Do People React a Certain Way Because We Expect Them To?

I love this story I just read about a woman who was afraid to tell her grandmother she was bisexual. But she bit the bullet and told her anyway.

Her grandmother didn’t scoff, scorn or scold. She didn’t disown her, throw a fit, or judge.

No, this grandmother sat down and knitted her bisexual granddaughter a sweater with a great big rainbow on it.

Cool. Very cool. And it made me wonder – how many other people feared coming out without needing to?

Okay, I’m not naive. I know there are plenty of haters out there. Parents who turned their backs on their kids because they couldn’t understand. I just wonder whether we sometimes make situations harder on ourselves than necessary because we expect the worst reaction.

Or maybe it’s self preservation? We expect someone to be really upset, and when they are, we can handle it because we were prepared. And if by some chance they’re okay with the shocking news, it’s a great surprise.

But this doesn’t just apply to the LGBT community. The same is true for anybody who’s got to share news we think people aren’t gonna like. Job changes. Unexpected pregnancies. Failed college classes.

In each case, there’s the potential for someone to be really thrown for a loop. But there’s also the chance they’ll be fine about it. Disappointed that we’re hurt, sure … but not un-frickin-believably mad. Maybe people aren’t as harsh as we think they are. Maybe we help set the stage for how they react before they’ve even heard the news.

It’s an interesting psych-type question, I think. For those of you who’ve had to come out and who care to share, I’d love to know how you handled it and how it was received!

3 thoughts on “Do People React a Certain Way Because We Expect Them To?

  1. Pingback: Do People React a Certain Way Because We Expect Them To? | thats what lynn said

  2. Coming out was not a one time event. Looking back I realize that my fear of coming out was based not only on what the reaction would be, but on what my own shame would feel like. Because I was also dealing with my own guilt over what I was, coming out to my parents and my brother took a long time. It was easier to shut them out than take them in. I let them in gradually and they came to understand but it was a long process made longer by my fears of confronting the issue dead on. Of course they ultimately did not care and only wished for my happiness.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jerry, thank you for sharing! I want to write more but am running late for an appointment, so for now I will just say that I’m very glad you’re on this page and that you’re willing to be part of my learning journey. Hugs!

      Like

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