Lurking in the shadows, poised to pounce at any time, is the happiness thief known as Disappointment. It is frequently experienced after major gift-giving holidays, and birthdays and anniversaries. It can also appear after work-related events or major life events.
Disappointment occurs when a desire or expectation is not fulfilled. You become discontent with the reality of the situation and dissatisfied with the outcome.
One of the major culprits responsible for feelings of disappointment is your expectations. Expectations usually spring from your secret hopes and desires for a thing you expect to receive or a circumstance, you expect to experience. You are expecting to be promoted or proposed to, or gifted or thanked.
If the desired situation does not occur you will probably feel let down, discouraged, sad, unhappy and confused. You may feel that you have not received your just desserts and that you have been disrespected.
It is possible that you are unaware that you had any expectations at all and then, whoosh, your disappointment seems to come out of nowhere. Even if you do not have any expectations you can still be disappointed. You usually cannot protect yourself in advance but you can mitigate your disappointed feelings and move on.
Accept the fact that you may have set the bar too high. The individual involved may not be capable of even perceiving your needs let alone, fulfilling them. That is part of why some situations can be hurtful. It is a human desire to be truly “known” and understood. The wrong gift or comment or action can make you feel completely misunderstood and undervalued.
Accept responsibility for your part of it, for your failure to communicate exactly who you are and what you like or what you want. Think twice about the consequences before expressing your disappointment. You do not want to hurt someone or jeopardize the relationship. Do not take it personally. Let it go. It is not a reflection of your self-worth, your talents or someone’s affection for you.
Patricia Frank is a Licensed Psychotherapist. She can be reached at 305- 788-4864, Psychotherapy.firstname.lastname@example.org