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The danger of expectations
Constantly fighting with your partner? Here's why
Mindless relationship bickering — many do it, some don’t understand it, and others are just perplexed by it. Everyone knows “that” couple who constantly bickers or has conflict — maybe that’s even you.
But what if the amount of bickering in your relationship could be substantially reduced — almost immediately? Well, it can. With one small change, a relationship can become centered once again.
We first have to start with the “why.” Why does bickering happen in the first place? The short answer is expectations. Expectations are subjective, biased and can differ from person to person. Some may expect their spouse to take out the garbage, and they, in turn, may expect you to have breakfast on the table every morning.
The problem with expectations is that they’re just like an opinion — everyone has one — and they don’t always match up to the other person’s thoughts. This is the birthplace of bickering.
Fortunately, there is a solution! When our focus is squared center on our differences in expectations, rather than our appreciation for the things the other person does “right,” conflict is always inevitable. The way any two people decide to fold the towels, for instance, will probably differ… but does that make one of the ways wrong? Of course not. Expectations with no appreciation leads to nagging, which leads to frustration, which leads to…you guessed it, bickering.
It’s often said, “we argue about the smallest things.” Are the towels really worth the emotional turmoil? Probably not. Appreciation for the things we like in the other person will take us much further in a relationship. They may not have folded the towels the way you wanted them to, but at least they tried. And maybe they did the dishes after dinner or took the dog for a walk because you had a long day at work. If you pay attention, there’s always something to be appreciative about.
“Turn your expectations into appreciation and your whole life will change.” – Tony Robbins
That sentiment can apply to anything in life, but if we apply that same thought to our relationships, appreciation can be the trigger that puts an end to your relationship bickering for good.