistic expectations can also be a sign of borderline personality disorder, where you have a very distorted idea of other people and what they have to offer.

High expectations are often a form of trying to control both outcomes and other people and can lead to considerable stress and mood swings. In our culture, we pride ourselves on “not settling,” yet we also aren’t really encouraged to ask for support either. That’s a huge conflict, isn’t it?

Are we setting if we find ourselves in a relationship with someone that refuses to tend to our emotional needs, or are we just being too needy? Are we settling if we find ourselves in a relationship with someone that tries their best to tend to our emotional needs, (but just doesn’t quite hit the bar perfectly), or are we just being too picky? What determines healthy expectations versus unhealthy ones?

Regardless, if you notice that you are often feeling misunderstood, and alone, and don’t have a lot of support, then it may be a good time to explore more about your needs from others and the health of your current relationships.

Most often, “having too high of expectations” comes from a subconscious space filled with unprocessed pain from the past that is being projected onto others. An example can be subconscious insecurities that lead you to be overly critical of others. This can show up when you are dating and find yourself easily turned off by everyone you go on a date with or having an extensive list of criteria for others to meet.

Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing, and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses ~Ann Landers

  Author: Alysha Jeney | Source | Photo by Mikhail Nilov on Pexels
155 entries
0 comments
Profile Status
ACTIVE

Categories

Archives

☯ Translate »