In My Head: Songs That Explain How Someone has Expectations from Others

Tiara Febriani
3 min readNov 21, 2020
Thank U, Next Album Cover

“Here’s the thing

You’re in love with a version of a person

That you’ve created in your head

That you are trying to, but cannot fix

Uh, the only thing you can fix is yourself”

The quote above is an intro of the song “In My Head” sung by Ariana Grande on the album Thank U Next (2019). The song starts with someone saying that “You’re in love with a version of a person that you’ve created in your head”. The first time I heard it I reacted “woahh…this intro related to what I’m going through” and maybe some people have experienced this position where they don’t realize that themselves trying to make people their version of it.

when we are in a relationship with someone, usually we will expect something from that person, logically this is very normal. According to the social exchange theory stated by George Casper Homans, intrapersonal relationships and other relationships such as economic transactions, where when we have a relationship with someone we will convert the satisfaction of the relationship with the rewards received and the costs sacrificed or as follows:

rewards-costs = profit

reward can be explained as the benefit we get in this relationship, while cost is the sacrifice or effort we spend in the relationship. reward and cost can change materially or non-material

When we calculate the relationship and the end result is in the form of rewards that are obtained, more people will tend to stay in the relationship, but if the end result is greater sacrifice, we will tend to leave the relationship. The calculation in this relationship is a very abstract thing because the value of rewards and awards calculated is an interpretation of each individual in social interactions.

To explain how behavioral psychology has a contribution to the theory of social exchange, Homans divides five propositions, which include the proposition of success, the proposition of stimulus, the proposition of value, the proposition of Satiasi Deprivation, and the proportion of approval of aggression.

In the song In My Head, the right proposition to explain the feeling in this lyric is the proposition of blessing aggression, in which she has the expectation that the person will act as she hopes. but in fact, the person does not behave that way so that she has emotional feelings where there are feelings of anger, frustration, and disappointment toward the person that she has a relationship with.

this is because we have expectations of the relationship, the higher the expectations we think about, the higher the disappointment that will be obtained when the person’s actions are contradictory to what we expected. so the only thing we can do is think that:

“the only thing you can fix is yourself”

Once again I told you that calculating the relationship is normal, and having expectations of the relationship is normal. The thing that must be understood is that not all of these things will be as expected, especially regarding the actions taken by other people. we can’t fix someone and expect that person to actually change. the thing we can actually do is fix ourselves

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