What is a Disappointment?
Once upon a time, there was a kid who loved his father. One day his father went on a voyage for business. His father promised to buy him a pony. The boy waited and waited for his father to come. Months melted into years and the boy grew up. But the boy always found happiness whenever he recalled the promise of his father. He felt hopeful about the future. He would go for business on the pony like his father did. Months melted into years and one day his father came back with many riches and gifts for the family and even for the neighbourhood. The only thing that he missed was the pony. His father mourned about the fact that he had bought a pony but it died on the way back home.
The boy was heartbroken. He felt bad, his sorrows welled up in his eyes.
When we wish for something and fail to get it, it leads to disappointment. The achievable object, the one the person expects can be tangible as well as intangible. It might be a mere expectation from a person to behave lovingly, to care to obey, etc. When the expectations are not fulfilled, they cause disappointments.
Paths to Disappointment
There are two different forms of lives that can lead to disappointments. One way is where the person has a long list of wants and desires. The overachievers are ones who see life from the angle of a bill or receipt. The demands might be on their minds.
Often an overachiever is also a person who works harder than others, gives more than others. But this ‘giving’ has attached to it a good reason. He or she may appear to have given altruistically, unconsciously it may seem the opposite.
For example, when they have worked hard, they have wished for riches. While in an office they have worked hard, they have unconsciously wanted incentives, or they have wanted a promotion. If they somehow do not get any of these, they feel disappointed. They show their tantrums or the disappointment may be reflected through their decreased productivity.
On the other hand, if you see through the eyes of an underachiever, any achievement in life will
seem like a boon. This is because these underachievers do not wish for anything. So, whatever they get is a bonus for them. In reality, these underachievers also face disappointments because somehow they have some dormant or hidden desires which they do not want consciously, and thus they never get fulfilled. Disappointment in a relationship can come from a lack of targets.
These people often end up disappointing relatives and the people around them who have expectations for themselves. Then they feel bad if those people are significant in their lives. For example, if a person does not care about the wants and desires in his life, still he will need some approval or belongingness in life which he perceives as valuable. It might be making his family happy to educate his children and receive love from them in return. When they do not achieve love and belongingness, they feel bad. Disappointment in relationships may be a result of the unfulfilled wishes of others rather than self.
Expectations of others
An individual may control the urge of forming mental propaganda to achieve the goals in his long list. He on the other hand may invest his mental energy in buying the best for the people around him. Taking care of the people around him. If the people in his life who are significant appear happy, he will think that he achieved what he wanted in life.
But there is another angle to this achievement. The self-sacrificing individual becomes a big zero if the people for whom he makes the sacrifices refuse to be contented. This mere realization may have harsh aftermath on the mental and physical health of that individual. This is because the significant people in his life had a completely different set of expectations.
Our Expectations: Personal and influenced
Genetically human beings are born with certain tendencies that are called their predominances. These predominant characteristics give rise to certain types of personality traits. Some of the personality types have an internal locus and some have an external locus.
Having an external locus diverts the inner energy, desire wishes, and even the responsibility of making those desires materialize is also cast on others. This very fact gives the key to satisfaction or happiness in someone else’s hands. The person loses all power and becomes dependent.
On the contrary, people with their own key to happiness never depend on others. They take all of the responsibility for themselves. Their expectations are on self.
Coping with Disappointment
- Accepting the disappointment: don’t be like an Ostrich
The worst thing a person does with himself after getting disappointed is closing his eyes to it. Behaving like an Ostrich who puts his head inside the ground and think that the danger is no more. Denial only worsens the situation. Even if it is a worse case of failure, if they are not accepted, the individual loses his opportunity to fix it.
- Objectify the disappointment: It is a phase, it is not you
Often people fail and start saying ‘ I am a failure”. They take things to extremes and nullifying all their ability to fix things, they consider themselves the problem. The failure is a problem, which can be taken up as a challenge. The harder the challenge the rewarding it gets when you solve the problem. Be a sport and fix it yourself.
- Know the harsh truth: There are many to come
It may be easier to think that one failure ended life. The person may turn himself into a big failure by giving himself a tag of failure. But the harder thing is to accept the fact that it is not the end of life and it is not the end of failure. There are more to come. Often people forget that they may face bigger failures in the future. They need to be active enough to face them.
- Learn from the failures
Failures are the greatest teachers. When we face failure, our mind is in a state of humility and self-realization. Often unrealistic expectations about capabilities and standards of hard work are broken to be built again. This state of mind is humbled and often empty. This makes it the best time to learn. But learning becomes impossible if a person considers it as a dead end. Learning from the disappointment is possible only when the person is positive in terms of thought and action.