The successful management of expectations requires one last thing. We often expect people—our friends, our family, our co-workers and sometimes the public—to be mind readers. "Don't they know what I'm going through? Don't they know what I'm thinking and feeling?" Well, no.

If you do not communicate your needs and wants and explain yourself, you will be disappointed. Ask and you shall receive. Power is not something that is given. You need to ask for it. "I want a raise. I want to be treated with respect. I want to see you." At the very least, depending on the response, you will know where you stand and then can make strategic moves to improve your situation.

When a boss says you're not going to get a promotion because she likes someone better, work harder to find a job where your style is appreciated. That boss is unlikely to change her mind—ever. Yes, we are all burdened by someone's subjectivity about us. Yet the world is a still very big place full of opportunities to find someone who loves you and appreciates you either in work or in love.

As I often tell friends and clients, any time you argue with reality, you lose. Be realistic and choose well, and it will affect the outcome. I promise. And even if you sometimes fail, you can always press the reset button and change the temperature to create something more satisfying.

Jill Brooke is a writer for, a site that helps women contemplating, navigating or moving on from divorce heal through self-love, smarts and humor. She is a contributor to the CBS The Early Show and a former on-air CNN correspondent. Her work regularly appears in The New York Times, Forbes FYI, The Chicago Tribune, Harper's Bazaar and New York magazine. She has also been the editor-in-chief of Avenue and Travel Savvy magazines and written columns for AdWeek, Metropolitan Home, The New York Post and The New York Daily News. She is a certified coach trained at the Stepfamily Foundation. She is happily remarried with a son and two stepdaughters and lives in New York.


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