Want to avoid disappointment? Ask, don’t expect

People are disappointing. Really. I mean it.

I think this is more of a comment on the one who’s disappointed than on the one who’s doing the disappointing.

That’s confusing. Let me put it another way: If you find yourself disappointed by someone, it’s probably your fault. See, in order for someone to disappoint you, you first have to appoint them to some sort of position from which they can fall. You have to set an expectation.

Your expectations seem completely reasonable to you. That’s why you have them. Only reasonable or not, your expectations are setting you up to be disappointed, and setting your relationships up to fail.

There seems to be a pathological aversion to asking going on around here. “I don’t want to seem needy,” my therapy patients tell me.

Asking is how we let others know what we want and need. It gives others direction on how they can be giving to us. It’s straightforward and honest. Is that being needy? Well, you do have needs, don’t you? I mean, isn’t that what causes you to expect in the first place?

Ask, don’t expect.