There is a saying in AA:
Expectations are Premeditated Resentments.
If you have feelings of resentment, you can almost always look back and find unrealized expectations that led to the resentment.
Being frustrated and resentful inhibits our ability to think logically and clearly.
It pushes us to a place where we say things like:
“This isn’t fair.”
“This isn’t what I wanted.”
You may be 100% right – and that won’t change your feelings.
What will help is looking back and recognizing how your expectations got you to where you are.
What I find (especially when working with couples), is that the expectations were never clearly shared with their partner so there could be some discussion and agreement.
If that isn’t a plan for failure, I don’t know what is.
There are lots of expectations this time of year.
Share your expectations with others. Let them know what you expect from them and have a conversation about expectations and where the two can meet.
Instead of dreading the holidays or certain aspects of them, figure out what will make them special for you and then share those expectations with those who have key relationships with you.
You will find yourself much more satisfied and happy after all the gifts are exchanged, the games played and the food eaten.