Reducing your expectations may be the key to improving your relationships

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Expectations are a normal part of relationships. It’s natural for us to expect that our friends will remember our birthdays, our partners will prioritise us and our loved ones will support us during the tough times.

Our expectations of others transcend our more intimate relationships and even extend to our daily interactions with strangers. We can all relate to the expectations that people will drive safely on the road, our Uber Eats will be delivered on time and that we will be greeted with a ‘hello’ when we visit our local coffee shop.

Unfortunately, in life, our expectations are also…

Making friends with your negative thoughts may be the key to happiness

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“Having negative thoughts and feelings means I’m a normal human being.”- Russ Harris

Most of us, in our daily lives, will experience some negative thoughts. There are many causes of negative thoughts including challenging events, personal problems, difficulties in our relationships, and normal ups and downs in our mood and energy levels.

Our negative thoughts can weigh us down, stopping us from experiencing happiness and joy in our lives. This is why it’s important to understand how to deal with negative thoughts.

Getting Rid Of Negative Thoughts Isn’t Easy, Or Possible!

We may try to stop negative thoughts through distractions, like eating or shopping, but these strategies usually provide…

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Strategies Explained for Overcoming Social Anxiety

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Social anxiety is a fear of being in social situations. Underlying this fear is a concern or worry with being judged by other people. Even the most confident of people experience some level of social anxiety when they have to give a speech in front of an audience, sit a job interview or meet their partner’s family for the first time. That’s because these experiences all involve a ‘judgement’ situation, where you are aware that someone is forming an opinion of you. In extreme cases of social anxiety, even simple social…

This really encapsulated the link between productivity and passion for me. I am fairly new to writing on Medium and yet already feel dedicated to this platform, purely from the love of writing. I agree that it really is easier to produce high-quality, efficient and meaningful work when you are fuelled by passion and self-discovery!

Great reminder to not act impulsively based on emotions, especially when it comes to conflict. As you raise, its much healthier to pick our arguments based on our values and act in line with our rational brain, instead of our emotional one!

Wow, that rings true. As a therapist myself I witness first-hand how difficult it is for people to make changes, and the pull towards the familiar and norms of their life- even if they are dysfunctional or even distressing. Thank you for sharing your experience with overcoming this!

A beautiful meditation, and some interesting thoughts on perception, with your analogy towards physical pain as a perception based on pain receptors interacting with our brain. I think that is a helpful way to view suffering too- as our current perception of the situation- transient, interpretative and pointing towards a greater purpose.

Appreciate this perspective on singleness! I think that a popular misconception is that when you find a relationship, your problems will magically disappear. However, I can tell you from personal experience as a couples therapist, relationships often bring their own set of new and incredibly complicated problems, and yours do not disappear! But I also feel for people who have values to be in relationship/start a family...what do you suggest for those struggling with this element of singleness?

Zulie! So great to read your article, have been following your Medium series on Youtube and that's why i'm here! Some great thoughts here on subtly selfish behaviour. Often selfish people do conceal their manipulation under a charming facade, similarly to narcissists. Great to be aware of these behaviours and put in healthy boundaries with selfish people, and if the moment is right, challenge their manipulations!

This is such a great idea! I agree that planning out your weekends is an important way to love yourself, especially when you're single. Not letting insecurity or waiting for the 'right moment' to stop you from doing what you want to do!

Emily Maher

Psychologist and mental health blogger. Contributor to SBS and Vogue Australia. Founder of The Female Brief

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