This Is The ‘Adult’ Way To Set Your Expectations As A 20something

Bianca Hofman
Bianca Hofman is a Dutch ultrashort-story writer, based in Barcelona, Spain. She writes super short stories about dating, culture and career. But who is Morris? Morris is Bianca’s imaginary muse, her yin, her alter ego, whatever you want to call him. "Y" means "And" in Spanish, in case you didn’t know. Yes, Bianca&Morris. Bianca has a passionate relationship with the city she lives in. Together with her sister she founded Barcelona Hofman, a flash fiction collaboration. The sisters launched Barcelona Hofman, May 2016, with an exposition during the open art gallery weekend in Barcelona. Facebook: Instagram: Twitter: @biancaymorris and @Bianca_Hofman

You still don’t have that dream job you’d expected to have by now? Do you expect your lover will do something romantic for Valentine’s Day? Do you expect your bestie will always be there for you, because you are always there for her?

Dare to question your expectations.

First of all, what is an expectation? There are a couple of different meanings:

  • The strong belief that something will happen or be the case;
  • The strong belief that someone will act in a certain way;
  • Anticipating with confidence of fulfillment;
  • Something looked forward to, whether feared or hoped for.

Expectations can help us to reach our goals. For example, a teacher who expects you to succeed, because he or she believes in your talent, can push you forward.

Expectations can also help you to assess a situation or people you meet. They are also often tied to needs. You respect of your loved ones, and vice versa. It is your right to expect that.

Yet, certain expectations can complicate your life.

They cause unnecessary disappointment and too much pressure. Underlying expectations when we help others, ones that we’re often unaware of, can cause many problems as well. Let’s be honest. When you help a colleague with a presentation, do you expect he or she helps you out next time or did you help your colleague only because it made you feel good?

It is good to question your expectations once in a while. Where do they come from — yourself, family, friends, colleagues, social media or society? Why do you have them and are these expectations helping you?

Or imagine you still haven’t found the dream job you’d expected. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t recommend sticking to an awful job, but it could help to ask yourself: What do I expect from a job and why? Why do I have these expectations? Do I compare myself to others, with whom and does this help you to move forward, or does it only frustrate and paralyze you?

Ask yourself questions when expectations pop up in your head. What do you expect of your family, friends, lover, yourself and why? Do you really need a surprise on Valentine’s Day? Does your bestie really need to pick up the phone in the middle of the night? Do you really have to work in that company to be successful in life? Don’t hang onto expectations that work against you.

When you have questioned your expectations, set some new ones and maybe delete a couple. But be clear about them. You can have a lot of expectations, but expecting that people can read your mind shouldn’t be one of them.

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