So this seems to be a central theme in my life. I seem to be always disappointed by the people around me, whether they are friends, colleagues, potential mates or family (less so). I've always been brought up to have very high standards of behaviour towards others including courtesy, kindness, going out of my way to help them, but I feel like people never treat me in a way that I expect. I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels this way and I have tried to read up this on other sites and seen so many others say the same. People say not to have expectations, but how can you live in a world where you feel that people are always letting you down and not get hurt? Someone has suggested repeating the mantra "people do, as people do" and that's helpful to a certain extent. I have worked a lot on not having expectations and giving without wishing to receive from the same person and I have made some improvements, but I "can't help" feeling the pang of hurt sometimes when I have gone out of my way to help someone when they have for example been sick and unwell, but that when the situation is reversed not a word for them as to how I'm doing! I don't want to stop being who I am, but how can I overcome the feelings of hurt. Perhaps it is a reflection of my overall disappointment of the world.

asked 20 Feb '15, 05:47

Inner%20Beauty's gravatar image

Inner Beauty

Paraphrasing from various sources:

"Everything you perceive is a reflection of yourself."

Robert Smith (FasterEFT) says that if someone pushes your buttons or triggers any unwanted emotional response it just means that you have that trigger inside of you. So it's not the other person, it's the references that you have inside.

I've seen examples of that really clearly with my wife and me. Sometimes we are talking to other people and for example she gets angry or offended at something they do or say and I didn't even register it. And then on another occasion it's reversed and I'm the one that reacts.

After we analyze it, we just realize that each of us have different references (memories, stories, etc) so we are triggered by different things. So ultimately it's not about other people it's about ourselves and what we carry inside. If how others acted was intrinsically bad everyone would react in the same way.

Currently every time that I discover something like a limiting belief, a trigger from other people, etc I try to see it as a positive thing. Others are just reminding me and making me aware of what I have inside and if I don't like it I can change it. If it's something major I think something like: "If I'm able to be content and I have this major issue, how much better is my life going to get now that I'm aware of it and it's going to get cleared?". So I now for the most part enjoy discovering those things, because I know my mood is going to get even better.

As an specific advice regarding your question, apart from clearing whatever comes up with any of the techniques you probably know is to apply The Work by Katie Byron.

Here's a small booklet she offers for free. But I really recommend you read her book Loving What Is. I had it and "wanted" it to read for about 3 years but at the same time had this weird resistance to it. I finally got to reading it last year and it really helped me change.

One of the easiest things to apply that I got out of it was to realize that if I thought anything with a "should" or "shouldn't" I was basically keeping myself from being happier. Ex: "X person should communicate more"

  1. Is not my business how X behaves, and I can't do anything about that.
  2. I CAN do something about my reaction to it
  3. With a "should/shouldn't" statement what you're basically saying is that you would be happy/happier if something changed. Can you know for a fact, a 100% certainty that you would be happier if that happened?. Think for a second about people that are not bothered by this problematic person (for example I'm being triggered but my wife isn't). That helps me to realize that I'm the one believing the should/shouldn't story, I'm the one conditioning my own happiness, and if I hadn't had that I would be just as happy/free/etc as my wife in that situation.
  4. And then I'd do the work on the original statement and the one in point 3. Eg: I would be happy if X communicated more".

Give it a try if you feel like it and let me know how it goes. Hope it helps.


answered 20 Feb '15, 11:36

Kriegerd's gravatar image


Thank you so much @Kriegerd. I definitely needed to be reminded of all this. I guess I just assume that everyone would react the same to the situations that trigger me and that of course a person would be offended if.... The example of yourself and your wife is very helpful.

(20 Feb '15, 17:16) Inner Beauty

I guess though sometimes when we share hurts with our families or friends of similar culture or background the idea that a certain behaviour is 'wrong' is reinforced e.g.they also agree that the other person has done the wrong thing, rather than us working on the trigger and why it's caused. So less sharing is probably the right thing and also making sure that one is not taking on other's judgements that people as you say "should" or "shouldn't" be a certain way. Thanks again!

(20 Feb '15, 17:19) Inner Beauty

:-). Happy to help @Inner Beauty. The thing with my wife still amazes me. It's really helpful to see when I'm in the middle of something and she's completely unaffected by it hehe. Or the other way around, it's easier to help someone when you can recognize that everyone is doing everything to themselves and not a "real thing".

After reading the book I started making a big list of statements, beliefs, thoughts, shoulds, etc. It really opens you up, even things you would assume as true..

(20 Feb '15, 18:51) Kriegerd

Things like "there shouldn't be war in the world", "people should be more loving", etc.

That doesn't mean that I support war, etc, it just a matter of releasing the attachments to the stories, accepting what is happening and removing self-imposed conditions to being happy.

Of course, it's a process. I'm just happy to be able to catch myself during those trances and little by little clear them up as they come :-).

