Great Expectations

What do you expect out of others, yourself, and life? Many personal frustrations demonstrated by clients are with people not meeting ‘their’ expectations. This may be unrecognised initially but when the question is considered, it can provide for that eureka moment.

Relationships, Home and Work

In relationships, at home or work, the same is equally and often demonstrated. An example conversation with a client:

My significant other just doesn’t ‘behave’ in a way that makes me happy anymore.

How have they changed?

They have always been that way!

So in the above example, are the client’s expectations realistic? Does the other person need to change to accommodate that which is making my client unhappy, and if so, is this reasonable? One answer might be to lower or manage expectations of the source of annoyance, accepting in some way just who they are and what they stand for; their principles and values may have just as much credence to them as yours!

Of course, if that ‘other’ is unreasonable, as deemed by the values and principles accepted within the societal ‘norm’, the other person perhaps deserves to have that expressed to them. Failure in those and the options might suggest separating yourself from that relationship, at home or work.

What do you expect of yourself?

We get so frustrated and disappointed when we become ill, injured or disabled in some way. Why are we less accepting of this? Could it be that our expectations of our health are unrealistic?

And what of our mistakes? Are we kind to ourselves when we have that opportunity to learn and grow, having made a mistake… did you intend to fail?

The other side of the coin?

Are your expectations of yourself high enough, or do you achieve only that which the parent or teacher alluded to with those ever so harmful throwaway comments such as “You’ll never be…”, or “Why can’t you be as good as…?” – then, subconsciously you only ever give yourself permission to be as good as “they” said you could be!

Does it really help to be a public failure?

Maybe we can find this compassion for those in public office? Does the individual in office really derive benefit from making a choice, implementing decisions that are unpopular or that are subsequently seen as having failed? Is it really, for anyone who is accountable in their interest to deliberately fail?

In considering these and other aspects of your psyche you can find release from disabling thoughts, emotions, and reactions that leave you feeling “less than”, angry and intolerant or unfulfilled. And you can start to really live the life that you and each and every one of us are deserving of.

About the author
Managing Director / Counsellor at Anglia Counselling Ltd | 07747042899 | [email protected] | Business Website

Bob Brotchie is a counsellor, mindset consultant and creator of "Conscious Living by Design"™. He writes for Anglia Counselling, is featured on various other websites and introduces us to many guest writers all covering topics related to mental health and wellbeing.

Bob provides bespoke counselling services to individuals and couples in the privacy and comfort of a truly welcoming environment at his Anglia Counselling company office, located near Newmarket in Suffolk, England. Bob also provides professional online counselling, for local, national, and international clients. The therapeutic models offered are bespoke to the client’s needs, especially those in receipt of 'childhood emotional neglect' (CEN), whilst integrating a mindful approach to psychotherapy and cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) principles. For clients experiencing trauma and/or phobia, Bob offers EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing).


  1. AnnTIG

    Super article Bob. In business its normal to talk about managing our client’s expectations so why is it so hard to do in personal relationships? Is it because there’s more emotion involved or just that we have more invested in those relationships?

    • Thanks for your comments Ann. I think problems are left un-addressed, perhaps for too long – in business AND personal relationships, because we take ‘things’ for granted at times; and of course we can simply be ‘too close’ to really see what is happening. We tend then to ‘react’ (re-act) based on past behaviour and responses.

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