Most people can readily be divided into two groups: 1) those who love surprises, and 2) those who don’t. My husband definitely belongs in the first category. He loves the promise of the unknown, and can embrace whatever the surprise brings (we’re only talking about good surprises here – like presents, or taking him some place). It taps into the little boy in him and, being a pretty easy-going guy, he seems to feel the risks are low.
I’ve always been a little uncomfortable about surprises – at least until recently. I’ve been trying to figure out why this is, and have come up with a few possible reasons:
- I’m a control freak … okay, this might overstate things, but I usually like being in control. Putting myself in someone else’s hands makes be a little uncomfortable.
- I worry about having the right reaction … many of us are brought up to be pleasers. In the case of a surprise, you want to be sure you have the reaction that the person surprising you is expecting. Especially if the surprise isn’t what you thought it would be (or maybe not even what you hoped it would be). I worry that my reaction won’t seem genuine, or will be too overstated or understated.
- It’s a gamble, and I’m not a gambler … leaving things to chance means you might love the surprise, be okay with it, or be a little bit disappointed. Those of us who like to be in control don’t like leaving things to chance. It feels too risky. Why not take control of the situation and make sure it’s a big success?!?
Recently, my husband and our closest friends decided to plan a surprise for my birthday. I knew this was in the works, but they didn’t let any of the details slip. And surprisingly, I felt great about it! I was very curious about what they were planning, but felt totally comfortable in their hands, and knew I would love what they had in store for me. The secret?? Having people who know you really well in charge of the surprise. I knew they’d plan something I would love, so it took the gamble out of it. And, without the gamble, I was confident I’d have the right reaction. Those two things meant I actually enjoyed handing control over to someone else, and was able to just embrace the ride.
So, for those of you who don’t normally love surprises … entrust someone you know well to plan something unexpected, and let yourself relax and enjoy it. It’s a great feeling!!