Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

The Harsh Reality of High Expectations

If you’re someone who has persistently high expectations, you’ve probably heard phrases that go more or less like: You need to realize no one is going to put in the effort you do. You need to get your head out of the clouds. You need to be realistic. People tend to think that those who have constantly high expectations are, for one reason or another, blissfully unaware of reality. We’re living in La La Land, somewhere where things are expected to always turn out perfectly. But this just isn’t true. If you’re someone with high expectations, chances are that you’re fully aware of it. 

And the reality of this knowledge kind of sucks. A lot.

When you’re someone who has constant high expectations, you usually find yourself getting let down. Frequently. And that really sucks. A lot.  

Now, why is this? I guess you could say, in part, because you’re an idealist. You want things to work out, and can’t help but imagine how much greater your life will be after you ace that interview, make that new bestie, or win over that cute guy from English class. And then, as all people with high expectations do, you project these wants and fantasies onto others. You begin to expect them to act in a way that’s going to make things work out best for you. And when others’ words or actions don’t meet up with what you were hoping, you often end up disappointed. Sad. Angry.  

Image via Buzzfeed

So what’s the worst part of this all? It’s that you know darn well that your own idea of what “should” be is precisely what set you up to this frustration in the first place. It becomes an inner battle between Why should I have to lower my standards to accommodate for someone else? and I know what I’m expecting can be too much to ask for all in one give. On one hand, you’re upset that things — or people — didn’t turn out how you oh so excitedly imagined. On the other hand, you’re upset at yourself for not having seen this coming yet again. 

And what are you supposed to do about it? I wish I had the answer, but that’s still something I am searching for myself, collegiettes. But we can say this much: cut yourself some slack. The only thing worse than others constantly telling you that you have high expectations is how much you beat yourself up for knowing it. Give yourself some wiggle room and voice your feelings and expectations whenever you’re let down. And, above all, remember that nobody is perfect, and that includes yourself. 

Sociology major at UC Santa Barbara. Passions include: Taylor Swift, fashion, FRIENDS, chocolate, Snapchat and sassy t-shirts.
Similar Reads👯‍♀️