Especially easy ones.
But fulfilling the wrong ones (also known as easy ones) can lead you astray, taking you off the course of fluidity and least resistance. For example, if you get woken up at 4:30am by someone being loud and insincere, it’s so easy to yell at the person who woke you. Why? The person expects you to. For some reason it’s been engrained in your mind that if you get woken up early, you have the right to be mad.
But are you really upset? Is it the end of the world? Did anyone die? Was it a life altering event? Could it have been worse? Maybe the person was in a rush to get to work on time? Maybe something woke them up early so they were aggravated?
Instead of listing more examples, discover your own. For one day, write down all the problems you have with people throughout the day. After you write them or at the end of the day, reflect on the experience and cross it off IF after you think about it, it really didn’t make you upset, but it was only how society expected you to feel. You will find that most of the problems will get crossed off.
If people expect us to act a certain way (typically negative types of feelings: sad, angry, upset, stressed, frustrated, injured), were going to feel that way and fulfill their expectations. Sure because it’s easy but also because you unintentionally don’t want to let other people experience the dissatisfaction of being wrong in expecting you to act a certain way.
It seems silly but the reason for it is that you feel that since they assumed you’re going to react a certain way- that they are prepared for it, that they deserve it, that everything is set in motion for you to react by fulfilling the expectation. (Status-quo is hard to break!)
The last attribute to fulfilling expectations is instinct. With instinct every person will act selfishly. When you do the experiment above and take that moment to write down the problem and reflect, you will see that you may be putting more trouble and stress on the other person than what troubled you to begin with.
It is damn hard to live in Zen and to prevent yourself from fulfilling the expectations of negative reactions. It’s difficult to remain relaxed, stay centered, and to be focused on the “why” of your reaction.
Stay Positive & It Doesn’t Do Good To Either Party When You Fulfill An Expectation Of A Negative Reaction
Garth E. Beyer