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9 Things You Need to Stop Expecting from Others

9 Things You Need to Stop Expecting from Others

Life is full of experiences and trials that you never saw coming. Sometimes what we expect to happen and the reality of the situation are 2 very different things. Expectations are nice to have. They give you goals, purpose, joy and even something to look forward to, but you have to understand that life happens: you’re not always in control.

Some expectations are good to have and some are unhealthy. Here’s a list of expectations that if you have, you need to change. By changing certain expectations in your life, you are opening yourself up to new experiences, new ways of thinking and even a greater sense of accomplishment that you otherwise could not have received.

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Stop Expecting People to be Perfect:

If you have this mindset, you will always be disappointed. People will never live up to your expectations. There’s nothing wrong with having high expectations for people, but understand that when they fail, and they will, they still tried. Be understanding and don’t expect perfection.

Stop Expecting the Worst from People:

On the flip side, if you’re always expecting people to fail, you’re not giving them the chance to succeed. Encourage those around you. Help them, teach them. That’s how they will grow and be able to accomplish hard things.

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Stop Expecting People to Pay for You:

Your finances are your responsibility. You shouldn’t expect people to pay for your entertainment, your bills or even your groceries. Get in control of your money. Once you have a budget, stick to it. Just because all your friends go out to lunch doesn’t mean you have to. There are differences between needs and wants—if you want something, save up for it; don’t expect your friends or family to pitch in and get it for you.

Stop Expecting Things to Always Go Wrong:

Whatever streak of bad luck you may think you’ve been having, you shouldn’t come to expect that out of everything. Learn to stay positive. If you look for the good in things you will find them, and it’s the same with bad things. If your whole focus is on situations never turning out how you want them to, they never will.

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Stop Expecting Fairness in Everything:

Life isn’t always fair. Sometimes you don’t get the recognition or reward for your hard work; that’s just how it is. Learn to be ok with giving something your all and not expecting anything in return.

Stop Expecting Things to be Easy:

If you only ever do the simplest things, you’ll never do anything great. Life is hard. Trials will come your way that you don’t feel prepared for. But know that you can stay strong and do hard things. Anything worth achieving in life requires hard work, diligence and self-discipline. If you only strive for mediocrity, that’s all you’ll ever be.

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Stop Expecting Something for Nothing:

If you don’t put any effort into accomplishing something you want, you’re not going to get the results you desire. If you want to lose weight, you have to make changes by eating healthy and exercising. You can’t eat what you want, when you want and still expect to look amazing. If you want something, then work your hardest to achieve it.

Stop Expecting People to Change:

People are habitual. We like things to be constant. It’s comfortable. We can change, but it takes time. If you desire someone else to change, you need to start with yourself. You don’t have the power to change anyone other than yourself, and once you realize that, your life will be a lot happier.

Stop Expecting People to Drop Everything for You:

You’re not the only one who has bad days. Friends and family members should be someone you can count on to help you when life gets hard, but don’t abuse these relationships. Learn to take care of yourself. Being independent is healthy. You shouldn’t have to insist that you do everything on your own, but you don’t want to keep putting your friends and family members in a position that causes them to miss out on important events in their lives because they are helping you.

Having expectations is about finding balance in life. You have to know when you’re asking too much and when you can ask for more. It can be hard but we all need to let go of our unrealistic expectations and learn to live a healthier, happier life.

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Last Updated on December 11, 2020

How to Negotiate With People Who Won’t Negotiate Effectively

How to Negotiate With People Who Won’t Negotiate Effectively

When you hear the word “negotiation,” your first thought might be high-stakes corporate deals or the occasional salary discussion with your boss. However, the truth is that every day presents opportunities to learn how to negotiate, whether you’re attempting to secure a refund on a hotel booking or having it out with your spouse about whose turn it is to do the dishes.

In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, tensions are running especially high, and you might find yourself faced with more aggressive counterparts who make finding common ground seem almost impossible.

To help you get started, here are some expert-backed tips on how to negotiate, especially with people who refuse to play nice.

Before the Negotiation Begins

Before you ever begin discussions with the other party, take some time to consider the following.

Explore Possible Solutions

One of the most important parts of the negotiation process happens before it even begins: thinking through possible solutions so that you arrive at the discussion prepared. To take it one step further, anticipate how the conversation could go and how you’d like to respond.

For example: If my boss says it’s too soon to consider a promotion, I’ll highlight my contributions to our team and the value I’ve created.

By doing your homework ahead of time, not only will you feel more confident, but you’ll also signal to your counterpart that you’re invested in the outcome.

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Before difficult negotiations, Susan Hackley, Managing Director of Harvard Law School’s Program on Negotiation, recommends running through the following questions[1]:

  • What are your hot-button issues?
  • What is essential to you?
  • What is unacceptable?
  • What you are likely to hear from your opponent?
  • How will you react?

It’s like golfing: Jack Nicklaus recommends that golfers take lessons on the most basic skills like grip and alignment. As Hackley writes: “[I]f your setup is sound, there’s a decent chance you’ll hit a reasonably good shot.”

