Reframing favours: expectation vs. appreciation

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One surefire way to be disappointed in life is to have unrealistic expectations… of others. Let’s look at how to change your expectations into appreciation.

Scenario 1:

You’re going about your day, planning what you need to do and where you need to go, and think, “Hey! My friend has a car. I don’t have a car. Seems perfectly reasonable that they drive me around, right?” Then your mind is BLOWN when they either don’t want to or can’t.

You’re upset.

Scenario 2:

You’re going about your day, planning what you need to do and where you need to go while having a casual conversation with a friend via text. They realize you’re catching a bus in the same direction they’re headed and ask, “Hey! I’m going in that direction, want a ride?”


In the first scenario, you considered how others could benefit you and were disappointed. In the second scenario, you expected nothing and were pleasantly surprised.

What’s the difference?

If you expect favours, you may be disappointed when people don’t line up at your doorstep to please you. Alternatively, when you expect to take care of yourself and someone unexpectedly helps out, it’s a treat.

Hold up.

You might be thinking, “Sure Jill Tea, easy for you to say…you HAVE a car.” But I’m not actually talking about cars here, I’m talking about favours in general. Someone will always have opportunities and things you don’t – it doesn’t mean they’re obligated to ensure others reap the benefits. If it’s so important to you, help yourself and buy that thing. If that’s not possible, embrace your own lifestyle within reason.

Isn’t that selfish?

No. When people appreciate you, they’ll often offer support unprompted. Some people are even less likely to help those who expect favours rather than those who appreciate them as they come. It doesn’t mean they don’t like you – it might just mean it’s inconvenient. And that’s okay.

What if I’m like… dying?

Should you NEVER ask for favours again? No. Sometimes we need to ask for help. When someone who asks very little of others does ask for help, that’s a favour, not a burden.

So next time you’re considering how others can benefit you, consider expecting favours sparingly, while appreciating them liberally.

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