Articles: Expectations vs. Reality

Hey guys how are you today we will talk on an article which is about the difference between 
Expectations vs. Reality .

Articles: Expectations vs. Reality

Despite common sense, research shows that people are surprisingly bad at predicting how they will feel in various situations. One study, for example, discovered that newlywed couples tended to estimate that their happiness levels would rise (or at least remain stable) over the four-year period following marriage. 1 In reality, their happiness levels tended to decline over that time period.

According to other studies, lottery winners' happiness levels tend to return to pre-winning levels (or sometimes even below). 2 In fact, while we believe that the ideal job, perfect relationship, or stellar bank account will permanently change our happiness levels, they may only provide us with a temporary boost of joy that is surprisingly fleeting. It appears that our expectations can lead us to believe that our goals will bring us far more than they actually do, and as a result, we frequently pursue the wrong goals. ​

Expectations vs. Reality

The novel "Great Expectations" by Charles Dickens popularised the issue of expectations. Pip, the main character, inherits money from an unknown benefactor. He sees his good fortune as a stepping stone toward marrying the girl of his dreams.

When he realised that the money was not necessarily part of the larger plan, he realised how many important relationships and gifts he had taken for granted in his life. His expectations had robbed him of the ability to fully appreciate his reality.


According to research, we may not fully appreciate what we have when we expect more or compare what we have to what we could have. According to one study, participants who were exposed to a subliminal reminder of wealth spent less time savouring a chocolate bar and enjoyed the experience less than other subjects who were not reminded of wealth. 

This is an intriguing study that can remind us all to savour our chocolate (and lives) more, and perhaps to try not to think about what we don't have. This study, on the other hand, can serve as a reminder of how easy it is to let our thoughts cloud our enjoyment of what we actually have.

How many times have we been so focused on what we wanted that we failed to appreciate what we already had? How often do our expectations for great things lead us to believe that what we have isn't all that great (when there are many people who have less)?

Expectations vs. Reality

Finally, when we expect more than is realistic in a given situation, our expectations can get the best of us. We may expect our partners to live up to what we see in romantic comedies, our jobs to be idealised versions of what we had as children, or even our lives to be like what we see on Instagram.

When our expectations do not match reality, we can experience significant stress. Consider how social media can play a role in this: we compare our own worst moments (those not deemed shareable online) to others' best moments, which are frequently filtered to appear perfect. This mismatched comparison may go unnoticed by us.

Our expectations for our lives may be unrealistic and distorted by what we believe others have. Our understanding of what others have is limited; they do not live the lives we do.

This could be one of the reasons why people who spend more time on social media are less happy.

Verywell's Opinion

It all comes down to awareness if you want to break free from the expectations vs. reality trap. Being aware of what you are expecting is a good place to start. It's also a good idea to become aware of what you "should" be expecting.

When you discover that what is happening is not what you expected, actively seek out the positives in your situation. You might discover that once you get over your disappointment, you have something you didn't realise you wanted. This allows you to be more grateful for what you have.

When you see other people's social media posts and decide you want what you see, remind yourself that this may not be the case. It's great to have an idea of where you want things to go, but keep in mind that what you see isn't always what others are experiencing.

You might be overestimating how happy you'll be once you get what you want.

For example, if you work a job you despise in order to save enough money to buy a nice car or clothes, you may find that your happiness is fleeting.

Take time to appreciate what you have. It's fine to want more, but you'll have a much better time in life if you appreciate what you already have. Savoring what you have is a great way to increase your joy in life.

Don't beat yourself up if you're disappointed; instead, compare yourself to others who have less, not more. Better yet, avoid comparing yourself to others in general. The only person you should compete with is yourself.

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