These are all phrases we’ve heard echo across our lifetime. They only take a few seconds to utter, but can linger on within us for a lifetime. Chances are if you’re reading this, then someone at some point has disappointed you or vice-versa; you’ve disappointed them. For disappointment to be invited into our lives, at some point we had to have expectations of something or someone that were not fulfilled. This lack of fulfillment caused a breach in our feelings of security and our sense of trust. The real question is what do we do with this disappointment once it has occurred?
The way that I see it is, you have three options available to you:
1. You can remove yourself from the source of disappointment entirely.
This can take many forms-divorce, not talking about any feelings and trying to ignore them, or trying to avoid the person altogether.
2. You can continue on the same path, doing things the same way, and never attempting something different.
(In my experience this leads to feelings of resentment and a numbing of feelings—even happiness!) Keep in mind that if you always do what you’ve always done, you will always get, what you’ve always got.
3. You can try something different.
Have I sold you yet on trying something different? If so read on for tips to begin healing from the disappointment.
1. Keep your expectations realistic!
We’ve all been in positions where we dream of things like being the next millionaire, wanting a knight in shining armor, or having our own personal servants that cater to our every beck and call. Remember to ask yourself if what you are requesting from others is realistic. A good way to know is by asking yourself “Would I do this, if the roles were reversed.” And asking yourself “Is the other person capable of doing what I’m asking?”
2. Discuss what disappoints you or how you’ve disappointed them.
Discussing what our wants and needs are shows not only that we care about one another, but also that we care enough about ourselves to be heard. When we have opportunities to discuss our needs and wants–It is these types of conversations that help build substance, trust, and a strong bond in any type of relationship. We get opportunities to share the vulnerable parts of ourselves by asking one another to come to our aid, and we also get the opportunity to show compassion by coming to someone else’s aid!
3. Don’t expect everything to be fixed magically over-night.
Ever heard the saying that Rome wasn’t built in a day? Well neither were relationships! Living in a technology driven era has left many of us with the idea that everything should be resolved or completed immediately. The difference between us and technology is that we have feelings and we think. This makes us far superior to technology, but it also mucks up our ability to get over or move on from things quickly, especially if we are talking about feelings of hurt or disappointment. Be patient with others and yourself! Meaningful change takes time, and there are going to be mess-ups along the way—and that’s okay as long as there is effort to grow and change!
If you find yourself struggling with the concept of being disappointed or are concerned that you are nagging or being the one that says “I told you so” too much, first know that you are not alone, second this can be overcome!
If you think you may need a little bit of extra help or guidance in overcoming your disappointment, don’t forget that you have an ally in your corner! Together we can learn what is keeping you disappointed and exactly what your expectations are. From there we can discuss what options you have available to you to alleviate disappointment from your life altogether!