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Unrealistic Expectations For Relationships People Often Have

Unrealistic Expectations For Relationships People Often Have

We all wish to have a relationship that is tailored on our liking. We all know people who spent their life seeking that perfect someone who can meet their expectations in their relationship. We picked up many unrealistic expectations from romantic movies and TV shows, where they convince us that those are what we deserve in a relationship. Truth is, no relationship is perfect. We can, however, make our relationship more fulfilling and exciting. A good relationship requires effort, hard work and dedication from both partners. Unrealistic expectation for relationships, often causes unpleasantness, arguments and chaos in a relationship. Here are 8 unrealistic relationship expectation you should avoid, if you want to live happily with your partner:

1. They will never notice anyone else

Just because they are in a relationship with you, doesn’t mean that they will not look at other people. We are only human, and we will be noticing other people along the way. That doesn’t mean that your partner is being unfaithful to you. It just simply means that they enjoy looking at different people too. Getting upset over this is only going to affect your relationship with them, since this show that you don’t trust them enough and that you don’t have faith in them. Remember that you can’t make someone stay if they intend to leave, but you can definitely do your part to be the best partner for them. Instead of getting upset over it, you can learn to appreciate looking at what they are noticing, and acknowledge the beauty of the other person too.

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2. They will always be romantic

While romance feels lovely and wonderful, understand that your partners have other obligations in life too. They have so many things to handle and take care of, apart from making you happy. Unless you aim to date a person who are not genuine, there are limits to what a person can do to constantly please you. Expecting your partner to be romantic all the time is going to wear them off eventually, as they will get tired of always having to do certain things in order to make you happy. There are many gestures besides the typical roses and candlelight dinners that can be far more meaningful, such as when they did your dishes, cook you a meal, wash your car and so on. Learning to appreciate these little gestures will help you see the true beauty of your relationship and help you appreciate having them in your life.

3. They will always support everything you do

We all have different values that we hold on to in our lives. There will be times when your partner does not support your actions and decisions. You might get upset over it, but this will happen in every relationship. If you expect them to support your actions, even if what you do are against their values, you will only push them away, because they will slowly feel like they will always have to go against their own values when they are with you. Let’s say if you don’t like spicy food. Imagine if your partner, insist that you eat the spicy food, claiming that you will definitely like it, even though you dislike it with all your heart. How will you feel? We are all entitled to our actions and decisions, as long as they don’t affect others. Understand that expecting them to support everything you do is not only unfair to them, but also unhealthy for your relationship.

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4. They will always say the right thing

Remember a scene in one of the romantic movie you’ve watched, where one of the characters said the wrong thing? Well, even in movies we can find flaws in communications. So let’s face it. You can’t always expect to hear your partner say the right thing. They are human with flesh and blood. They will make mistakes. If you expect them to always say the right thing, they will feel as if they are your personal entertainer. They will get tired of having to entertain you and worry about upsetting you when they did not say the right thing. This is not healthy in a relationship. It is absolutely forgivable if they didn’t always say the right thing to you. We ourselves say the wrong thing at times too. As long as the thing they say was not intentionally meant to hurt you, try to accept that we all make mistakes and sometimes say the wrong thing.

5. There will never be an argument or disagreement

Your differences are what tie you with your partner in the first place. No two people are exactly alike. Therefor, there will be disagreement and argument due to different perspectives or point of view. The only relationship that has no argument or disagreement, is one where both partners don’t matter to the other. Expecting your partner to never argue or disagree with you, is almost like wanting them to be a slave who obeys to everything you say or do. Does that sound like a decent relationship to you? Argument or disagreement does not break the relationship, in fact, it would strengthen the relationship if you embrace the differences, because it helps you and your partner understand each other more. The more you understand each other, the stronger your relationship will get.

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6. Everything will always go smoothly

There will be times when there are challenges, where you would have to stand hand in hand with your partner to walk through the hard time together. Some of the challenges will not be easy, but if you are willing to work on them together, you will have so many wonderful memories you can create together with your partner. It is not only unrealistic to expect things to always go smoothly, but is also one of the remedy to break your relationship, because you will not be prepared and willing to walk in the storm with your partner. This will create resentment on both sides in the relationship since you will not be prepared to walk the hard path with them, and they will not get any effort from you when challenges occur. Know that no relationship is easy. Every relationship requires a lot of work, and can sometimes make you feel miserable. These challenges will not happen all the time, but it will happen at some point, and it’s best if you acknowledge this fact than to expect everything to always be easy.

7. Everyone in your life will adore them

It is absolutely normal for the people around you to not adore your partner as much as you wish they would. Unless everyone you know dislike your partner, it shouldn’t bother you so much if some of the people you know does not adore your partner. After all, you are the one who is going to be spending most your times with your partner. Everyone has their free will to like or dislike someone, so to expect everyone you know to adore who you love is just not possible. We all have different opinion on how a person should be. That’s why we don’t always have the same reaction towards the same person. Expecting everyone in your life to adore them will give your partner an unspoken pressure to act a certain way, in order to be liked, to make you happy. That is definitely not a good way to develop a good relationship. Be ready to accept the others’ preferences, while work on enhancing some of your partner’s good qualities for them to do better in the society.

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8. They will always understand your feelings

While it’s important to understand each other, it’s just not possible for your partner to always understand your feelings. To expect them to always know what you are thinking, is unrealistic and often ended up in unhappiness. It’s very important to express yourself clearly, and let your partner know how you feel about something, if it’s important to you. Understand that your partner is not the same person as you, and they will not always automatically understand how you feel without you telling them. The key to a happy, healthy relationship is to have a good communication. Learn to be open and say what you mean. Expecting your partner to read your mind all the time will cause unnecessary misunderstanding and confusion. You will avoid so many misunderstanding and get to learn so much more about each other if you learn to communicate openly.

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Crystie Lim

Life Coach

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Last Updated on January 15, 2021

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

Posture

First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

  • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
  • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
  • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
  • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

Facial Expressions

Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

  • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
  • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
  • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

2. Relax Your Face

New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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3. Improve Your Eye Contact

Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

3. Smile More

There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

4. Hand Gestures

Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

5. Enhance Your Handshake

In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

“Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

Final Takeaways

Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

Reference

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