Relationships: What a complicated thing! We all have relationships and most us desire some relationships to grow deeper, some to run smoother and some to end. Feeling empowered to illicit positive change in our relationships is a key component to mental health and wellbeing. Understanding our expectations of ourselves and others in relationships is important. Developing healthy boundaries within our relationships is vital to their ongoing success.

How do I identify and understand the expectations I have in my relationships?

  • Pick one important relationship to assess.
  • Write that person’s name down on a piece of paper.
  • Write down three reasons why you have a relationship with this person (ie. they are my spouse, boss, neighbor; they are kind, energetic, like the same sport I do, etc.).
  • Write down three things you like about your relationship with this person.
  • Write down three things you don’t like.
  • Look at the three things you don’t like and answer the following questions about each of them: Why don’t you like this thing? How do you wish it was different? What could you do to change this thing you don’t like? What could the other person do?
  • The things you like and don’t like about your relationship are good clues to your expectations.

Next week we will talk about how to unpack these expectations and decide if they are useful or destructive to the relationship.