Do you like helping others? Do you expect something in return? Do you ever get frustrated when people don’t pay kindness back? If your answers are “yes”, then this episode will definitely help you manage your expectations so that you don’t feel disappointed from now on!
What you’ll discover
- How to fight disappointment when doing something good for others;
- What do other people think when you do something for them;
- Why do we expect something from others;
- How to arrange our expectations.
- Do you know that feeling when a person lets you down? When you expect something from a person, but it doesn’t happen? Of course, you do. How often do those disappointments happen to you? Do you think it will stop someday and everything will be fine and fair? It won’t stop! People will always let you down. Are they bad? No. It’s because of your perception. It’s not because people are bad. It’s because of the way you treat different situations.
- It is a common practice, that if you do something, you will get something in return. Society tells us that we should do good things, and we will be rewarded for that; treat others the way that we want to be treated, and it’s a good approach. By doing that, we make this world better! Such an approach forces us to do good things up front. But the problem is that we often get a reward from the source we don’t expect, or we are rewarded too late. And this is the main reason for our disappointment.
- But why do we expect that from other people? Why by doing something good, we expect that the person will pay us back? Actually, we have more than one reason to think like that.
- When a person asks you something, it’s the same as a person is signing some kind of contract that he or she has to pay back.
- It’s a common practice to think that a person will behave the way you expect. For instance, if I help to open a door for someone, I expect to hear “thank you” in return.
- If you don’t have the agreement, why do you think that a person will do what you expect? Why do you think that? Do you think that the person can read your mind? Do you think that all the people around you apply the same rules to their lives? Or do you think they noticed and counted everything good you did to them? Do you understand that different people think differently, not like you, way more different than you? Of course, you could be synchronized with some of your friends on some specific topic, but we are all different. And that’s why this world is so colourful and interesting.
- When accepting a favour, some people think, “Someday, I will give it back when I have such an opportunity.” But the person doesn’t recognize such opportunities. So, that recipient understands that s/he have got favour and thinks that someday s/he will return it, but that day never comes.
- Sometimes, a person doesn’t notice that s/he have received something, and thinks that there’s no need to pay it back. For instance, during one conversation you listened to a lot of complaints from a person, and then you gave some advice. It wasn’t interesting for you to listen to all of that, but you spent your time and energy and gave a piece of advice. But the recipient was very immersed in his/her feelings and walked away going on complaining and finding new listeners. So, you’ve become one of the elements in the chain of listeners, or your doings were just not useful for the person, even if you are confident that you’ve brought a big value.
- There may be a case when the recipient didn’t ask you for the favour, and even if you gave something, he or she thinks that your help is your problem.
- Often people don’t think the same way as you are. How to save yourself from such misunderstandings in the future? You should arrange your expectations upfront with a person, or not expect anything in return at all. Otherwise, you…
The task for the next week
- Step one. Recall two different cases from your life when you did something good to another person but didn’t receive anything good in return, and it hurt you somehow.
- The second step. Imagine: what would be the best arrangement in a similar situation? How should the deal look like?
- The third step. Analyze whether you have cases right now when you give something to another person. How can you save yourself from negative emotions in the future if the person will turn his/her back on you? Decide: should you make an arrangement, or should you accept the future when you’ll get nothing from the person like you did nothing good?