Say What You Want and Expect

Continuing on this week with our list of suggestions for how we could live and operate our businesses from a place of greater happiness… here’s my fourth suggestion…

Suggestion #1: Assume the best.
Suggestion #2: Roll with it.
Suggestion #3: Visualize responsibly.
Suggestion #4:  Say What You Want and Expect.

This one is really pretty easy.  No matter how much we wish it were different, people just can’t read our minds.  If something needs to get done, be done differently, or is super important to us… we must make those expectations known.  Otherwise, we are likely to have a lot of unmet expectations which I think can be pinned as one of the primary root causes for a ton of our unhappiness.

Early in my life and truthfully for most of my first marriage, I had “giving the silent treatment” and pouting down to a science when someone hurt my feelings or did not meet my expectations.  Thankfully, as I have matured and developed more mature relationships, I have found that voicing what I need or simply letting it go definitely produces more joy and less unhappiness for me personally.

Friends, co-workers, and loved ones aren’t thinking about us 24/7.  They’re bound to occasionally forget birthdays, underestimate how important something is to us, fail to notice our new outfit, or even miss a commitment.  Recently in one week, my son forgot all about a phone call we had scheduled, a friend showed less than the expected sympathy for a challenge I was having with a client, and Tom didn’t even notice that I had cut my hair shorter after returning home from the salon.  It had the potential to become a “bad week” or I could choose to check my expectations and decide that no one is trying to hurt my feelings… and that my expectations were either slightly unreasonable or unexpressed.

Mature people and good communicators step up and stop the pouting.  They express what they need and they are watchful for the things they could simply let go.  They work hard at remembering that we are responsible for how we feel … not other people.  This understanding can be sobering but it can also be freeing.

I don’t think we can run our businesses or our lives without having some expectations of those around us.  But, I’m a big believer in the idea that almost all upsets can be traced back to a missing agreement (the other party didn’t really know) or a broken one (they did know but for some reason broke it.)  When we speak to people in our lives with the intent of creating and clarifying agreements about those things that are really important to us, we set ourselves up for having a lot less unmet or unrealistic expectations and a whole lot more joy and happiness.

This week, stop waiting for people to read your mind.  Say what you need and let the rest go… and just notice the amount of freedom and happiness that rushes in to fill the gap.


“To complain is always nonacceptance of what is. It invariably carries an unconscious negative charge. When you complain, you make yourself into a victim. When you speak out, you are in your power. So, change the situation by taking action or by speaking out if necessary,  leave the situation, or accept it. All else is madness.”
~Eckhart Tolle