Having high expectations breeds harmful outcomes


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The high expectations of others cause people to feel immensely overwhelming pressure to never make mistakes or falter in anything they do.

Sarah Levenson, Editor-in-Chief

It is human nature to always hope for the best and constantly try to find the bright side of tough situations. However, having such high hopes and expectations for any aspect of life can be extremely difficult to live up to, and it often leads to dangerous risks. 

When people develop high expectations for anything, their spirits come down if or when their dreams fail to become reality. Many would argue that starting out with low expectations is actually a better way to go about life because if their highest desires come true, the satisfaction they get from that unexpected fulfillment is much greater. 

While holding high expectations for particular events or occurrences can get people more excited about what they are anticipating, it can also lead to bigger let downs. It is not ideal to settle for mediocrity by setting the bar low, but doing so is sometimes necessary in order to protect oneself from disappointment. 

This principle should also be applied to simpler parts of life like the weather or making plans with a friend. For example, when the weather forecast instructs people to expect a warm, sunny day, they may put together a pool party for that day. Unfortunately, if the weather suddenly turns cloudy and rainy on that day, as it frequently does, the person who organized the party and all of their guests will feel extremely upset. They might even be angry that they wasted their days solely because something they expected turned out to be false. 

It is also important for people to avoid setting unrealistic expectations for themselves that they are incapable of meeting. Many people, especially teenagers, put excessive amounts of pressure on themselves to work their absolute hardest. When it comes to something like becoming someone who understands algebra in an instant and succeeds in math classes, many students struggle to realize that goals like that are impractical. They can indeed make an effort to study their algebra lessons harder and better, but their brains are only so physically capable of learning, comprehending and retaining algebraic information. 

Another danger of holding high standards comes from parental pressures. Many parents have such high academic and social expectations for their children that they end up undermining them. Whether it is demanding that their child receives no less than straight A’s or that they never get into trouble while going out with friends, some parents put too much pressure on their kids to never make mistakes. Such pressure is unhealthy for young children, and can lead to self-consciousness or mental health issues like depression as it weighs heavily on them and makes them feel like failures. 

Lastly, having high expectations often makes people feel as though they are invincible and nothing unfortunate could ever happen to them. This thinking leads people to gamble or invest large sums of money which they cannot afford to lose, simply because they do not foresee their fortunes turning out poorly. 

Ultimately, such expectations can cause real, crippling damage that can be easily avoided. People should try their best to not get their hopes up and keep their expectations low in order to avoid possible disappointment and struggle in the future, and to sweeten desired outcomes.