Letting go of expectations: Heather Marshall at TEDxGreenville 2014

  • Published on Jun 16, 2014
  • In a search for her biological parents, this writer/teacher discovers a serenity in releasing the world around her from her own behavioral presumptions. Heather Marshall begins by telling us a story of her Scottish birth parents - they were young, too young for the age, and without options other than to give her up for adoption. Later, as an adult, as she was waiting to meet her birth mother, she had time to consider what her reaction would be if her mother was dying, obese, an ex-prostitute. How would she react to each of these situations? She dug deep and learned that expectations are like a third party in a relationship, constantly bouncing around in your head. Instead of dwelling on our expectations for others, we should allow ourselves to fully rest in the reality of the moment. "Whatever expectations you have should be kept away from your relationships," she says. Only in this way can you engage in a truly loving relationship with others.
    This talk was part of TEDxGreenville UNZIPPED, held April 11, 2014, at the Kroc Center in Greenville, South Carolina. For more information about Heather and her co-presenters, please visit tedxgreenville.com/2014presenters.
    In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

Comments • 100

  • Isca S
    Isca S 3 days ago

    Now that was the best talk on relationships I have ever heard! And yes, Ìf you`ve asked a
    couple of times and you didn`t get the response you wanted, your probably not going to get it.`That comment is so very true, and I wish I knew it many years ago. But better late then never. We do need to rein in some of our expectations, tone them down to reality, and be happier for doing it. Live in the moment....we need to rethink the way we live and `Live in the moment more.` So many profound comments in this talk, that I will have to listen more then once.
    Thank you Heather Marshall.

  • Vivian Nyakangi
    Vivian Nyakangi 6 days ago +3

    This is perhaps the most inspiring message I have listened to today..

  • Blaq Katt
    Blaq Katt 11 days ago

    I loved the one.

  • Gina McCollum
    Gina McCollum Month ago +2

    This was helpful! I need to let go of the expectation of my husband listening to me. It's not going to happen so I need to let it go. It's sad but true.

    • Lucy Silva
      Lucy Silva 26 days ago

      Keep trying small.talk.always help. Communicating is a key to love N trust.

  • Kareem Moutez
    Kareem Moutez Month ago +1

    I need to watch this a few times to send this message to my brain really hard!

  • Kareem Moutez
    Kareem Moutez Month ago

    How do we exactly switch our expecting attitude from others?

  • Kareem Moutez
    Kareem Moutez Month ago

    Oh Lord.. this is a mountain to climb..
    I get the benefits but it is incredibly difficult for me to not expect. It’s a part of who I am because I’m always looking to make others experience better and also expect from them to do the right thing...
    I’m missing something

  • Charles Victoria
    Charles Victoria 2 months ago +2

    "Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed." -Alexander Pope

  • Bon Chica Sun
    Bon Chica Sun 2 months ago +1

    Thank you thank you thank you!!!! I was suicidal a few moments ago but I'm trying to fight the feelings and thoughts mentally by reaching out for positivity and you did that for me Heather Marshall!!! Thank you and God bless.

    • ThePaigestoLife
      ThePaigestoLife Month ago

      Bon Chica Sun I been exactly where you are. Things will get better tho you may not see your way out now. You are in control of your destiny. Sending you love and positive vibes 💕

  • Rusima Sahu
    Rusima Sahu 2 months ago

    No expectation No disappoinment...

  • Angela Johnson
    Angela Johnson 2 months ago +1

    Great talk! I see truth in it. "Perhaps your need can be met but not by this person at this time." Profound. 🙏

  • Duggy Dugg
    Duggy Dugg 2 months ago

    What will you do when the government can no longer sustain the deficit spending and the 22 trillion dollars of debt

  • Patricia Simons
    Patricia Simons 2 months ago

    This was excellent and what I needed to hear, but I wish she would have talked more about her reunions with her parents. I would have loved to have heard how that went. Maybe I had unrealistic expectations...

    XDABELLX 3 months ago

    High intentions low expectations, is what I am telling myself until I really get it and have learned to calm my ego or letting it go InshAllah 🙏🏾

  • S C
    S C 3 months ago

    Delicious 🤤🙏🏼😋

  • Carson Price
    Carson Price 3 months ago +1

    Expectation minus reality equals disappointment.

