Align Your Expectations and Decrease Conflict

Expectation. This single word can cause so much conflict in a relationship. At some point, we all have expectations in a partnership, such as how the other person will behave, think, or feel, and these expectations stem from our own world experiences and personal values.

When our expectations are not met, we can feel irritated, neglected, or hurt; however, when our wants or needs are unspoken, this adds a level of complexity to the relationship that will almost ultimately end in an argument.

Let’s take a peek at Brittany and Clive, who recently went on a romantic holiday but ended up arguing the entire time.

Hawaii was the destination of choice, and as they landed in Honolulu, Brittany, and Clive were excited. They arrived at the hotel room, and after unpacking, Clive clicked on the TV and rang for room service, asking Brittany what she wanted from the menu. Slightly put out, Brittany replied, “I don’t want anything. I thought we were heading down to the pool for a cocktail, and we could grab a bite to eat down there.”

And so began the first of their many arguments, each disagreement adding a layer of tension to their once harmonious relationship.

Brittany wanted to go to the Cheesecake Factory for her birthday dinner and take a walk along the beach afterward. Instead, Clive surprised her with a sunset dinner cruise. Unable to resist the open bar, he ended up getting very drunk, embarrassing and angering Brittany.

Clive was eager to go on the ATV tour they offered on the island, while Brittany had envisioned sampling all the local cuisine Hawaii had to offer and lounging by the pool. Both had a very different holiday in mind, and the unfortunate truth was that they were so caught up in the pre-trip preparations that they neglected to discuss their expectations. They would have realized that their ideal holiday plans were vastly different if they had.

Expectations are a part of every relationship; they influence how we perceive and interact with each other. However, unmet expectations can lead to conflict, disappointment, and hurt.

It is crucial to make time for open and regular conversations about your expectations in a relationship. This could be as simple as discussing who will prepare the meal during the week or as significant as planning activities for a holiday. Express yourself clearly and kindly, and make sure to ask the other person about their expectations and the outcome they envision. You’ll be surprised at how much conflict can be avoided when everyone is on the same page.

I am pleased to announce the launch of our new FREE Mini-Course titled “What Role Does Conflict Play in Your Relationship?”

This FREE mini course is the introduction to my popular series: “Anger and your relationship: The road to repair”. In this course, I offer 3 lessons that help you understand how and why conflict may be playing a role in your relationship. Upon completing the course, you will receive a special offer for future courses.

This course features the following:

  • Online class based on material developed by Dr Tony Fiore specific to anger and relationships
  • 3 professionally created videos that explain the concepts and enhance your online learning experience
  • Short and fun quizzes to give you feedback on your progress in learning the material
  • Downloadable PDFs containing worksheets for you to complete at your leisure so that you can record and evaluate your progress through the program

The course is designed to provide you with a unique set of tools to turn to in times of stress.

Click here to download.

Have a wonderful day,

Dr. Tony Fiore.