Changing the ‘E’ word that always hurts!


On being faced with disappointments in her relationships, she always traced her way back to the roots, which were her “expectations”.

Expectations, they say, is the cause of all frustration. “Expect nothing from somebody and you will never get disappointed” and “Expectation is the root of all heartache” is overused and does nothing but betrays us.

She got temporary relief reading all those cliches, but when it came to her relationships, the expectations grew out of no where just like the unwanted weeds make their way amongst the beautiful plants. Getting rid of expectations felt like a myth. The harder she tried to run, the faster they followed like a shadow.

She even tried suppressing them, but that didn’t work either. Repressing them at one point of time resulted into a volcanic explosion in near future, were situations were worse than before.


I’m sure you must have, everybody does!

What to do then?

It is very obvious and normal among human beings to have various kinds of needs that require fulfillment. There is nothing wrong with the needs that arise. It is okay if they are present, don’t hide it or suppress it or try to run away from it.

Two thing that matters the most are:-

a) You PRESENT your need

b) You present them in a RIGHT way

Many a time it happens that a list of expectations is ready in our mind, but we never speak it out. Unspoken needs are almost guaranteed to go unfulfilled, so make sure you speak them out. We live around normal human beings and not godly creatures who will read your mind and figure out what you need and what you don’t.

Further, it is very illogical to label those needs as “expectation”.

That is where the whole game is lost.

Expectation is nothing but a strong belief that something will SURELY happen or is MOST PROBABLE to happen.

The problem arises when we become firm that the needs should always be satisfied by the other person exactly the way we want it, irrespective of their situation. Expectation forces our mind to get a “YES” in each and every scenario.

Using the word ‘expectation’ limits the perspective and ignores every other possibility that can happen. Expectation leaves no space for further discussion. When we expect, we want it to happen, by hook or crook.


Learning to “Express” instead of “Expect”

Expression means to make somebody aware of one’s own thoughts or feelings. There is no burdening in expression.

While expressing, there is a whole lot of space open for varied possibilities. When we express, the other person is given the idea of what we want along with the space that they can chose to deny and it also facilitates further discussion.

Expression brings with it a widened perspective which invites healthy discussions and problem solving atmosphere, whereas expectations creates a constraint environment leading to unnecessary arguments and unresolved conflicts.

Let’s take an example:-

Friend A wanted to spend the Sunday evening with friend B. He gave him a call expecting he will be ready to come. Unfortunately, friend B denied due to some reasons. Instead of knowing and understanding the reason, Friend A forced Friend B numerous times and then hung up in anger.

In the same scenario, if friend A had just called to express his wish to meet in the evening, he would have been able to be patient enough to listen to what B has to say. They could further discuss about meeting later at night or next day. This would not only save their energy, but abstain them from entering into a nasty and angry conversation.

When you express in opposition to expecting, in some cases, people will magically start fulfilling your needs, that also happily.

Sentences used in expectations (Always in order and commanding tone):-

  • I want you to do this, because I am telling you…..
  • I expected you to do this, that….
  • This should be done by tomorrow……

Sentences used in expressions (Always expressing and in requesting tone):-

  • This is what I feel we should do, what do you say, should we?
  • It would be really helpful if you could do this, will you?
  • I want you to do this by tomorrow, will you be able to?

“Express yourself to the fullest and give others the space to express, no expectation will dare to burden you”


Photo by Henri Pham on Unsplash