(20 Feb '15, 18:59) Kriegerd
showing 2 of 4 show 2 more comments

I know this feeling very well and struggled with it a lot. One thing that gives me relief whenever I feel disappointed by someone because they didn't react like I expected them to do, is to focus on their positive sides. Even if it is only one positive thing about this person, focus on that and ignore all the other aspects. It sounds quite impossible first, but it gives me some relief. Hope this helped.


answered 21 Feb '15, 08:31

spacemetalfantasy's gravatar image


Thank you @spacemetalfantasy - interesting name by the way - that is a good practice. Will try it more often.

(21 Feb '15, 19:22) Inner Beauty

@Inner Beauty I wanted to add something that helped me change my reaction towards situation like those. I realized that I ONLY hurt myself and really only myself by allowing disappointment. I unconsciously believed that, when I react disappointed by other's people behavior, I could change their behavior, because when they saw or noticed how disappointed I was (even in a subtle way), they wouldn't continue doing it, wouldn't they? Of course, they don't change and in the end I found...

(22 Feb '15, 08:11) spacemetalfantasy
1 excellent method to (unconsciously) bring pain into my life... Something I was used to because of the experiences of my childhood. I think it also was a way to not allow myself to be happy and live a lucky life. But as soon as I gave myself allowance to be happy no matter what others do, things changed. There are still moments when I feel disappointed, but I have the power to consciously choose my reaction.

(22 Feb '15, 08:16) spacemetalfantasy

Thank you again @spacemetalfantasy. I can see exactly what you're saying. It may be that I'm hoping that these people will pity me or feel sorry for me somehow because of how they have behaved towards me, but it's never happened before! The thing is that of course they never will because I would never tell them I was hurt. I probably would only unsuccessfully hint at it as you say. I realise that self-pity is very destructive. I have to give it the boot!

(22 Feb '15, 17:23) Inner Beauty
showing 2 of 4 show 2 more comments

Dear Inner Beauty, You may have noticed that we are living in one of those periods of history where human consciousness is being awakened to a new level of awareness. This 'consciousness raising' is all a part of the process that we, as souls, must endure in order to evolve. Many who chose to incarnate during this period of awakening, conscious raising, enlightenment, or whatever else you would like to call it, did so, because they are qualified to assist others through this ordeal.

Regardless of whatever earthly occupation you might have to endure, your primary reason for being here might be to be a teacher, healer, coach, aide or advisor. Anyone who crosses your path throughout your life is potentially a student. These might be friends, relatives, work associates, social acquaintances, or a waitress at your favorite restaurant, to name a few. These teacher souls have been prepared to accomplish this task in a manner best suited to each individual and whenever opportunities present themselves. At times, they might have to give a lecture. Other times, they might need to set an example, offer some advice or lend a helping hand. Even a simple act of kindness, during a brief moment in time might effectively influence the conscious state of another, launching them into a 'higher' dimension so to speak, or at least pointing them in the right direction.

Based on the content of this post and a number of your other questions and answers, I would suggest, Inner Beauty, that you may be one of those souls that is here out of a desire to be a such a teacher. Your heart seems to be in the right place. It may even be your "soul" purpose for being here at this time. The fact that you spend time in this virtual 'faculty' meeting room frequented by teachers and students alike is another indication as well. If that is the case, then I can certainly sympathize with you.

There are, however, some rather undesirable 'side effects' (for lack of a better term) that you will have to endure if you are to avoid the pitfalls of despair that often arise when we endeavor to teach others. The first thing you will have to determine is if in fact, you are one of those souls with a desire to teach or enlighten others in the grand effort to raise the collective consciousness of this human civilization. Consider this as a very real possibility. This does not mean you do not have other reasons as well. The idea that we have only one purpose in life may be true for some. Most of us, however, are multitasking our way to fulfill a number of purposes. The realization that you are here primarily as a teacher (a sort of spirit guide in the flesh), will alter the way you perceive the events and the circumstances that arise each time you endeavor to convey those bits of 'wisdom' to others.

A kind person who helps a friend in need when they are sick may be a good person but is likely to be disappointed when the favor is not returned. It is a reasonable expectation to have. The teacher soul, however, has no need for such expectations. Their only concern is that they give what is needed to each particular student at that particular moment. For instance, you showed by your example, what a person might do when another is sick and in need of assistance. Maybe the person learned from your example. Maybe not. Those who cross your path want to learn. They want to grow as souls.

You need to understand, however, that they may have to live many lifetimes before they evolve to your level of soul maturity. Helping them to get there is why you do the things you do for them. When you come to this realization, you will no long have a need to attach expectations to your acts of kindness since your purpose is not in the particular act. You are not actually helping a friend who is ill. Rather, you are teaching a friend how to show kindness and compassion towards others when they are ill.

