How to Deal with Expectations

Expectations- This can really go a couple of different ways. One, you can set your own expectations on yourself and feel like you are failing yourself, and constantly beating yourself up. Two, you can put expectations onto others. Three, you can have expectations put onto you by other people. So, in the world of expectations, it can be slightly overwhelming.

So, How does all of that fit into life after trauma?

Setting Expectations on Ourselves.

This is a tricky one. But, we need to remember life after trauma isn’t going to look the same as it did before. Before we go to bed, we might be feeling on top of the world and set all of these expectations of what we will get done the next day. However, the next day rolls around and we are feeling debilitated and unable to get out of bed. We then start playing this movie in our head about what is wrong with me and begin to beat ourselves up even more. Lowering the only self-esteem that we have left.

Setting Expectations for Others.

When I started into trauma counseling, I didn’t even know this was a thing. I surely didn’t think that I would be “that” person. But, I was. When I was having a bad day, I would expect my husband to act a certain way. When it didn’t happen I would become enraged. “How could he do this to me, It’s like he doesn’t even care.” The problem was, he didn’t know what to do. I never explained to him on a good day, if this happens please do this. But in reality, I didn’t even know what I wanted. I just didn’t want what was happening.

I would actually start to judge people by how they were not doing what I thought they should be doing. It took a long while to remove that judgment piece from my thought pattern. (I’ll be honest I still sometimes catch myself.) Communication is key.

Having Others Expectations on Us.

This is hard, because, out of all of them. This is the one we can’t change. We just have to learn to deal and cope with it. Like I mentioned before life after trauma isn’t the same. But the problem is, that people have a hard time understanding that. They can’t physically see anything wrong with us, so we should still be doing and acting the same way. When we don’t people often start to judge you, call you names, and start leaving you out of things. This doesn’t help the whole part of judging ourselves. Let’s be honest, we don’t need any help in that department.

So What can we do?

  1. Release those expectations on yourself- just like an affirmation, you tell yourself that you set no expectations on yourself and you will do what you can.
  2. Release the Judgement- I know easier said than done. Try to catch yourself if you feel like you are setting an expectation onto someone, and tell yourself you release any and all expectations.
  3. Communication- This is so important. Communication not only with yourself but others around you. This applies to all 3 types of expectations. If you don’t like the way someone is judging you or setting expectations for you. Tell them how you feel, and what you can do.

I know this isn’t easy, as it has taken me many years to go through this, and I still struggle some days. Practice is key, I promise you it does get easier.

Did you know, that all week we are posting about expectations? We talk about expectations and communication and nutrition. We also do a live every Wednesday. where you can join in on the conversation. Be sure to check out our private Facebook group for survivors!   Be sure to check out our Upcoming Events page for the latest events and programs!

Note: We are not Therapists, Registered Counsellors, Psychologists, and or Medical doctors. We are survivors ourselves, who offer support groups and services that help complement traditional therapies and medications. At no time are we providing a diagnosis or making medical recommendations. It is always recommended you speak with a Health Care Professional before making any changes.

If you are in immediate danger please contact your nearest Crisis Center and or dial 911 immediately.


I am Jenna, a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and Mindfulness Meditation Coach by day, and a Meditator, DIY Queen by night. Superhero mother of 4 boys (2 of which are my dog and husband). I love a good board game and some essential oils.

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