When I have expectations of someone else then I am setting myself up for frustration, disappointment and upset because they are not me so they don’t think like me, behave like me or feel like me! That is a key basic concept of relationships that some people may not have thought about. We all come from a “self point of view” where we think everyone ‘should’ do, be, think, or feel the way we think. This happens because unless we take the time and make an effort to really get outside of our own head then we just assume everyone is thinking the way we think (i.e. self point of view). As soon as someone says, “well he/she should….” then I stop them and reflect that a “should” statement is a “self point of view” and they are not in a relationship with just them self so let’s step back a bit and take another look at it. One of the keys to long term healthy relationships is radical acceptance of our partner for who they are and not trying to change them to be who we think they should be! That means there would be no expectations and no “shoulds” since we would be accepting of their own point of view. Being accepting of another person’s point of view does not mean you agree with them! It means that you can hear what they are saying, validate that you have heard them, and still have your own point of view. Being in a healthy relationship is not about getting the other person to think like us but instead it is embracing the differences that make the relationship more interesting and often thought provoking. This concept also applies well to every relationship we are in!
Watch for the next blog in this series about relationships. :)
Putting the Pieces Together (So We Make Sense of Ourselves, Others and Our World)
Lois Zsarnay, LMFT, BCPC, RD
©2014 Lois Zsarnay, LMFT, BCPC, RD