Do you have unreasonable expectations of people?


Do you have unreasonable expectations of people?

Have you heard the saying “you can’t change anyone, the only person you can change is yourself?”
A lot of people come for counselling because they are disillusioned, angry and bitter because their relationship with other people is faltering because the other person doesn’t act or behave in the same way as them. Having unreasonable expectations of people can cause issues.

While it does seem reasonable that two people should contribute equally to a relationship, their idea of what an equal contribution is can be very different.

  • Do you have people in your life who never make any effort to call you, arrange outings or meetings or reciprocate meals etc?
  • Does it make you angry or do you just accept that they behave in this way and they are perfectly entitled to do so?
  • Obviously, you can talk to them about it but if you make demands on people and they don’t want to meet those demands because they see them as unreasonable, what will you do?

What about if your partner is always late for everything?

Do you tell them you expect them to be on time, make demands, or do you just sigh and say that it’s just them?

When it comes down to it, if someone you have any kind of relationship with is doing something you don’t agree with you have a choice – put up with it or leave.

It’s that simple.

We all have a right to live our life the way we want to and just because I don’t understand your non-verbal communication, fold my socks the way you do, or do the dishes the same, it doesn’t mean your way is better – it is just different.

Think about what the other person is doing that annoys you so much. Is it something you can live with – bear in mind that this will be it for the next however many years.

If it is not why would you torture yourself staying with that person and getting angry every time they blow their nose or leave their wet towel on the floor?

If you have asked them reasonably to change things but they don’t then you have to think if they are the right person for you.

It’s the same at work.

The culture of an organisation is really important – and as you spend so much time at work it’s important to feel comfortable there. If you work in an environment which is constantly causing you anger why would you stay? There must be another organisation out there which fits with your personality better.

So many people make themselves ill by staying somewhere that is making them angry and stressed just because they hope that if the other person would just do things their way then everything would be alright.

Think about your expectations – would meeting your expectations cause someone to have to change?

Can you really ask it of them – don’t forget you can’t change anyone – just yourself.



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