It’s always nice to be pleasantly surprised by the behavior and actions of other people.
But it’s a very bad idea to depend on people acting the way you’d like.
That’s why it’s time for a big reality check.
1) Stop expecting them to agree with you
Nobody has an obligation to agree with you or be on your “side.”
We all have strongly-held opinions and beliefs, but we don’t have a right to force them on others.
If you go through life expecting others to agree with you it’s going to be a rough ride.
Daily interactions all the way to serious transactions and work environments are full of situations where you won’t agree with someone.
Deal with it, and don’t take it personally.
Stop expecting or wanting everyone to agree with you. It’s not going to happen.
2) Stop expecting to find someone who ‘completes’ you
Is there someone out there for everyone?
You know what? I’m going to go out on an optimistic limb here and say yes.
I really believe that.
But I also believe life is short and we shouldn’t wait around for someone who will “make” us happy.
The truth is, most of us overlook an incredibly important element in our lives:
The relationship we have with ourselves.
I learnt about this from the shaman Rudá Iandê. In his genuine, free video on cultivating healthy relationships, he gives you the tools to plant yourself at the center of your world.
He covers some of the major mistakes most of us make in our relationships, such as codependency habits and unhealthy expectations. Mistakes most of us make without even realizing it.
So why am I recommending Rudá’s life-changing advice?
Well, he uses techniques derived from ancient shamanic teachings, but he puts his own modern-day twist on them. He may be a shaman, but his experiences in love weren’t much different to yours and mine.
Until he found a way to overcome these common issues. And that’s what he wants to share with you.
So if you’re ready to make that change today and cultivate healthy, loving relationships, relationships you know you deserve, check out his simple, genuine advice.
3) Stop expecting people to hand you opportunities
It’s hard to find a good job and make money. It’s hard for everyone.
There are people out here losing their car factory job at 48 with four kids to feed and no backup options.
It’s not fair, and it’s not right if you ask me…
But we’re told by our elites that global capitalism is supposedly the cradle of opportunities and “growth.”
Barring a coming change in economic systems, however, I just want to say that going around expecting opportunities to come your way because you’re a good or smart person is…stupid.
It’s not going to happen.
Work hard and hustle like a maniac. Opportunities will come.
But stop expecting anyone to hand you opportunities easily. It’s not going to happen.
4) Stop expecting others to care about your problems
Compassion is a great personality trait, and so is empathy.
But if you expect other people to care about your problems, you are setting yourself up to get manipulated and strung along.
When you display all your issues and ask that others care and respond you are behaving in a way that’s very insecure and needy.
It opens you up to being seen as a person of low value or who’s “negative.”
Fair or unfair, if you always show up with a problem and feeling totally overwhelmed, people start to see you as that person who’s just not worth the time.
“If you don’t value yourself and stick up for yourself, you’re not only severely sabotaging yourself but also sending a message that you’re not worth the trouble, even to yourself.
“Treat yourself as though you matter, and others will follow suit.”
5) Stop expecting others to tell you what to do with your life
For years I didn’t just ask advice from people, I actively canvassed everyone I could find to help me figure out what to do with my life.
I gave away all my power, hoping that I’d find the perfect person to tell me what to do.
What job should I do?
Where should I go to school?
Was there someone I could talk to who would understand all the confusion I was feeling about my career and my personal life?
Maybe someone could tell me how to meet a romantic partner or explain the best place to move to that was up-and-coming?
What a disaster. Nothing improved until I stopped expecting other people to tell me what to do with my life.
6) Stop expecting people to praise and encourage you
Some people seem to be born cheerleaders, which is awesome.
But you can’t always expect a pat on the back.
Folks are pretty busy, and even if you help them out, they won’t always think much about it or give you the props you deserve.
It sucks, but it’s just the way it is.
“Don’t do something to earn people’s gratitude; instead, do something because you want to do it. Do it because it helps you feel better, or it matches your integrity.”
7) Stop expecting people to understand you
I used to be obsessed about being misunderstood. I expected people to try to understand me more, and blamed them if they got the wrong idea about me.
It was a completely useless way to go through life and led to enormous frustration and alienation.
If you make a close friend or find people who understand you it’s a great feeling and of course you’ll gravitate towards those folks.
But don’t depend on it or judge people for not getting you. It’s just an all-around bad idea.
8) Stop expecting reciprocity from others
You don’t always get back what you give. Not even close.
If you contribute massively to a project and get high fives but are then shocked when nobody else comes through with their side of the deal, don’t be shocked!
If folks break agreements and actively disrespect you, that’s one thing and you’ll need to bring it up.
