“To expect somebody to be somebody they’re not is futile.”
Can you imagine a world where all your expectations about other people’s behaviour were met; you liked everybody you met and they liked you back; or nobody else’s behaviour ever surprised you, they were the same person every time you met them? No, I can’t either; I’ve been around for long enough and listened to enough people talking about other people to realise this is not a realistic expectation. Optimists for that very reason often experience disappointment.
People who are pessimistic about other people’s behaviour are not any happier than the optimists. They believe everybody is dangerous, nobody likes them, nobody understands them, and they are talking about them behind their back. This negative attitude towards other people’s behaviour creates a nervous energy which can lead to stress and any of the hundreds of illnesses brought about through stress.
People with realistic expectations of other people’s behaviour tend to not set expectations for other people’s behaviour at all, especially people they don’t know very well because they know people are complicated. They know that, on any given day somebody could be going through some emotional turmoil inside their head which they know nothing about. This doesn’t mean they like the behaviour they’re witnessing, they just accept that is who that person is today.
People with realistic expectations of other people’s behaviour tend to be happier than people with optimistic or pessimistic expectations.
Mind you, it doesn’t matter whether you’re an optimist, pessimist or realist, if somebody exhibits inappropriate behaviour, you will always try to avoid that person.