I recently heard the quote, “People don’t want to be surprised by a story, they want the best birthday present.”
I’m not sure who said it, and I think it should be “People don’t want to be surprised, they want the present they didn’t realize they already wanted” but I agree with the idea wholly.
I dislike surprises. For example:
I hate practical jokes.
Now, I love the Weasley Twins in Harry Potter, practical jokers extraordinaires. How does this work?
There’s a definite difference between walking under a door with a bucket of water, and picking up something that’s not yours and having it turn into a rubber chicken. If only you were OBSERVANT, the latter wouldn’t happen to you. This seems fair.
The Weasleys seemed to always give people a fair chance, and laugh at their lack of intelligence.
Many practical jokes (and the whole of April Fools Day) essentially rely on undermining your faith in humanity. I hate that.
Short-sheeting beds (which I had never heard of before I helped someone figure out the science of it) in an established prank war is hilarious. Handing someone a cup of fish sauces instead of an Americano is just cruel.
What does this have to do with introversion? When you are thoughtful, you put a lot of effort into obeying social rules, or choosing which to break. Expectations are something you try to predict to smooth things over. Surprises, like surprise parties and gifts, usually involve an expectation–which you have no control over.
Lizzy Bennett was twice surprised by proposals–if she’d been hoping for either of them, she would have been happy. But because she wasn’t, it was more horrible for being a surprise. When Mr. Darcy proposes at the end there’s a lot more lead in, and therefore she has time to somewhat expect it. And still be thrilled.
So when dealing with an introvert, and trying to surprise them with a gift–get them something they asked for.
I don’t want to be surprised with something I never thought I wanted. I want to be surprised by what you remembered I wanted–or what you chose off that carefully prepared list with reach items and some too-cheap things that could be a multiple-choice.