When I first started off as a door-to-door salesman, I was nervous. My perception was that no-one ever bought anything at their door, and I would have people being rude and telling me to go away, slamming their door in my face.
In my first few weeks and months, this happened just as I expected. But it seemed like the other more experienced salespeople hardly ever had this happen to them. Somewhere along the way, I learned to visualize positive reactions out of the people I was meeting door-to-door. I began to expect a different, more receptive response when I knocked on people’s doors. And, slowly the responses became more positive, and it became rare that I was met with a rude homeowner.
I started to see myself as a good salesman, and then people were treating me in such a way too – they started buying from me. I started expecting them to buy from me too – and more people did.
It’s likely that simply expecting more isn’t the only factor at play here. Obviously, with time my competencies as a salesman improved, and naturally I became less negatively affected by rude remarks, so I was less likely to take things personally if and when they happened. If interactions did go sour, I would have strong boundaries and remove myself from situations I deemed unacceptable.
This concept of being treated the way you expect can translate to general life too. Some people are constantly embroiled in drama and toxic relationships, while others seem to be able to avoid it all. It’s hard to imagine that this happens by chance – it’s more likely that people who attract drama expect and are willing to accept unnecessary conflict instead of having healthy boundaries and picking the right battles to fight.
The world treats you more or less the way you expect to be treated. So start expecting more.