Student or Learner
What does "surprise" refer to in the following context? Some surprising and unexpected event?
At a deeper level, your expectations actually shape what others are doing and saying. We subtly tune in to the expectations of others. We can sense whether they are going to be easy or difficult, open or self-involved, friendly or aloof. Silent signals shape all encounters. As for situations that defy expectation, usually the expectation was false or a projection: we are covering up fear, apprehension, suspicion, or doubts. The "surprise" fulfills these more real but hidden expectations; it should be no surprise that all at once you are aware of feelings you have denied and pushed out of sight.
It refers to unexpected situations.
I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.