Managing people’s expectations

At some point in our career, educational journey and personal relationships we will be required to manage our own and someone else’s expectations.  Today’s post will provide some helpful tips on how to manage your own expectations and other people’s expectations in the situations mentioned above.  If the principles described below are applied successfully to our interactions and underpin how we interact with others, then we are more likely to successfully navigate the difficulties and challenges that may get in the way of our happiness.  I use the term ‘we’ because many times I fall short in applying these same principles in my own life.

So what are these principles?


Honesty in my opinion is very important.  You should be honest with yourself and to others.  Do not make promises you know you cannot keep.  Don’t pretend to be someone you are not.  Accept what you can do and who you are.


Seek clarification of what is expected of you.  It is easy to fall into the trap of assuming what others want of you.  Take responsibility for finding out what is expected of you.


Communication is vital in all interactions, but yet we tend to find it difficult to express what we want, or explain our uncertainty about a situation.  This can lead to disappointment because we have not sought clarification about what is expected of us, or what we want from others.


Sometimes our lack of communication is a result of us lacking confidence in a certain situation.  We tend to avoid difficult conversations, or we do not want to appear as though we are lacking knowledge when we are not sure about something.  Or we may have had an uncomfortable experience where we spoke up, but received a negative response.  do not be perturbed, have confidence that an honest conversation will ultimately ease long term discomfort.

From my personal experience, at times I have felt overwhelmed by other people’s expectations. The feeling that you are being held to a higher standard, because of your educational achievement, or other successes.  I realise that expectations are abstract and if you are able to manage your own expectations and other peoples, then you will not feel burdened. Because you cannot escape expectations, but you can cope with them.

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