Good relationships are a balance of give and take. By adjusting your expectations even just a small amount, you can strengthen your relationships tremendously.
Photo by Daniel Lee.
People wouldn’t develop relationships with each other if both parties didn’t get something out of it. It could be love, support, or even friendship. Relationship problems arise, however, when someone’s expectations aren’t being met. Stephen Guise, the author of Mini Habits, suggests that the best way to fix and avoid those problems, is to adjust your own expectations:
…expect to receive less and expect to give more. Giving more will increase your value to the other person, while expecting less will make you far less likely to be disappointed in them… Imagine two people in a romantic or friend relationship who both decide to give more than they receive to the other. Their admiration, trust, and respect for one another will grow, and the relationship will thrive, because when you give more and expect less, you increase your value and decrease your burden to the other person.
The adjustment is slight, but it can create a world of difference. The little things that grated on you before aren’t as bad because you’re no longer looking for perfection in someone. And you make things better for the other party by giving just a little extra effort. Take your newly adjusted expectations and do your best to keep things exciting, and your relationship might go the distance.
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