neuroscience

Expectations: Fuel for Resentment, or Critical Growth Factor?

The Stories We Tell Ourselves About Others Can Wreak Havoc in Relationships

When Melissa Hughes talks about expectations, she puts them into four categories:

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  1. Expectations of yourself
  2. Expectations for yourself
  3. Expectations of others
  4. Expectations for others

As an educator, she knows that students will be more successful when a teacher has high expectations of them. She also knows that expectations, when not managed and understood, can fuel resentment in a relationship.

What's really fascinating is that when an expectation isn't met, it can have devastating effects, so devastating that our brain reacts in the same way as when we feel physical pain.

Feel good neural transmitters are released when our expectations are met - and they drop dramatically when our expectations are NOT met, especially when it is a surprise to us.

We tell ourselves stories of the people around us, stories of what we believe they will do, no matter what evidence we have about our past experience with them. Listen to the conversation to learn more.


Melissa Hughes is a talented speaker, and author of Happy Hour with Einstein. To learn more about her talents with every different kind of audience, visit her website. And be sure to connect with her on LinkedIn, and follow her on YouTube to be notified of her upcoming engagements, blog and video posts, and book releases.