As a teacher, you do what you can for each pupil, and then release them without expectation of any sort of appreciation for your efforts. That is not why you do what you do. That does not mean you are not appreciated! You did what you could for this person when the opportunity presented itself. Your only concern now is to stay focused and ready for the next student and the next opportunity to teach that comes along, and then Repeat, Repeat, Repeat.

I do understand, however, that I may be wrong about your personal reasons for being here at this time, in which case, feel free to disregard all of the above and I would only suggest that you continue working on not having expectations.:) Either way, I hope this helps.


answered 22 Feb '15, 12:26

i4cim2b's gravatar image


edited 22 Feb '15, 12:37

@i4cim2b. Thank you so much for your kind and insightful answer. Yes, I can quite see how seeing oneself in the role of wanting to always set an example (or teach as you put it) can be very helpful. It allows you to be who you truly want to be without being brought down by expectations or petty concerns. I don't really see myself in a place where I can necessarily be teaching others, but it is a wonderful thing to be striving for. Thanks again. This response has really opened my mind.

(22 Feb '15, 17:16) Inner Beauty

your words show expectations
of a return and when not
you have fantasy become
your broken reality


answered 21 Feb '15, 05:39

fred's gravatar image


I'll stop fantasising Fred! :-) The only thing is aren't we supposed to be holding in our minds an ideal reality? For me it would be where kindness is returned with kindness and everyone cares about each other.

(21 Feb '15, 06:19) Inner Beauty

inner beauty, much of the world is just not there yet, taking them longer to see. the action (yours) is that believed right to the best of your knowing irregardless of return. a reason unconditional is so

(21 Feb '15, 11:02) fred

thank you @fred. You are so right. Always words of wisdom.

(21 Feb '15, 19:16) Inner Beauty
showing 2 of 3 show 1 more comments

simple because you are disappointed in your self. stop seeking outside and seek inside. once this is solved and that you can be happy and content from your self . then you can be happy and content also on the outside. yes on the outside there is some people not to that stage yet and they will continue to disappoint you it is part of the game as they say. have mercy on them every one is at a learning stage. help them if you can and do not expect anything from them. you do not have to do anything you hate to be look by other as someone good also. because then you are not being good to your self and will not be good to other.

you said it your self:

but I "can't help" feeling the pang of hurt sometimes when I have gone out of my way to help someone when they have for example been sick and unwell, but that when the situation is reversed not a word for them as to how I'm doing! I don't want to stop being who I am, but how can I overcome the feelings of hurt. Perhaps it is a reflection of my overall disappointment of the world.

so you do to much for them or think that you are doing to much for them and view them as not doing enough for you or you think that they do not do enough for you.

then why not find the correct balance so that you do what you can for them with out thinking that you are doing to much? it would be a start to correct your balance and view on things.

remember this one: Do not tell lies, and do not do what you hate.


answered 21 Feb '15, 06:56

white%20tiger's gravatar image

white tiger

@White Tiger - thank you so much. Yes, I agree. I guess the reason I do more than I want to, is that I've been brought up with the religious ideal that "sacrifice" is a good thing. Give of yourself for others, even if you don't feel you want to.. that this is a good thing to do as a human being.

(21 Feb '15, 19:19) Inner Beauty

@inner beauty is a sacrifice to help other good if it does not help you or them? if you do to much for them and they do to less for you does it help you or them? you see when you do enough for you and they do enough for them with no imbalance then all is well. you cannot make other do more for you and they cannot make you do more for them. each one is responsible of is own free will. extreme always bring thing on the opposite side. find your proper balance and you shall not fall.

(09 Apr '15, 18:06) white tiger

and if you fall learn from the experience so you do not make the same mistake. you see it is not about a do or don't do since you are the one making the decision. it is more on the level of what you do and they do and finding a proper balance. yet I tell you all ready often people always ask more of other then them self. be merciful to them with understanding of where they are at since you also have been there.

(09 Apr '15, 18:10) white tiger
showing 2 of 3 show 1 more comments
Click here to create a free account

If you are seeing this message then the Inward Quest system has noticed that your web browser is behaving in an unusual way and is now blocking your active participation in this site for security reasons. As a result, among other things, you may find that you are unable to answer any questions or leave any comments. Unusual browser behavior is often caused by add-ons (ad-blocking, privacy etc) that interfere with the operation of our website. If you have installed these kinds of add-ons, we suggest you disable them for this website



Asked: 20 Feb '15, 05:47

Seen: 785 times

Last updated: 09 Apr '15, 18:13

Follow this question

By Email:

Once you sign in you will be able to subscribe for any updates here



Answers and Comments

Markdown Basics

  • *italic* or _italic_
  • **bold** or __bold__
  • link:[text]( "title")
  • image?![alt text](/path/img.jpg "title")
  • numbered list: 1. Foo 2. Bar
  • to add a line break simply add two spaces to where you would like the new line to be.
  • basic HTML tags are also supported

Related Questions