We go through a lot of emotions- I mean a LOT. But there is one in particular I’ve found people try to avoid at all costs. Disappointment. Think about it, when we cause people to feel other things like anger, we almost get a rush off it in the moment. And although we may regret it or feel sorry about our actions later, while it’s going on we usually have no problem escalating the feeling even higher. There’s a few other feelings that we treat this way like sadness, happiness, excitement, etc. Some of those we try to make last as long as possible. Sadness we can even get lost in, and yeah nobody wants to feel sad- but the truth is sometimes we need to.
Back to the point. Of all the feelings that come to mind, the one I really never want to make myself or anyone else feel is disappointment. We try so desperately to not disappoint the people close to us that sometimes we make the wrong decisions for ourselves. Your parents are a big one here. Maybe they really want you to get into a particular college, or apply at a certain job. And people tend to want to make their parents proud. But what if those decisions aren’t the right ones to make for your own well-being? Maybe you want to go to the college where your friends are at, maybe you don’t want a career in that field. We can’t let disappointment hold us back from doing what makes us happy.
This comes into play when interacting with our friends too. Sometimes you can even start to feel that awful sensation as you send a simple text back- “I can’t hang out tonight, sorry.” See, you even felt guilty enough you had to throw in a quick apology at the end. The truth is it’s almost never going to be the end of you and your friend’s relationship if you can’t hang out that night. And friends, the good kind, are great at understanding this. You have other obligations, it’s OK.
Of course, there’s also self disappointment. It’s a feeling that usually comes in after disappointing someone else. You forgot to do the errand your mom really needed you to do, you failed your exam at school, your boss thought you could have done better with your report. Well, here’s the great thing about disappointment- in most of these cases you can allow it to motivate you. Tell yourself, “I don’t ever want to make someone feel that way again. I WILL do better.” If you start thinking this way rather than getting bummed out every time, you really will start to see a difference. And then when you succeed, you’ll replace that old feeling of disappointment with ones like pride, happiness, and satisfaction.
Some people can tend to say things like, “Well I don’t care if I’m a huge disappointment.” I’m not denying there are people out there who don’t care about disappointing others or themselves. But I’ve never met anyone who strives for disappointment, goes out aiming to get that feeling. These type of people certainly aren’t a lost cause. Everyone reaches a point where they feel the need to at least try doing something different. It’s because people don’t want to feel bad, and their minds will lead them to do things to make themselves feel better. It’s not always the right thing, but they will adapt. That’s why the people near to them need to give that little push in the right direction. Nothing too specific, don’t make them think it’ll be the end of the world if they don’t. Just enough that they have the freedom to choose what specifically they do, but it’s still in the correct direction on the path to a less disappointing and more joyful life.
Moral of the story- don’t fear disappoint, don’t think it’s completely unavoidable either. But always let it inspire you to do better.