Breaking Through Expectations For Healthier Relationships

Its 6pm and you haven't heard anything from your boyfriend. Your bestie said she would hang and then she cancelled. You thought your parents would be excited about your new job...but they're not showing it? Things didn't pan out the way you thought they would and you're not happy about it. Your friends and family are supposed to act the way you expect them to...right?

That might have sounded quite upfront. You don't really expect your loved ones to act the way you want them to, do you? Whether we are willing to admit it or not, subconsciously most of us do. I do! At many points throughout life everyone has had an expectation - an idea of how a situation is supposed to manifest. It’s your perfect little picture of how things are meant to turn out. It’s an individual behaving the way you want them to behave, or a situation unfolding exaaaactly how you planned. It's okay to want something to go a certain way - but if it doesn't, we are often left feeling sad, disappointed or even angry that there has been a change of plans. As a result, these emotions can cause arguments or friction between individuals (because let's be honest, he should have called you, even though he didn't know you wanted him to, right?) If you want to have healthy, happy relationships, the most important thing to do is drop your expectations and start accepting people and their actions exactly as they choose to have them play out. As convenient as it would be, we cannot control others, and instead of becoming upset, it is important to understand each person is having their own experience and is showing up in their own way. So choose to take some weight off your shoulders and begin to focus on yourself and the way you are showing up for your loved ones. If you realise that your bestie doesn’t have the same needs as you, and it becomes a problem, then it may be time to love them and leave them (in a pleasant way)! Expectations are a form of control. When we expect, we are throwing everything off balance, and creating space for disappointment. More often than not, people will not meet our expectations – and that's okay. It’s not their job to!

So, you’ve fallen into the expectation trap. What do you do now? And how the hell to you resist giving the silent treatment to your boyfriend after he didn’t call you back?!

  1. Begin unloading that expectation backpack (because it can get very heavy, pretty fast)

When you feel sad about an expectation that didn't manifest, try not to feel bad. You too are on a journey discovering what you want, and this is changing every day. Unpleasant emotions are the perfect cue to look at how you are feeling and endeavour to understand why you are feeling that way. Identifying your emotions and beginning to understand them before approaching another is a great way to avoid unnecessary conflict and keep you skipping down love lane!

  1. Get open and honest within your relationships - it's time to express yourself!

What do you want? Choose not to hold on to unspoken expectations by communicating and finding out if they desire the same things you do. This way, you are aware of how to meet their desires, and they too know how to meet yours! We are expecting our partner to text us and ask us how our day is even if they don't know that we desire this. To them, this may not be so important, instead they show their love in other ways. However we are still left feeling disappointed as our needs have not been met. If you desire things from other people – you need to tell them!

  1. Choose to allow and accept others to be who they are, and act as they feel. If how they continue to show up is not what you think you need, choose if you want to have them in your life.

Our role within relationships is not to change one another. Ideally, it is to grow and love each other while we do so. Although everyone is only doing their best, sometimes we do feel the need to manipulate or mould others into our ideal manifestation. If this is the case, we need to accept that this may be the cause for friction as you, just like me, want to show up in this world being exactly who we are, while at the same time not being told how that should be. Once you have expressed your needs, it’s time to let go and observe how they are considered. The way we are with others is a reflection of how we are with ourselves - if we love and accept others, we are more willing to be open and loving to ourselves. You will feel so much better if you love and appreciate another for showing up as themselves, doing what they need to be happy.

Begin to notice these expectations as they pop up (and believe me - they will. I speak from experience) and begin consciously changing your feelings towards the outcome of the situation. It's extremely liberating to stand back and say to yourself, 'I wholeheartedly accept this person, for who they are and this situation for what it is.' Begin to make it your mission to be in the flow of life and sit contently knowing that you are showing up doing the best you can and trying your best to love and accept others for who they are.

Love and wellness,