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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

MANAGING EXPECTATION IN RELATIONSHIPS

We as humans survive on relationships that we develop over a period of time. Some of these strengthen as time passes and some have the tendency to evaporate and lose its charm. The term relationship used here is fairly broad to encompass all relationship including social, work, family etc. I have found in my experience that the root cause for cracks to develop in a relationship are due to the fact that our  expectation from the relationship exceed what is desirable at any given time. All relationships all based on compromises that we make because our way of doing anything or even thinking are not the only way. Within each individual there is a perceived difference in how they look at life.
It is a good practice to always give the benefit of doubt in case things don’t go as expected in a relationship. Some of the times our expectation are so high from the other person that we fail to see the smoke till the fire flares up. One of the basic principles that I use in managing relationship with people is to give them a lot of space to be themselves. When I want to do something as part of the relationship I try not to score a point out of it. Sometimes there are situations where there is an expectation from the other end in the relationship of something being done and it may not be possible to do it even though you want to do it. These situations are quite common even in employee and employer relationships and there is a need to have open ended discussions on issues. 

The second principle to be kept in mind is that it is necessary to make sure that all parties in a relationship irrespective of type of relationship should understand that there is no give and take for everything you do. Whatever is done with no returns in mind? I have always done things without any expectations from the other end and I derive a lot off happiness from it. That is the main reason for me to do anything. I do not expect any appreciation for what I can do for others but I do expect an understanding of what is not possible for me to do irrespective of my best intentions. This approach has given me immense joy in managing my relationship with my friends, peers, relatives and the immediate family members.

The third principle I would like to highlight is to understand that people have their limitations and they will have to work within the framework of those limitations. It is also important to understand that sometimes people will have some conflict of interest which will come in way of doing something for others. This natural and a rational process and we should try and understand such situations in life. In general for us to be happy we only need to see what is it that we can do to others in a relationship that they cannot do for themselves. This is what in my opinion strengthens the bond between people.

Always remember that we live in social structure where expectations are a part of our life and we cannot run away from them but we can manage then well. Whether you are looking at work, social or family relationships the key is always to try and understand the point of view of the other person and assess the situation from their point of view. You may not agree with it but understanding of it is critical to any relationship. I hope you will give some thought on these points and use them in your personal life as well. Please leave your thoughts in form of comments as it will help me in fine tuning my own ideas.

All the best and happy thinking..

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