Expectations: Can Childhood Trauma Cause Someone To Have ‘Negative’ Expectations?

It has been said that someone shouldn’t have any expectations; however, it has also been said that having expectations is simply part of the human experience. If they are simply part of the human experience, it is not going to be possible to remove all expectations.

So, if someone was to try to remove them, they would be wasting their precious time and energy. Furthermore, there are going to be the expectations that someone is aware of and there are going to be those that they are not aware of.

Two Levels

Therefore, even if one was to say that they had no expectations before having a certain experience, there are still going to be those that are running at a deeper level. What is taking place at a deeper level will also shape the experience that they have.

When it comes to describing what an expectation is, it could be said that it will be something that one is completely certain about. There is then no doubt that this will be something that will happen.


Now, if someone was to take a step back and to reflect on their own life, they may see that they have a number of ‘negative’ expectations. As was stated above, these will be things that they are certain will happen.

The reason why what they expect will have such a big effect on how they experience of life is that they are not merely an observer of their reality. What is taking place inside them is co-creating their external world.

Two Parts

This means that one is observing their own creation, with their creation being the result of what is taking place in both their conscious and unconscious mind. If they only had a conscious mind, having the right thoughts would allow them to create the life that they desire.

Yet, as what is taking place up top is just one part of the equation, purely focusing on their mind is not going to allow them to do this. This is why the law of attraction doesn’t always work.

A Deeper Look

Anyway, if one was to make a list of their ‘negative’ expectations, they could find that they have some, if not all, of the following:

• That they expect to be treated badly

• That they expect to be left

• That they expect to be ignored

• That they expect to be rejected

• That they expect to be harmed

• That they expect to be walked over

• That they expect to be put down

• That they expect to be criticised

• That they expect to be humiliated

The Next Step

Once they have got an idea of what some of their ‘negative’ expectations are, they might end up looking for a way to do something about them. If they were to do this, this could be a time when they are told to replace their ‘negative’ expectations with ‘positive’ expectations.

To do this, they might be encouraged to be mindful, so to start observing their mind and to notice when they have ‘negative’ expectations. They will then be able to replace an expectation from one end of the spectrum with an expectation from the other end.

A Process

Thanks to their awareness and applying what they have learned, their life will gradually change as the weeks and months go by. There could soon come a point in time when they will look back on how their life was, and due to how different their life is, find it hard to relate to it.

Then again, they may find that this approach doesn’t work or that it doesn’t have a lasting effect. One way to look at this would be to say that one just needs to keep going and, soon enough, they will experience the results that they desire.

Getting To the Root

Another way of looking at this would be to say that they need to deal with what is taking place at a deeper level in order for their life to truly change. For this to take place, one will need to take a closer look into why they have these ‘negative’ expectations.

Ultimately, it is unlikely that these simply appeared out of nowhere; there is going to be a reason why one has them. There is the chance that they are a consequence of what took place during their early years.

Back In Time

This may have been a time when they were abused and/or neglected on a weekly, if not daily, basis. The expectations that they have as an adult will be seen as ‘negative,’ but at this stage of their life, they were merely a reflection of reality.

Underneath the expectations that they have will be the pain that they experienced all those years ago. Simply dealing with the consequences of what took place won’t deal with the original pain that goes with it.


A lot of this pain, pain that will be an effect on their developmental needs not being met, will need to be cried out. Through engaging in this process, one is likely to find that their ‘negative’ expectations start to fall away.


If one can relate to this, and they are ready to take the next step, they may need to reach for external support. This is something that can take place with the assistance of a therapist or healer.

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