  • Donnie Brasco
    Donnie Brasco 4 months ago

    93 people had expectations lol

    • Lance Marchetti
      Lance Marchetti 4 months ago

      was it your expectation that there would be zero thumbs down? ...lol

  • Melissa Loos
    Melissa Loos 4 months ago

    Thank you!

  • Lully kyunii
    Lully kyunii 5 months ago +1

    Expectations can ruin a relationship, and you realized it very late.
    What I believe is the more your being emotional, the higher expectations you will have.
    Thank you for this video hopefully things can be fixed after.

  • 🚀Kalle🚀
    🚀Kalle🚀 5 months ago

    My soul is dying. I also have too high expectations. But I don't want to lose my level. But if I would have lower expectations I would lose my level. This makes me deeply depressive. I'm afraid.

  • russshh
    russshh 6 months ago

    But should I not expect my friend to respect me? That means not being friends with them, right?

  • Emily L
    Emily L 7 months ago

    Thank you

  • Flavour Junction
    Flavour Junction 7 months ago

    9:44 genius!

  • Dina
    Dina 8 months ago

    obese lol

  • KanchoKomancho
    KanchoKomancho 8 months ago +12

    ‘Set the standard! Stop expecting others to show you love, acceptance, commitment, and respect when you don’t even show that to yourself.’ ~ Steve Maraboli

  • Sophie Chang
    Sophie Chang 8 months ago

    Thank you i really need this😭

  • jay1428nd
    jay1428nd 8 months ago

    I'm removing my excitations that I laid on myself. Thank you.

  • Eliana Valdez
    Eliana Valdez 8 months ago +3

    She looks like Adam Sadler 🤔

  • Meekainc
    Meekainc 8 months ago

    So helpful!!!
    On a side note: I did want to know what became of her adoptive parents, and if they maintained a realationship 😊

  • lifeofshilpa
    lifeofshilpa 9 months ago

    How do you not expect and care at the same time?

  • Catlin Panelo
    Catlin Panelo 9 months ago +6

    I like that necklace.

  • esther kagema
    esther kagema 10 months ago

    Best video on expectations so far....

  • P
    P 11 months ago

    But...but why did her young parents break up??!!

  • Adnan M
    Adnan M 11 months ago

    Dippresed women

  • Charles Engels
    Charles Engels 11 months ago +1

    This makes sense and you can connect with the universal human values in it. Realizing this in your own life, in practice, when you are facing problems like a breakup is at times harder than you might think. There are no easy answers or solutions. But here you get some relevant insight into the workings of these mechanisms. That's why I wonder why, so far 58 individuals have given this a 'thumbs down' - very strange indeed!

  • MaryRose007
    MaryRose007 11 months ago +10

    I wish this talk was an hour long with more examples of how it applies in real life in areas outside relationships. Her concept is powerful but the example she illustrates it with is very very narrow. I’d like to hear more of her.

  • Drake Drones
    Drake Drones 11 months ago +74

    Expectations are desires, and desires are the root of all disappointments and pain. Giving up expectations from others and oneself is NOT easy. It is one of the most painful thing to do if you are someone like me who gets attached to people, things and places. It’s excruciatingly miserable and depressing existence. Not easy to give up.

    • Lean
      Lean 9 days ago

      I'm the same😉

    • Victorious Joy
      Victorious Joy 5 months ago +1

      So true! Lately I have looked at it as a way of giving freedom to others as well as myself. However, we are designed for connection! What's the balance?

    • aaron stockton
      aaron stockton 6 months ago +2

      I find it to be liberating.

    • ed junior
      ed junior 8 months ago

      Drake Drones so true

    • esther kagema
      esther kagema 10 months ago +1

      I feel you not easy... But with constant looking at the risks and not expectations it makes things easier....

  • Arup Kumar
    Arup Kumar Year ago +5

    Expectations really kills everything... But without expectations no relationship is possible in the world..

  • Amelia Wojnicz
    Amelia Wojnicz Year ago +18

    it all depends how much you invest in those expectations. It is more difficult if you are not willing to let go, and continue to "hold on" to hope. At some point, I agree, you will become stronger and better able to "accept" or "deal with it", but you will always be left with that scar in your heart of what you wanted, and could never attain. Maybe in time, I will learn to let go of that too.

