In life, sometimes we brace for the worst. We clench when Cathy from Floor 9 calls. We book a massage when his mother visits. Turns out, we do this with our spouses too. Keith Sanford
, associate professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Baylor University, believes our expectations of how a conflict will resolve often dictate it. That is, when you expect him to freak out, chances are he will -- and well, you're okay with it, because that's just how you two react. In some cases, when we have a negative expectancy, we become angry ourselves
, regardless of the other person's initial behavior or response to us. As Sanford explains, "If I expect you to be angry with me I might preemptively criticize you, and if I preemptively criticize you, you might indeed get angry with me, so it becomes a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy."