Trans4mind Home Page
~ Making the Human Heart Visible ~
Inspiring Quotes of the Week + Bonuses!

Expectations In Relationships

By Coleen Lawrence

I expect nothing, I fear no one.... I am free --Nikos Kazantzakis

Would it surprise you to know that many times the expectations we have of others are born out of our own psyche, and have little to do with the person we have them about?

Expectations in relationships can begin when we take our own ideals, standards, and views of things, and project them onto other people. We then anticipate that they will live in accordance with these standards.

Have you ever expected someone to be happy, sad, mad, afraid, or in some other emotional state, and have been surprised when they weren't? After all, that is how you would feel in the same situation. Or maybe you have been confused when you did something nice for someone that you expected them to like, but they weren't showing the enthusiasm about it that you thought they might? It was something you would have appreciated someone doing for you, so why didn't they like it you'd wondered.

As we project our life view onto others, we are assuming that they think and feel in a similar way that we would in the same situation, and we expect them to behave accordingly.

So, when someone close to us eventually does something that appears in deep contrast with the standards we have associated with them, we often feel hurt, betrayed, angry and confused. Our disappointment gets expressed in the kinds phrases we've all heard, or have even spoken ourselves... "I expected more from you", "You are the last person I'd ever have expected to do that", "You really let me down", "This is not like you at all" etc.

We profess this, however, having turned a blind eye to blunt behavioral evidence to the contrary on numerous occasions. We cleverly develop a tunnel vision where we only allow through, information that supports the view we have of who we want that person to be.

The truth is that people show us exactly who they are through their everyday behaviors. We are aware of who they are at a deeper level within us. We need to stop fantasizing and pretending things are not as they are. To stop filtering and begin to pay attention to the reality of what others think and feel, and how they behave. We must acknowledge to ourselves, the truth of who they are as individuals. When we do this we let down the illusory veil we've kept around them, and can thereafter stop the futile behaviors of projecting and expecting.

Take a moment to think about someone for whom you have developed a set of expectations for. How accurate are the assumptions you have made about this person's feelings and behaviors? Can you see that many of your expectations of them really revolve around you and your own feelings, beliefs, hopes, needs, and desires related to the relationship? That these things have been projected onto them? Have you tuned out obvious clues to their authentic personality?

Of course, looking at relationships with others in a more truthful light might reveal a need for making some changes within them, and it can be in human nature to fear and resist change. It usually seems safer and easier to stay in the secure cocoon of our fantasies. But if we remain there we are guaranteeing ourselves more pain from the inevitable let downs of unmet expectations, as how could anyone ever live up to someone else's illusions of them?

When we choose to break the illusion and replace our assumptions and projections with a truthful evaluation, freedom from expectations is carried with it, and the opportunity to begin a more clear and honest relationship is born.

On the flip side, we might sense that we are part of other's illusions at times, and that they have made assumptions, and projections, and have formed expectations of us. There is no way you can be true to yourself while trying to conform to someone else's agenda of course. What could be more of a waste of your authentic self expression than spending time acting out someone else's fantasy!

We hold some responsibility here, not to begin to conform to others manufactured images of ourselves. Sometimes we behave in ways that others think we should out of guilt, fear of not being liked, fear of abandonment (i.e. the relationship ending) or uncertainty ourselves in who we really are.

Might you be contributing to the reinforcement of illusions and projections that others have related to you, that have led them to develop unrealistic expectations of you?

Be real with the people in your life. Let them know who you really are, and how you really feel. As you begin to see and accept them for who they authentically are, gently help them to see through to their own mistaken assumptions and illusory identities they have built around you, to the real you as well.

When we demonstrate the insight and courage to embrace the truth, along with finally putting an end to the pain of constantly being disappointed by unmet expectations of one another, our relationships have the opportunity to become rich in authenticity, trust, and deep emotional bonding.

Coleen Lawrence © 2002
Coleen Lawrence is a self growth and relationships writer, counselor, and creator of Life Path, a web site dedicated to helping people develop self awareness, discover paths for relationship happiness, longevity, and general positive life transformation.

More personal development articles at the Counterpoint Article Library

From our extensive site, you'll find good info on many topics using this search:

Looking for a better life?

Trans4mind Training is our series of online, interactive video workshops. We present the most effective methods of personal development, combined with support from expert life coaches.
The human heart made visible.

A great way to support your Trans4mind Training is to use these popular and effective hypnosis downloads...

  • Public Speaking Fear ~ Banish speaking anxiety and nerves with hypnosis.
  • Motivate Yourself to Exercise ~ Build a powerful exercise habit that you can't break.
  • Get Rid of Fear & Anxiety ~ Stop worry and apprehension wrecking your life.
  • Self Esteem ~ Break the negative trance of low self esteem and give yourself a chance in life.
  • Create Your Own Reality ~ Use the power of your unconscious mind to transform your life.
  • Deeper Self Respect ~ Use hypnosis to connect with your true inner worth.
  • Detach From Fear ~ Tune out nervousness and anxiety with hypnosis.
  • Improving Concentration and Focus ~ Learn how to discipline, direct and command your mind to improve your performance.
  • Exercise Motivation ~ Give you powerful keys to getting back on track with your exercise - and staying there.
  • Overcoming Shyness ~ Provides an invisible security blanket allowing you to develop social ease and overcome shyness.
  • Quick Confidence Booster ~ An audio hypnosis session that's specifically designed to get you (quickly!) back on track.
  • Stop Negative Thoughts ~ Learn powerful hypnotic techniques to stop negative thoughts before they start.
  • Overcoming Procrastination ~ Let hypnosis help you get on with what you need to do, when you need to do it. Let nothing hold you back.
  • Think Thin ~ Use hypnosis to re-train your brain and lose weight naturally... that's how to get and stay slim.
  • Fall Asleep Fast ~ Relearn how to fall asleep fast and enjoy a good night's sleep.
  • The Next Level ~ Designed to radically boost your performance in any field. It's based on a technique used by top athletes and other successful people to help them make a big stride forward.
This is our selection of favorites, but there's a session for every need! Choose from over 800 Hypnosis Downloads...
Search now on an issue that interests or concerns you...
Get a free Hypnosis Download at Facebook

Welcome to the New Wave in Meditation Technology

Click here to learn more about the iAwake Profound Meditation Program
The iAwake Profound Meditation Program is a way of enhancing your meditation practice, making meditation not only easier and more enjoyable, but also more efficient and effective.
Profound Meditation provides the smoothest, deepest, richest, most profound meditation experience available anywhere...
Here is a link to a free 20-minute track from iAwake Technologies - a sample of the type of tools that will deepen your meditation immediately and help you quickly become a successful meditator. It's the opening track of iAwake's flagship product, the Profound Meditation Program, called the iAwake Experience...
Learn More and Download the iAwake Experience
I think you'll find this technology a tremendous aid on your transformative journey of becoming your best and most creative self - and you can get started today!
Copyright © 1997-2016 Trans4mind Ltd