    • Patricia Fisher
      Patricia Fisher 9 months ago

      Amela Wojnicz, Thank you for responding to my comment Amelia. I wish you well on your journey. ( :

    • Amelia Wojnicz
      Amelia Wojnicz 9 months ago

      @Patricia Fisher hello Patricia, I wish I had the wisdom to advise. I am learning as I go. It's different with different situations. Some events are more painful than others. To me, it's about how invested I am with people that are in my life. It's hardest with those that you expect or want more from. Good luck with your journey. Some things are just accepting situations, and I am not always quick to let go. It's a process.

    • Patricia Fisher
      Patricia Fisher 9 months ago +1

      I hear what you are saying Amelia. I have recently dropped expectations I had of certain family members and a friend. I had to do this to reduce the pain and disappointment I had been feeling. From now on I will be developing the new habit of not setting myself up with expectations. I ''expect'' this to be a positive change in my thinking. How are you doing Amelia ? Do you have any tips to give me ?

  • Pres Silz
    Pres Silz Year ago

    Yes, I'll been expect my relationship to end up with marriage... but suddenly, we will broke up. Now, I didn't expect anything.

  • Milady Amalia
    Milady Amalia Year ago

    Brilliant, Thanks!

  • Wilesh Sawant
    Wilesh Sawant Year ago +2

    Spiritual psychology. God bless you n listeners.

  • Mansi Sheth
    Mansi Sheth Year ago

    So subtle.. :)

  • Aditya Pandey
    Aditya Pandey Year ago +2

    Thank you Heather Marshall and Ted talks for helping me start a journey that has made me look deep into myself which I wouldn't have done otherwise.

  • Sandra Betts
    Sandra Betts Year ago

    This was exactly what I needed when I needed it. Highly recommend to others. This is a treasured jewel from Heather Marshall.

  • Kajol Bhattacharya

    Your too too good...thanku thanku so much 🙌😘

  • abs !
    abs ! Year ago +1

    ❤❤so true

  • Queen Goldie Lush
    Queen Goldie Lush Year ago +21

    this got me....

  • Morgan Naing
    Morgan Naing Year ago +1


  • Marla Star
    Marla Star Year ago

    very cool, my theme .....No expectations.....2018"

  • M Mess
    M Mess Year ago +1

    Good talk! I wish she would have told what happened when she finally got to meet her birth mother!

  • Brooke H
    Brooke H Year ago +1

    This was fantastic! Thanks for sharing this truth!!!

  • polutanka
    polutanka Year ago +36

    Wow! "If you've asked a couple of times and you didn't get the response you wanted, you're probably not going to get it".

  • jayakrishnan vamanan

    This is exactly what I needed to listen. Thank you..

  • Meem
    Meem Year ago +72

    " Expectation doesn't guarantee you a thing " I really like this .

  • georgemarsone
    georgemarsone Year ago +2

    AMAZING INFO.......

  • Orchid Iverness
    Orchid Iverness Year ago +4

    dang I wanted to hear about the reunion! sounds like it went okay, oops these are my disappointed expectations, lol, but with such a sad start, a somewhat happy ending would have been nice to hear about. But I guess I can "rest in the reality" of not knowing every detail ... ;/ I guess..

  • Ridwan Firdaus
    Ridwan Firdaus Year ago

    This is my fave so far

  • Lipstick & Cement
    Lipstick & Cement Year ago +6

    So grateful for this talk. Utterly amazing.

  • Angel0Whispers
    Angel0Whispers Year ago +5

    Truly spoke to me, thank you. I'm glad I found this video, it's exactly what I needed. =')

  • Luna L
    Luna L Year ago +165

    "Expectations pull us out from the moment and hold us in an infinite loop of *false possibilities* "

    • Allen Desiderio
      Allen Desiderio 3 months ago

      Luna L true

    • Amelia Wojnicz
      Amelia Wojnicz Year ago +4

      not all expectations are false. I am not a quitter. You just have to learn or recognize when it's time to let go...You can't give up without trying...and as long as I tried, I can walk away a better person knowing that at least I took the risk. We can't win all the time.

    • Jo
      Jo Year ago +3

      But hy are these possibilities determined false? They could also be possibly true right?

  • Luna L
    Luna L Year ago +54

    "Expectation does not stop painful stuff from happening, it just blames it on somebody else"
    true that! :) Thank You for this talk!

