10 Better Ways To Say “High Expectations” (Synonyms)

Having high expectations is something that many people and businesses strive for. If you set yourself a solid standard, you’ll always ensure that you’re worthy of success. This article will explore some of the best words you can use to replace “high expectations.”

Better Ways To Say High Expectations (Synonyms)

The preferred words include “high standards,” “punctilious,” and “meticulous.” All of these are great ways of showing that you or someone else has high expectations. If related to yourself, it shows that you have particularly high standards and pay close attention to detail.

High Standards

“High standards” is a simple choice, but it’s a great synonym for high expectations. It means that you or someone else holds you to a high standard, and they will only ever expect perfection from you.

Often, standards are set by other people, and it’s up to you to meet them.

You may be able to set them for yourself, but this only applies if you always go above and beyond in all of the work that you do.

  • I hold myself to particularly high standards. I don’t want to shirk my work, so I’ll always make sure I pay close attention to detail.
  • He holds me to very high standards. I’m always worried that I won’t be able to deliver the kind of things he expects from me.
  • The high standards at this company are almost too much for me to bear! I don’t know if I can keep going on working like this!


“Punctilious” is a great adjective referring to being careful with all the things you do. You’ll often have high expectations related to your own work, meaning that you have to pay attention to detail to ensure that everything goes well.

The definition of “punctilious,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “very careful to behave correctly or to give attention to details.”

  • I love your punctilious attitude toward your work. It shows that you’re willing to put in work that most people laugh at.
  • I think I’m very punctilious, and I pride myself on that fact. I’m sure that you’ll be quite impressed with some of the things I can do.
  • I’m almost a bit too punctilious. I really enjoy spending time looking through the details to make sure all expectations are met!


“Meticulous” means that you’re always looking over your work and making sure it’s top-notch. People are often meticulous to their own work rather than other people’s, and it shows that you’re always looking for perfection in the things you do.

The definition of “meticulous,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “very careful and with great attention to every detail.”

  • She’s quite meticulous, and not a lot gets passed her. If you think you can get away with it, then it’s going to be your funeral.
  • I’m always holding myself to meticulous levels to make sure that I deliver the best possible work. It’s the only way I operate.
  • You’ve got to be more meticulous if you want to hold a job like this down for a long time. We ask for a lot from our employees here.


“Scrupulous” is another great term referring to your attitude. It works because it shows that you do everything correctly (or as well as you can). It also shows that you follow the rules or guidelines to the letter, meaning that you’ll always deliver high-quality work.

The definition of “scrupulous,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “doing everything correctly and exactly as it should be done.”

  • Your scrupulous attitude is what you used to get you this far. If you can stick with it, I’m certain that you’ll just keep climbing.
  • I really love your scrupulous spirit. Would you be able to share that with some of your fellows? I’m sure they’ll be happy to learn from you.
  • I’m quite scrupulous when it counts. My expectations are high because I only want the best out of this job.


“Painstaking” is a good way of showing that you’re having a difficult time meeting the standards that someone is asking for. It shows that you have to go through “pain” to make sure that you get something completed.

It’s possible to be “painstaking” toward yourself. This means you hold yourself to a high standard in everything you do.

The definition of “painstaking,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “extremely careful and correct, and involving a lot of effort.”

  • The expectations they have for me are painstaking. I have to work overtime just to try and deliver half of what they expect!
  • I don’t think you realize how painstaking all of this can be for us. You don’t give us a moment to pause and take a breather!
  • I think he’s a boss that expects his employees to work at painstaking rates. His expectations far exceed anything I’ve seen before.


“Conscientious” is a good synonym because it shows that you’re always putting in a lot of effort to your work. Often, you’ll put in more effort than most of your peers because you’ll want to impress the people that might be seeing your work once completed.

The definition of “conscientious,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “putting a lot of effort into your work.”

  • I appreciate your conscientious effort in everything you do around here. I can tell that you take your job very seriously, which surprises me.
  • I’m always putting in conscientious efforts to make sure I impress my superiors. It’s good practice to hold yourself accountable.
  • He is very conscientious when it works well for him. As long as we ask him to do good work, he’ll almost certainly deliver.


“Particular” means that you are always demanding a lot of yourself. You will often hold yourself to particular standards because you expect to do well in the workplace.

Someone might also ask particular things from you. This could relate to you doing things that are specific to certain tasks, and they will want you to get through them in specific manners or time frames.

The definition of “particular,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “not easily satisfied and demanding that close attention should be given to every detail.”

  • You put in a particular effort that nobody else seems to be able to deliver. I think you and I will get along very well going forward.
  • I want you to be particular with these tasks before you give them back to me. If I see even the smallest of mistakes, I’ll have you disciplined.
  • You’re not going to get away with this without being more particular. He’s a strict boss, and you don’t want to get on his bad side.


“Demanding” often works best when you’re referring to someone else holding you to high standards. When someone is “demanding,” they require a lot of your time and energy. They will often demand things that are by no means easy to achieve.

The definition of “demanding,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “needing a lot of time, attention, or energy.”

  • The company standards are very demanding. It feels like we’re working inside a prison, and I really don’t like that energy.
  • You’re asking for things that are too hard to deliver. Your demanding attitude is the reason that so many of your employees have left.
  • I’m not trying to be too demanding, but I know that I need you to work harder than this. I know you’re capable of more.


“Stringent” is another good word that refers to other people making things difficult for you. If someone is holding you to unrealistically high expectations, you might refer to them as stringent. The more energy you require to complete your task, the more stringent the demand is.

The definition of “stringent,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “having a very severe effect, or being extremely limiting.”

  • Naturally, she is one of the more stringent bosses I’ve had the misfortune of working with. I thought I’d enjoy this job forever.
  • You’re being quite stringent, and it’s making it difficult for any of us to get on with the work you’re asking us to complete.
  • I don’t mean to come across as stringent, but I certainly hold myself and the people around me to higher standards than I need.


“Exacting” works well because it refers to someone that “exacts” a certain amount of pressure (or standards, in this case). You can use it when someone is trying to get you to complete work at a standard that you might feel is a bit unachievable.

The definition of “exacting,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “demanding a lot of effort, care, or attention.”

  • You’re exacting a lot of issues on to us, and we don’t really know how to deal with them all at the same time. Can’t you help us?
  • Why are you acting in such an exacting manner? It’s not helping anyone here, and you’re just creating more stress than it’s worth.
  • That’s a very exacting attitude, and I love how much you’re willing to commit to this! I think you’re going to go far here!