But if you’re sad that people don’t seem to care about giving back when you put in a lot of effort, don’t be. It’s not worth your time.
9) Stop expecting people to believe you
There are so many times in life where you just want people to believe you.
I have friends who’ve been driven into deep depression after reporting abuse and other wrongdoing and having family members simply not believe them.
It’s horrible, but you really can’t force someone else to open their eyes.
When someone won’t believe the truth sometimes the only good thing to do is walk away.
10) Stop expecting people to have a good sense of humor
Some people are funnier than others, and that’s just the way it is.
They can also respond to humor in very different ways. It’s important not to take this too personally.
If you tell a joke and people get offended or find it stupid, what can you do?
Brush it off and move on…
Not everyone has a good sense of humor or the same sense of humor. That’s OK.
11) Stop expecting people to read your mind
There are many times when you think that what you want is obvious.
But this isn’t always the case.
And if you expect that other people more or less know what you’re thinking or sense where you’re at, you’re setting yourself up for frustration.
Sometimes you just have to spell things out to people.
“You may be understanding about people and have some connection to read others’ mindset. You can’t expect the same quality in others,” notes the website Your Fates.
12) Stop expecting people to be fine and well all the time
People have problems and sometimes they act like rude jerks or take things out on you.
That’s not OK, but it is something that happens.
If you expect everyone to be fine all the time you’ll be outraged and depressed when they’re not.
The clerk at the grocery store might have just found out he has cancer. Never assume, and be patient.
13) Stop expecting for love to work out
This is one of the hardest things on the list, but it’s vital to stop expecting other people to give you what you want in relationships.
All too often, love is not enough…
Sadly, so many things can come up in relationships that sink them before they really have a chance to grow.
Although you shouldn’t expect relationships to work out, you can put your hand on the scale…
This relates back to the unique concept I mentioned earlier: the hero instinct.
When a man feels respected, useful, and needed, he’s more likely to commit.
And the best part is, triggering his hero instinct can be as simple as knowing the right thing to say over a text.
You can learn exactly what to do by watching this simple and genuine video by James Bauer.
14) Stop expecting people to share your interests
There are all sorts of different people out there who are into all sorts of different things.
As someone with fairly intense and specific interests, I’ve had frustration myself over the fact that many people don’t share my interests.
After all, two of my favorite things to talk about are religion and politics: not exactly ideal conversation starters for most people.
The fact is that not everyone – or even most people – are going to share your interests.
That just makes it all the more special when you find some who do.
15) Stop expecting others to be good in bed
Sexual chemistry varies enormously.
A friend of mine said “sex is sex, man,” arguing that it really doesn’t make a big difference.
But it does. And not everyone is going to be good in bed and not everyone is going to enjoy your company in bed.
Or, in some cases they might be just fine – but they’re not a match for you.
Accept it and move on.
16) Stop expecting others to apologize for hurting you
People do horrible things, and they aren’t always sorry about it.
You can’t expect people to be good, responsible or to answer for what they’ve done.
Sometimes you just have to cut ties and watch out for their type in the future.
But waiting on an apology can be completely futile…
“Have you ever internally fumed at someone only to realize they had no idea they hurt or offended you?
“Sometimes even if someone did intend to hurt you, they may have no interest in apologizing.”
17) Stop expecting people to share your goals
It can be awesome to have other people by your side as you chase your dreams.
But not everyone is going to be a potential project partner.
Some people have totally different goals or – more challenging – they could even have goals that are opposed to yours.
Start off every interaction with this understanding and you won’t be let down.
18) Stop expecting other people to make things make sense
Life can be completely confusing.
You think you’ve got it figured out and then it hits you with curveballs you never imagined existed.
That’s not up to other people to decode for you: they’re dealing with life’s shit too!
The best you can do is laugh in the face of the chaos…
19) Stop expecting people to be fair
People do very unfair things. I know I’ve treated many people unfairly.
I’m guessing you have too…
It’s not right, but it’s a fact of life.
And if you expect life and other people to be fair, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment.
“Life isn’t always fair. Sometimes you don’t get the recognition or reward for your hard work; that’s just how it is.
“Learn to be ok with giving something your all and not expecting anything in return.”
20) Stop expecting people to have a healthy lifestyle
There are many different influences in life, from the media to our own parents.
Not all of them are going to promote a healthy lifestyle or give you good advice.
Don’t expect people to have a healthy lifestyle or live up to the way you think is best.
You can still be friends with your fat friend who loves fast food, but you can’t force him or her to stop pigging out at Wendy’s, you can only make a suggestion.
