Difference Between Expectations and Reality

Expectations vs Reality

Between our expectations in life and the reality, there is a clear cut difference. Expectations are those that we consider as possible and likely to occur. These are our beliefs, hopes and dreams for the future. People can have numerous expectations concerning their lives, such as to educate one’s self, to be employed in a prestigious organization, to lead a beautiful life with a family, etc. The reality, on the other hand, is the state of things as they are. Reality includes everything around us, those that can be seen and those that cannot be seen. It includes our views, attitudes, life, those who surround us and almost every aspect. This highlights that expectations and reality are two different states. This article attempts to highlight the key differences between expectations and reality.

What are Expectations?

Expectations can be defined as those that are regarded as likely to happen. As human beings, we are full of expectations for the future. These are what we consider as our future and our realizations for the future. When a person has very high expectations for himself, there is a greater possibility for him to be disappointed if these are not met. For example, a student who has very high expectations of entering a prestigious university will be crushed if he fails to meet this expectation. However, if the individual has very low expectations, there is less possibility for him to be disappointed. Also, if the individual expectation is far away from the realities of his life, it will be difficult for him to achieve them.

People not only have expectations for themselves but also for others around them. We all have expectations for our friends and family. For example, a parent can have very high expectations for his or her child. An employer can have an expectation about the performance of his employees.

Psychologists believe that our expectations can not only influence our thoughts and actions, but our life experiences can also influence our expectations. For example, an individual who has undergone many tormenting experiences will have low expectations. This is because such a person is more likely to view life as negative.

Difference Between Expectations and Reality

Parents have a lot of expectations for their children

What is Reality?

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, reality can be defined as the state of things as they exist. This includes everything that surrounds us such as our personal views, our attitudes, behavior, relationships, etc. The reality, unlike expectations, is the real condition of our life. We create our expectations based on our realities.

However, in sociology, sociologists believe that reality is a subjective experience and that we all create our very own realities. They believe that people do not share a single reality, but have different realities that are greatly influenced by their points of views and the relationship that they create with the surrounding environment. This highlights that there is a clear difference between expectations and reality.

Expectations vs Reality

Reality is the state of things as they exist

What is the difference between Expectations and Reality?

• Definitions of Expectations and Reality:

• Expectations can be defined as those that are regarded as likely to happen.

• Reality can be defined as the state of things as they exist.

• Actual State and Imagination:

• Expectations refer to individual’s imagination of things.

• The reality is the actual state of things.

• Creation of Expectations:

• People create their expectations based on reality.

• Influence:

• Our realities influence our expectations to be positive or else negative in life and also our expectations can influence our reality.


Images Courtesy:

  1. A parent and child engage in joint attention via Wikicommons (Public Domain)
  2. Boating via Pixabay (Public Domain)