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Expectations in Escaping the Silence

Having done hundreds of escape rooms, we’ve grown to get excited about novel escape room experiences. For example, we enjoyed doing a room in complete darkness, liberating ourselves from an escape boat (yes – a real boat on the water), and even breaking out of a coffin (yes – a real coffin!). We were extremely excited about what we believed was going to be a room in complete silence.

When we first heard about the room, the story we created in our heads was that, as we tried to escape a space ship, we had to be completely silent, so as not to alert the aliens, who would attack if they heard us. We booked the room a month in advance of our weekend trip to the area. On the drive to the location, we discussed the best ways to tackle the room since one of us could be ’quiet challenged’ in the best of times (to be overly polite). Once we arrived, the game master led us to the space tube that would lead us onto the spaceship. As we waited in the tube, our anticipation building to a peak, for the door to open, we silently headed into the ship when the countdown timer began.

Very quickly, we realized that the “silent” part of the room only lasted until we solved the first clue, and the only consequence of making too much noise was the main lights shutting off, leaving us with the glow of the monitor to work on that first puzzle. We had built up the room so much in our heads that we were disappointed in the experience. Here’s the thing though – it was a really good room! The set-like quality of the spaceship and the logical flow of the puzzles was superb. If we hadn’t created such a story about the room before we entered it, we would have thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

How often do we do this in life? We set up expectations about a person, a job, a vacation, or some other aspect in our life, and then we miss out on the experience because it didn’t fit in with our expectations. Of course, we should have some expectations that should be met (such as we will not accept violence in any relationship); however, we are often over-inflating our expectations and when others or experiences don’t measure up to them, we allow ourselves to be disappointed and not see the person, or experience, for what it is bringing us. Where are you doing this in your life right now?

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