It’s a common trope on the internet for people to post things that they get online in an expectation vs reality frame. Basically, odds are that they expected to get something less than what they ordered, and it’s usually a fun way for people to get together and laugh about their terrible decisions. This actually turns that on its head. Instead of ordering something online and being disappointed, these people hit the jackpot.
They were not disappointed by what they got because in the following cases, the initial “expectations vs reality” meme was turned up on its head where reality was just as good, and at times better, than the expectations. Is it too good to be true? We used to think so, that’s why when these things finally do happen, they shake us to our very core and go absolutely viral. Check them out for yourself.
There’s actually significant research on Expectations vs Reality as outlined by VeryWellMind:
Despite what your common sense may tell you, research shows that people are surprisingly inept at predicting how we will feel in various situations. For example, one study found that newlywed couples tended to estimate that their happiness levels would rise (or at least stay the same) over the four-year-period after marriage. In reality, their levels of happiness tended to diminish over that time period.
#2 “My attempt is on the right.”
#3 “My girlfriend’s and my first attempt at making a cake from a sketch.”
Other studies have found that lottery winners’ happiness levels tend to reduce to pre-winning days (or sometimes even below). In fact, while we believe that the ideal job, perfect relationship, or stellar bank account will change our happiness levels permanently, they may only give us a temporary boost of joy—it is surprisingly short-lived. It seems that our expectations can confuse us into thinking that our goals will bring us much more than they actually do, so we often pursue the wrong goals.
#4 “I think we did a pretty decent job with my nephew’s birthday cake.”
#5 “I tried making the Momofuku cake.”
A problem with expectations was made famous by the Charles Dickens novel, “Great Expectations.” The main character, Pip, inherits money from a secret benefactor. He views this fortune as a stepping stone to marrying the girl of his dreams. When he ultimately learned that the money was not necessarily part of that larger plan, he realized that he had taken for granted so many important relationships and gifts in his life. His expectations had robbed him of fully appreciating his reality.
#6 The ultimate cookie
#7 “I ordered a blanket with my dogs’ photos from what I thought seemed like a sketchy website. They nailed it!”
#8 “I ordered this dress off AliExpress. It could have gone so wrong, but it turned out to be perfect for me.”
#9 “My mom made this duck cake. It seems it turned out pretty well.”
Research backs up this idea that we may not fully appreciate what we have when we are expecting more or comparing what we have to what we could have. One study found that participants who were exposed to a subliminal reminder of wealth spent less time savoring a chocolate bar and exhibited less enjoyment of the experience that other subjects who weren’t reminded of wealth.
#10 “My mom made an Elsa cake.”
#11 “We ordered a fire-truck cake for my son’s birthday. It came out even better than we expected.”
#12 “I recreated a wreath I found on the internet.”
#13 “I got this ice cream in Japan. It doesn’t just look exactly the same as in the picture, it’s also delicious.”
This is an interesting study that can remind us all to try to savor our chocolate (and lives) more, and perhaps to try not to remind ourselves of what we don’t have. This study can also remind us, however, of how easy it is to let our thoughts color our enjoyment of what we actually have.
#14 “I think my wife did it very well.”
#15 “I think it turned out pretty well!”
#16 “I made a cake for my niece’s 3rd birthday.”
#17 “An impressive cake from my mom!”
#18 “My daughter drew a cake she wanted for her 8th birthday. I tried to make her idea come to life.”
How many times have we focused so much on something we wanted that we didn’t truly savor what we had? How often might our expectations for great things make us feel like what we have isn’t really that great (when there are many people who have less)?
#19 “The way we advertise our Jack-o-Lantern pizzas vs The way I like to make them for customers”
#20 “This frozen pizza managed to seriously surprise me.”
“My interpretation of a tattoo I wanted to get, and the final result created by the tattoo artist.”
What did you think? Tell us down in the comments if you’ve had similar experiences!