Make sure you’re prepared before you set foot on the golf course.

Be a Giver

It’s natural to head into a negotiation focusing on what you stand to gain. Negotiating tends to feel adversarial, and we worry about winning or losing.

Take as much as you can, right?

Research, however, has shown that being generous while negotiating may be a sign of intelligence. Furthermore, these smarter people, who New York Times contributor Adam Grant calls “givers,” tend to make their counterparts better negotiators, too.

Grant writes, “The most successful negotiators cared as much about the other party’s success as their own.”[2]

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Beginning from a place of generosity — focusing on how you can meet your counterpart’s needs and not just satisfy your own — can prove beneficial for both sides of the negotiation, and not to mention, help form stronger, more harmonious long-term relationships.

During Negotiations

Once you’re in the middle of the process, focus on the following to help it move in a positive direction.

Ask Questions to Uncover Hidden Motivations

Heading into a negotiation, most people focus on their objective and what they’re going to say. However, according to experts, listening is even more critical to discovering the best solution for both parties. Former F.B.I. negotiator Chris Voss explains: “We like to say that the key to flexibility is don’t be so sure of what you want that you wouldn’t take something better. If you’re focused on the number, you’re not seeing the other possibilities.”[3]

Let’s say you’re taking on additional childcare duties and want to ask your supervisor for more flexible hours. At the outset, your supervisor refuses. You might assume she’s being unfair, but only by asking questions and listening can you discover her reasoning and try to find an alternative solution that’s mutually satisfying. Maybe she trusts you the most to handle a certain responsibility; or perhaps she’s run into problems with giving employees increased flexibility in the past.

It might be worth it to dig a little deeper before you throw your hands up and walk away from the negotiating table, figuratively or IRL.

Involve Your Counterpart in Finding a Solution

In his book, Getting Past No: Negotiating with Difficult People, William Ury, co-founder of Harvard Law School’s Program on Negotiation, offers a brilliant method for dealing with hard bargainers. He proposes changing the game “from face-to-face confrontation into side-by-side problem solving,” restructuring the alignment of a typical negotiation.

Imagine there are two teams working toward the same goal: an agreement. When you deal with a hostile negotiator, they’re likely to reject any initial proposal. However, if you offer them options and the opportunity to find a solution together, you might be surprised at how they let their guard down and participate in the problem-solving process.

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For example, say you want to convince your boss that your company should change its software, and your sights are set on a particular option. If your boss tends to stonewall change, especially when suggested by someone else, try presenting a few options and working through the reasoning for each. Focus on the big picture and emphasize how your proposal will advance the organization’s goals.

Instead of presenting a single idea, which can be knocked down with a simple “no,” allow your counterpart to come to a solution on his/her own — with some gentle nudging towards the one you previously chose.

Keep Aggression at Bay

There’s a big misconception in the business world, and it’s this: you have to be a hard bargainer to get ahead. If your counterpart is aggressive, then you better be even more aggressive.

But guess what?

Research has shown that aggression, in fact, doesn’t help either party in a negotiation at all. A recent study found that anger — both interpersonal anger (when the other party is angry at you) and intrapersonal anger (being angry at the other party) — led to less profitable outcomes in the negotiation process. In other words: neither party negotiates as well when one person is angry.[4]

Instead, try to keep your calm, or as William Ury describes it: Go to the balcony. That means “[taking] yourself mentally to a place where you can look down objectively on the dispute and plan your response.” By removing your emotions from the situation, you can proceed more productively and, hopefully, diffuse a high-stress situation.

Last-Ditch Efforts

If nothing seems to be working and it looks like all is lost, use these techniques to get things back on track.

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Loop in Others

Sometimes, despite our best efforts, our negotiation counterpart refuses to play nice. Maybe they’re a deliberate hard bargainer or just plain obstinate. That’s when it’s time to loop others into the process.

You might be wondering: how will this help?

For starters, oftentimes, a difficult person is likely to be on better behavior when held accountable by more than one person. What’s more, whether you cc: relevant people (but taking care not to over cc: anyone) or invite third parties into the meeting, you’re creating a record of your good-faith efforts to come to an agreement.

Preserve the Relationship

Whoever you’re negotiating with, chances are they can have an impact on your life — whether it’s the trajectory of your career, the success of a business deal, or simply the hotel room you’ll be staying in for the weekend. It pays to conclude a negotiation, even an unsuccessful one, by reminding your counterpart of your respect for them.

A genuine sentiment of appreciation, or even a little light-heartedness, can go a long way. As former F.B.I. negotiator Chris Voss advises:

“Never be mean to someone who can hurt you by doing nothing. If you’re good, they’ll be delighted to do for you whatever they can. A playful, enjoyable attitude gives you latitude.”[5]

You might not get the raise or the hotel room, but maybe something else can be done, even if that means just a more favorable outcome next time.

Hopefully, these strategies can help you make your next negotiation more successful and less stressful for both parties.

More Tips on How to Negotiate

Featured photo credit: LinkedIn Sales Navigator via unsplash.com

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