Why we Should Stop Feeling Disappointed
Disappointment. An often-used word. We feel disappointed when we don’t get the job offer. We feel disappointed when our holiday plans don’t work out. We feel disappointed when a friend arrives late to a meeting. We feel disappointed when family members have no time to show up for the birthday party.
You can feel disappointed in yourself, in someone else, or because of a situation. But should we, and in case of feeling disappointed in someone else, are we allowed to feel this way?
Disappointment is the feeling of sadness or displeasure caused by the non-fulfillment of one’s hopes or expectations. The word actually comes from the French word disappointer which means “undo the appointment”. So the real use for the word is when a plan gets canceled. Today we use the word more often to express a feeling after a hope or expectation gets crushed.
In German, the word for disappointment (Enttäuschung) comes from the word deception (Täuschung). This implies a deliberate intention in disappointing someone. It’s also used to express a feeling of crushed hopes or expectations.
Anyway, connected with the feeling of disappointment is always an expectation, a need or desire, and another emotion. If we learn to detect this reaction chain, we can learn to deal with the feeling of disappointment and stop it.
My thesis: Other people can’t disappoint us.
Other people can’t disappoint us, because it’s always our own expectation which didn’t get fulfilled. If a friend promises to be on time for the meeting, it’s our expectation in honesty and reliability that’s not fulfilled when the friend isn’t arriving on time. Some people don’t like to wait for others, because they could do other, better, things in the meantime. But with most people, it’s the need for reliability that makes us feel disappointed. The need to be able to rely on friends. The unfulfilled need can lead to emotions like insecurity.
Most often the other people don’t know about our expectations or hopes. So how could they even fulfill them? Sometimes they know about the expectation, but they’re unaware of the connected need or emotion and so…