  • Hemen Sarma
    Hemen Sarma Year ago +10

    Loving someone wholeheartedly without​ any expectations is possible, but I can tell you it's excruciatingly hard. Why would anyone want to do that..

  • Frau Ing
    Frau Ing 2 years ago +13

    I dunno. I have a hard time letting go the expectation of not being lied to and cheated on by husband. If that's unreasonable, so be it. Some expectations must be met if you want to be treated nicely.

    • Geeta Sheogobind
      Geeta Sheogobind Month ago

      I think she meant when they do these things, to let go of the expectation that they can change (if they don't)…..if they don't then we have to let go of the expectation that that relationship will be something that will be what we had hoped it would be.....cheating is unacceptable and it sucks to get cheated on....been there

    • russshh
      russshh 6 months ago

      Yess same (but just by my boyfriend)

    • Drake Drones
      Drake Drones 8 months ago +2

      Frau Ing it is not unreasonable! It’s a deliberate relationship where it is a minimum requirement! Loyalty and honesty are the foundations of a marriage!

  • Apple Girl
    Apple Girl 2 years ago +1

    need to watch this a few more time.. beautiful and inspirational.... thank you heather...

  • Uno Nano
    Uno Nano 2 years ago

    This is all taken from OSHO

  • CakeRevolution
    CakeRevolution 2 years ago

    so moving.

  • L G
    L G 2 years ago

    So beautiful omg

  • Karma sonam
    Karma sonam 2 years ago

    11:40 - 13:00, Inspirational words.

  • Joseph Budd
    Joseph Budd 2 years ago +13

    How is this one of the most unviewed videos??? Incredible presentation. *slow clap*

  • Helen Golovin
    Helen Golovin 2 years ago +47

    I really liked this talk.A few years ago I discovered a change in the way I thought about relationships. I stopped thinking about what they might do for me. Instead I started to think about what I could do for them. That change in me took place when my dog died. She was the one who taught me to think this way because I wanted absolutely nothing from her, I just wanted things FOR her. And when she was no longer around, I understood this also works for people. Only hope I had realized it sooner, I might have treated a lot of people much better.

    • Jasmine Lopez
      Jasmine Lopez 3 months ago

      But your dog offers support and a safe haven and that alone is an expectation sometimes are expectations can be as simple as that but I’m sorry for you loss I’ve also been in the same situation

    • Luna L
      Luna L Year ago +4

      Wow, the same happened to me! Death of my dog made me a completely different person,so humble and forgiving!
      Suddenly, I could understand everybody and where they are coming from, their perspective...This also opens doors for the love to come in (from the inside of us, not from the external world, which most people are _expecting_ to happen and usually are disappointed!) because as long as we are bitter and don't get what we 'expect' we are not able to feel the _true_ love, empowering kind..There should be a TED talk about that - how much we can learn from animals! Everybody should not just have a dog but spend a certain time alone with them, to get as close as possible to them. There is so much wisdom in animals and unfortunately most people spend their whole lives not discovering it...
      _Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened_ "

  • Darlene Baltazar
    Darlene Baltazar 2 years ago +10

    This is beautiful! Highly important stuff! I want to try her advice when I meet my dad later.

  • Jami Temple
    Jami Temple 3 years ago +34

    Your presentation gave me chills. Inspirationally, wonderful story and wonderfully presented!! Thank you for sharing!!!!

  • Rahul R Singh
    Rahul R Singh 3 years ago +106

    Awesome stuff... Expectations hold you back. We should never expect anything from a relationship we should do our part selflessly.. Because everyone's way of expression is different and may not match with our expectations
    This video needs more views

    • Eren
      Eren 5 months ago

      Ok cool but is it ok to feel that I’m putting all the work in the relationship and they are putting little to none into. Does it make it ok to stay with them ? Is it ok to feel as though they won’t want this as much as I do ? If I’m feeling the sense of happyness in a relationships due to how little time and effort they put in it. Is it ok to stay with that person??? I’m confused help

    • Shehzad Sadiq
      Shehzad Sadiq 6 months ago

      Awsome stuff

    • Drake Drones
      Drake Drones 11 months ago +1


    • Otto Grant
      Otto Grant Year ago

      rahul singh needs more views indeed

    • Manisha S
      Manisha S Year ago

      rahul singh
      Actually 👍