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How to Deal with Unmet Expectations Around the Holidays

How to Deal with Unmet Expectations Around the Holidays

We’ve all had to deal with unmet expectations – in big and daily life circumstances. 

We had a picture in our mind of what our life would look like in a particular season, and it hasn’t turned out the way we hoped it might. 

There are days we wake up with an agenda in mind, and nothing goes as planned; we then end up disappointed. 

We expect a friend will be there somehow, but they end up letting us down. 

How to Deal with Unmet Expectations Around the Holidays

Maybe you have unmet expectations in your marriage or relationship with your children. 

There can be countless ways in which we experience disappointment when we experience unmet expectations.

It is ingrained within our human nature to set our hope in what we see around us and grab onto an ideal that might be presented to us on a regular basis in our culture or the church. 

Our lives, relationships, and daily life are supposed to unfold in a certain way. 

We want to settle into the familiar and live in the comfortable and the predictable. 

But that just isn’t how life is, is it? As soon as sin entered the world, everything was altered in every way, and now everything is harder than God ever intended it to be.

Set realistic expectations. Don't expect everything to be perfect. The holidays are not always like the movies. There will be bumps in the road, so it's important to be prepared for them.

Focus on what's important. The holidays are about spending time with loved ones and making memories, not about material things. Don't let your expectations about gifts or other things ruin your holiday spirit.

Be flexible. Things don't always go according to plan, so be flexible and willing to change your plans if necessary.

Communicate with your loved ones. Talk to your family and friends about your expectations for the holidays. This will help to avoid misunderstandings and disappointments.

Take care of yourself. The holidays can be stressful, so it's important to take care of yourself physically and emotionally. Make time for relaxation and stress relief.

Focus on gratitude. Instead of focusing on what you don't have, take some time to appreciate the things you do have.

Give back to others. One of the best ways to deal with unmet expectations is to focus on helping others. Volunteer your time or donate to a cause you care about.

Seek professional help if needed. If you're struggling to cope with unmet expectations, talk to a therapist or counselor. They can help you to develop healthy coping mechanisms.

Here are some additional tips for dealing with specific types of unmet expectations:

If you're disappointed with your gifts: Remember that it's the thought that counts. Appreciate the effort that your loved ones put into choosing your gifts.

If you're disappointed with the holiday festivities: Find ways to create your own traditions that you enjoy.

If you're disappointed with your family or friends: Try to see things from their perspective. They may have their own unmet expectations.

If you're disappointed with yourself: Don't beat yourself up. Everyone makes mistakes.

Remember, the holidays are about love, joy, and peace. Don't let unmet expectations ruin your special time with loved ones.

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