21) Stop expecting other people to fulfill your high expectations
Having high expectations of other people in general is not a good idea.
Because high expectations are only built to be broken.
And you’re playing a fool’s game if you expect people to be more honest, attractive, responsible and fair than they turn out to be.
“Learn to recognize those unrealistic expectations you might have in regard to other people’s behavior and let them go!
“This type of thinking is not good for your health.”
22) Stop expecting people to deal with your financial issues
Almost all of us will get hit with money problems at some time or another and need emergency help like a loan or a delay on a bill.
When this happens there are angels who step up to help.
But don’t expect it.
Doing so can put you in a real bind if nobody ends up being able to help you when the financial shit hits the fan.
23) Stop expecting people to be attracted to you
To some people you’re a supermodel, to others you’re an average or bad looking person.
I do agree that some of us are “better looking” than others, but don’t let that rule your world.
One person’s beauty is another person’s boredom.
Let it flow, and do your best not to judge others on their looks also.
24) Stop expecting people to like you
Some people will like you, some won’t.
I’ve had people love me and I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why. And I’ve had other people hate my guts and look like they want to disembowel me for no reason I could discern.
Don’t focus on it too much.
Other peoples’ opinions of you come and go.
“Being yourself is a battle; one that is hard to always win. If you want everyone to like you, you’ll find yourself in a never-ending war.”
25) Stop expecting people to share your spiritual or religious beliefs
I’m fascinated by what drives people and what they believe.
In modern society, to be honest, I’ve met a lot of people who seem to be nihilists.
They don’t believe in anything and they don’t even disbelieve in anything enough to comment on it.
But I’ve also met Buddhists, evangelicals, Muslims, New Age folks and more…
There’s just no way to predict who I’ll bump into next.
And that keeps things exciting…
26) Stop expecting people to be offended by what you are
There are some things I find really offensive that just don’t bother other people.
It’s a good metric for checking if I’m on the same page as some of them in terms of values…
But it’s not something I go around expecting.
It’s true that you can make broad generalizations about cultures and groups in terms of what’s offensive or not.
But at the end of the day everyone is also still an individual and you can never know quite what to expect in terms of what crosses the line for them or not.
27) Stop expecting other people to be there for you when you’re down
When life hits you hard, there are a few special people who are there for you.
Often it’s your loved ones, partner or closest friends.
But that’s not always the case, as we all know.
The truth is that even friends sometimes fall through and you won’t get far if you expect others to be there for you when the chips are down.
28) Stop expecting other people to change who they are
Not everyone is static, and many people do change.
But expecting them to change is a fool’s game.
This is especially true when you get in a relationship with someone and expect to be able to change them.
I can already tell you that a breakup is on the near horizon.
29) Stop expecting people to be generous
Some people are just downright greedy.
It can cross the line into open exploitation, lies and manipulation.
It’s awful, but it’s not really surprising.
Don’t expect honesty and generosity from everyone, it’s not always going to be there.
30) Stop expecting people to respect you or your needs
There’s a lot of disrespect out there, and sooner or later some is going to come your way.
Plenty of people you cross paths with just won’t care about you in any way.
Don’t expect folks to care about you or what you need. Some do, some don’t.
“Practice self-love by identifying and meeting your own needs, even when that means saying “no” to others.”
Expectations vs. reality
There are many areas of life where we build up expectations and end up suffering for it.
Career, love, big moves to new places, you name it…
The truth is that any time you build up expectations you are setting yourself up to have your hopes dashed.
It’s the same with the people around you.
There are times you’ll be pleasantly surprised and meet someone you want to know better because of their uniqueness, integrity and positive qualities.
But there are just as many times you’ll meet folks you’d rather not see again.
Having standards for the behavior you want in others is great.
But the less expectations you have for other people the more exciting and spontaneous it can be when you meet someone who’s so much more than you ever expected.
Lost Your Sense of Purpose?
In this age of information overload and pressure to meet others’ expectations, many struggle to connect with their core purpose and values. It’s easy to lose your inner compass.
Jeanette Brown created this free values discovery PDF to help clarify your deepest motivations and beliefs. As an experienced life coach and self-improvement teacher, Jeanette guides people through major transitions by realigning them with their principles.
Her uniquely insightful values exercises will illuminate what inspires you, what you stand for, and how you aim to operate. This serves as a refreshing filter to tune out societal noise so you can make choices rooted in what matters most to you.
With your values clearly anchored, you’ll gain direction, motivation and the compass to navigate decisions from your best self – rather than fleeting emotion or outside influences.
Stop drifting without purpose. Rediscover what makes you come alive with Jeanette Brown’s values clarity guide.