You’ll not be surprised by people if you expect them to be everybody they can be.
In general people’s behaviour is consistent, they act in a particular way. If you watch and listen to anybody for a while they will show you exactly what kind of person they are.
For example: Maggie always pretends to be a fool, expecting Maggie to act any differently is foolish but, Maggie could surprise you by turning out to be a genius. Now who’s feeling foolish?
You’re right, life would be far easier if you could live without creating expectations, however, to judge or not to judge is not an option because your brain likes to make your life easier to manage by grouping people.
The thing to remember is, everybody you meet throughout your life is put into groups you’ve already created by the time you became a teenager. You’ve the funny, serious, sporty, academic, friendly, sexy, stupid, interesting, boring, foolish, musical, dangerous and nice groups. When you think of a particular person, you think of a specific group.
The problem with using that sorting hat is, people are too complicated to be grouped, most people will fit into a different group depending on the company they’re in.
It’s at that point you have to consciously remove people from the groups you’ve created. This will result in two outcomes, you will be more open to who they really are, and you will not expect them to act in a specific manner.
You create groups to make your life easier but you end up disbanding those groups to make the people in your life more real. I’ll leave you with one final thought:
Once you accept people are capable of being everybody, you’ll not be surprised by their behaviour.