When it comes to setting goals and expectations, it can be challenging to know where to draw the line between having high standards and having high expectations. While these two terms are often used, they actually have very different meanings that can impact our mindset, behavior, and relationships.
In this guide, we’ll explore the difference between high standards and high expectations, and how you can apply this knowledge to build strong and healthy relationships.
What are High Standards?
Having high standards means having a clear set of values and principles that guide your actions and decisions. It means knowing what you stand for, what you believe in, and what you won’t tolerate. High standards are grounded in self-respect, integrity, and accountability. They reflect a desire for excellence, quality, and growth.
When you have high standards, you set a baseline for what you expect from yourself and others. You know your own worth, and you’re not willing to compromise on your values or principles. High standards help you stay true to yourself and make decisions that align with your beliefs and goals.
In relationships, having high standards means setting healthy boundaries and communicating your needs and expectations clearly. It means respecting your own needs and desires while also respecting the needs and desires of your partner. High standards can help you build trust and respect in your relationships and create a foundation for growth and mutual understanding.
What are High Expectations?
High expectations, on the other hand, refer to having a specific outcome in mind and expecting others to meet that outcome. It means setting rigid and often unrealistic criteria for success and judging yourself and others based on those criteria. High expectations are often rooted in fear, control, and perfectionism, and can lead to disappointment, frustration, and resentment.
When you have high expectations, you set yourself up for failure because you’re relying on external factors that are beyond your control. You may feel disappointed or let down when things don’t go according to plan, and you may blame others for not meeting your expectations.
In relationships, having high expectations can be detrimental to building trust and understanding. It can lead to a lack of communication and compromise and can create a power dynamic where one partner is always trying to meet the other’s expectations. This can lead to feelings of resentment and frustration, and can ultimately damage the relationship.
The Difference Between High Standards and High Expectations
The key difference between high standards and high expectations is that high standards are about personal values and growth, while high expectations are about external validation and control. High standards come from a place of self-love and self-respect, while high expectations come from a place of fear and insecurity.
High standards help you stay true to yourself and create meaningful relationships based on mutual respect and trust. High expectations, on the other hand, can lead to disappointment and frustration because they rely on external factors that are beyond our control.
How to Develop High Standards in Your Relationships
Developing high standards in your relationships can help you build strong and healthy connections with others. Here are some tips for developing high standards in your relationships:
- Know your values and principles: Take time to reflect on your personal values and principles. What matters most to you? What are you willing to compromise on, and what are your non-negotiables?
- Communicate your needs and expectations: Be clear and direct about your needs and expectations in your relationships. Communicate your boundaries and respect the boundaries of others.
- Hold yourself accountable: Take responsibility for your actions and decisions, and hold yourself to a high level of accountability. When you make mistakes, own up to them and take steps to make things right. Practice self-love and self-respect: Treat yourself with kindness and respect, and don’t settle for less than what you deserve. Prioritize your own well-being and take care of yourself physically, emotionally, and mentally.
- Embrace growth and learning: Be open to learning and growing in your relationships. Be willing to have difficult conversations, listen to feedback, and make changes when necessary.
- Build trust and respect: Trust and respect are the foundation of healthy relationships. Show up for others, be honest and transparent, and respect their boundaries and needs.
How to Avoid High Expectations in Your Relationships
Avoiding high expectations in your relationships can help you avoid disappointment and frustration. Here are some tips for avoiding high expectations in your relationships:
- Let go of control: Recognize that you can’t control everything in your relationships. Be open to uncertainty and embrace flexibility and adaptability.
- Be realistic: Set realistic goals and expectations for yourself and others. Recognize that everyone makes mistakes and that growth and progress take time.
- Focus on the process, not just the outcome: Instead of focusing solely on the end result, focus on the journey and the process of growth and learning. Celebrate progress and small wins along the way.
- Practice gratitude: Cultivate an attitude of gratitude and appreciation for the people in your life. Focus on their positive qualities and contributions, and express your appreciation often.
In conclusion, high standards and high expectations are two different concepts that can significantly impact our relationships. High standards come from a place of self-respect and personal growth, while high expectations come from a place of fear and external validation. By developing high standards in our relationships, we can build strong and healthy connections based on trust, respect, and mutual understanding.
By avoiding high expectations, we can avoid disappointment and frustration and cultivate gratitude and appreciation for the people in our lives. Remember, building healthy relationships takes time and effort, but it’s worth it in the end.