Self-fulfilling Prophecy

It is a Monday morning and the calls are starting to come in.  They began since early this morning.  First I heard of my voicemail, “I do not feel to well.  I have been sick all weekend, but tomorrow I should be ok”. The voice was cracking and sniffles were heard.  Then an email, which read, Sandra I am sorry but I will not be able to make it to work today.  I want to be honest with you.  I had a rough weekend and I want to take today off to rest.  I should be back in to work tomorrow.  I take both reasons into account and ponder.  Even though the tiring excuse is weak, it is a more acceptable truth.  I heard the voice of a sick person on the phone message, but I have heard that many times.  What triggered the email to be more acceptable was the fact that it was a different reason.  It was a reason that “I” would have imaged to be truer than the role-playing of a sick person.

My reactions to both scenarios differ in the sense of my acceptance of each.  Both reasons may be very well true or false.  What I found myself doing was fulfilling my self-fulfilling prophecy. According to Merton’s concept of the self-fulfilling prophecy, “If men define situations as real, they are real in their consequences”. 

Do not get me wrong, I am experiencing cognitive dissonance for each situation, but one is easier to accept than the other.  The role of the sick person seems to be a well-known excuse that makes me question whether the true factor still stands.  For the other person who was honest, I seem to be experiencing less dissonance because the reason falls more on “my” reasons of reasonable actions.  In other words, I am hearing what I want to hear from the person who was honest, which makes her excuse more acceptable.


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