Dealing With “Expectation Hangovers”

 

If you’ve been following me on social media, you know how obsessed I’ve been with Christine Hassler lately.  Christine is a truly gifted life coach who helps you move through the pain of your past and step into your authentic self in a loving and compassionate way. Just listening to one of her Podcasts and I was like, “AHA that’s why I do that. That’s where that comes from”. Really transformative stuff. That’s why I chose to focus on healing this month. It’s so important to identify where certain behaviors or thoughts come from and heal them so you can go out into the world and live your life the way you want to.

This is especially important work when it comes to relationships. So many of the relationships we attract into our lives come from either a wound not healed or something we were lacking growing up. In order to create those healthy, happy relationships we desire we have to really figure out why we keep attracting the same type of men.

Aside from listening to her podcasts and reading her blogs, I also started reading her book Expectation Hangover. I literally can’t put it down. In the next couple of weeks, I’ll be sharing some insights in the book of how to move through the healing process. But for now, I wanted to share with you what an Expectation Hangover is, how to identify it and what are some of the typical coping mechanisms of how people handle unwanted emotions.

Ok, let’s start with what an Expectation Hangover is. Christine says that an Expectation Hangover is “The myriad of undesirable feelings, thoughts and responses present when one or a combination of the following thing occurs: Things don’t turn out the way you thought, planned, or wanted them to. Things do turn out according to your plans and desires, but you don’t feel the fulfillment you expected. You are unable to meet your personal and/or professional expectations. An undesired, unexpected event occurs that is in conflict with what you wanted or planned.”

Oh, man, have I had some serious Expectation Hangovers!

There are three categories of Expectation Hangovers.

Situational-“These occur when something does not turn out the way we wanted or we do not get the anticipated satisfaction from achieving the result.”

Interpersonal- “Occurs when we are let down by someone else or unpleasantly surprised by the actions of another.”

Self-imposed- “Occurs when we do not live up to the standards or goals we have set for ourselves. In other words, we are disappointed in ourselves and the results we’ve achieved or failed to achieve.”

Symptoms of Expectation Hangovers can include lack of motivation, depression, anxiety, regret, physical discomfort, confusion, irritability self-judgment, denial, addictive behavior, lethargy, anger, shame, guilt, poor work performance, diminished creativity, strained relationships, faith crisis and social withdrawal.

Oh yes, all of the pleasant ones.

When we feel any of the above things we want to quickly go to our coping mechanisms. Those could include distraction (keeping busy), numbing the pain (alcohol, food, watching reruns of Friends for hours), being strong (pushing through it and therefore pushing aside learning and healing), pep talks (putting pressure on yourself to get out of this funk as quickly as possible) the next best thing (moving to a new city, buying a new car, jumping into a new relationship), and spiritual bypass (jumping immediately to the blessings of the situation without doing any of the work).

Yup, definitely have done a few if not all of those too.  So if you’re feeling pretty bad about yourself right now, know you’re not alone.

But there are so many amazing lessons we can learn from our Expectation Hangovers! Some that she talks about in the book include control is an illusion (it is?!?!), your comfort zone is a trap (oh crap), happiness isn’t “out there” (it comes from inside of you) and you’re not being punished (this is happening for you not to you).

Wow! Those are some serious lessons to learn and an Expectation Hangover is going to help you learn them.

So my question to you is when have you had an Expectation Hangover in your life? What were your go-to coping mechanisms? What were the emotions you felt? What were some of the behaviors you exhibited? What did the Expectation Hangover teach you? How did it help you become the person you are today?

Journal your responses and see what comes up for you. I would love to hear from you so feel free to leave a comment or email me sharing what you learned.

xo Jen

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