Sometimes when we try to look forward, to think in what will happen just to plan an action ahead of time —say, guessing someone is going to ask you about your black eye after a fight— we think too little about the real possibilities. In a case when we ask something and foresee a possible answer, for example, we usually just think of one or two answers, and if you’re following this thought: there are thousands.
Thousands of possibilities, and yet some have more probability to be, to happen, than others. The funny thing, of course, is that we believe we have some sort of magic power to guess right those probabilities.
Think about someone you’d like to talk to. Think in what would happen if that person called you right now. What would you say? What would that person say?
Think now about someone you don’t want to talk to. Think in what would happen if that person called you right now. What would you say? What would that person say?
Compare both results. They’re different, right? Obviously you might think the person you’d like to talk with would talk to you normally, while the conversation with the other person would flow a little more awkwardly. Or you might think the other way around, depending on your self-confidence…
The thing is, those scenarios are supposed to be completely opposite to each other. In one you like the person, in the other you dislike it. You change. Now, the reason for you liking or disliking the person depends on the person, more than you, so in both scenes not only your attitude changes, but the other person’s too.
Now, think again: what if in both cases, that person called you by mistake, mistyping a number?
Is that a possibility or not? What are the odds that would happen instead of them calling you in purpose? Probably low, or high… How could you tell? You’re not with them. You can’t read their minds. You can’t know.
Is that good or bad? I don’t know. But I like to think that it’s neither, or that it’s irrelevant. The important is that your reaction to not knowing yet feeling you know might be bad. Because expecting someone to do something, expecting something to happen or not happen at all, is to bet against no one, with one in a million chances to win. Either you win, or you lose… And you’ll probably lose.