Friday, June 9, 2023

Dealing with Disappointment

No matter who we are or how we live our lives, we inevitably can’t seem to not cross roads with one, two or more disappointment. We have dreams and set goals whose frail attempt may see us in glorious victory or frustrating defeat, and such is the nature of life.

The word disappointment is made up of’ ‘dis’ and ‘appointment’. DIS means separate, apart, or asunder. So, disappointment describes a feeling of dissatisfaction or anguish, which is experienced when we are torn apart from our expected appointment with fate. Yet, we don’t have to experience pain when things don’t go our way. The negativity surrounding disappointment exists not in the real world, but only in our mind. It is not the event, but our interpretation of it that causes pain.

A lot of people however always think that disappointment stems from other people only, choosing to avoid that other ‘situations’ or aspects in life also bring about disappointment. A friend of mine, when asked about disappointment said they have never been disappointed. Asserting that, “I do not create room for other people to disappoint me.” When I asked him if he only thought that other people are the only source of disappointment, he answered after a well conceived answer, “life too can disappoint you, but there is no how to avoid it.” Reiterating that, “with people” you can.

We all experience disappointments in various aspects of our lives, while you get disappointed at school, with your grades, and while you fail to graduate, someone else gets disappointed in their love life, having gone through a string of useless infidelities in relationships, and breaking up with partner after partner, one fails to keep a marriage, someone loses a child, fails to conceive, business plans fail to bear any significant fruit, we struggle with finding jobs or that dream house we always wanted, and we face social snubs and watch as our health deteriorates.

One can easily wake up and go to the doctor’s for a regular check up, only to be told they have cancer, and one can work in an area only to be transferred and when they least expected and obviously not prepared.

No matter the magnitude of one’s disappointment, whether you were stood up for a lunch date or confronted with the sad news like losing a loved one, to death or terminating a relationship with them, it still hurts at the end of the day and should be dealt with.

People deal with disappointments in different ways. Some people get mad, some react by acting tough or being numb and pretending that they are handling the pain that comes with it, while some just sleep it off and look forward to the next step in life. Some however, tap into it and use it as motivation for another goal for the future.

What kind are you?

Do you eat your way out of it, or give away to some other addiction to ‘fill up the space’, some people are more likely to deal with disappointment in a destructive manner, like revenging, lashing out, being bitter about the whole scenario, and look for a channel to lay the blame on, ( a target).

We should however, learn to recognize disappointment, as “it manifests as a hollow feeling inside; the feeling of being let down and even betrayed. Feelings of hurt, disbelief and shock often accompany disappointment,” says

Another close friend always chants, “Focus on the bright side of it”, and is she right! We have to understand that disappointments as they come are not meant to hold us back or put us down. Much as they seem to be a curse that we cannot overcome, they are only a block upon which we stumble only to find our way around it again. Disappointment can be overcome and what one requires is positive energy to do so. A simple example is how we tend to believe “there are many fish in the sea” with regard to failed relationships, and so we can do with anything that life throws at us. We all have experiences to assert that a disappointment can turn into something good; no matter how cursed you believe you are.

Adjusting our expectations should also work us to deal better with disappointment. We have heard more than once to expect the worst, well we don’t have to entirely do so, but not raising our hopes too much for something to happen helps. An easier way is to rather, make believe situations, even tougher ones. It will prove better to know illness happens, or not all marriages soar, he/she was not the one for me, I will find another date next time, there are even better jobs, cars houses and everything else!

Just do not settle for mediocrity in any way.


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