Have you ever found yourself constantly disappointed? Disappointment says, “Something didn’t go as I expected.” But if we use that emotion to guide us, like the inner compass that it is, we would find that there are hidden and unconscious needs, expectations, and ideas of what outcome we desire from the person or situation.
Let’s dive deeper.
Disappointment tends to come up when we haven’t clearly expressed something, often even if we aren’t aware of what it was that we wanted from that person or situation, it was running in the background of our mind and our brain used our past experiences to predict the outcome we expected to get, but something falls short and disappointment pops up in our emotional awareness to let us know that something is missing from this scenario.
Emotions related to disappointment are resentment, contempt, frustration, anger, sadness, grief, confusion, neglect, and surprise. Some of these emotions are amplifications of disappointment, such as resentment, contempt, and anger. Showing us that this disappointment has been going on for a while now, and we are still missing something.
The learning opportunity.
The more consciously aware of our needs, values, and expectations, the easier it is to vocalize and share those things with the people who need to know so that they don’t go unmet. The problem is, often, we don’t even know what those things are until it’s too late.
BUT. If you were to pause and look at your past experiences, especially those where disappointment and its related emotions come up, you would find unmet needs and expectations and be able to make a mental note of those, so you can start expressing them to those who need to know.
It also brings forward new opportunities to create boundaries that will let you ensure that your relationships are more balanced, rather than one-sided.
Here is an example:
If your partner forgets your birthday and doesn’t even acknowledge it one year, you would feel disappointed and hurt because you EXPECTED them to remember it. When it doesn’t happen, you probably tell yourself a story to explain the feeling and unmet expectation that may sound like, “They don’t care about me, I’m not a priority for them.” If you were to look at that statement and examine it, you’d notice that to feel Love and Belonging, you need the people you are close to to remember dates and things that are important to you. Maybe you need quality time, words of affirmation, or a gift on those special occasions to indicate that you are important to them too. If you never take the time to express that, it’s unlikely that they will know what makes you feel special or that your birthday is important to you. Especially if they grew up in a household that didn’t prioritize birthday celebrations, or didn’t model your preferred love language.
Occasionally we have some unrealistic expectations that are running in the background and the expectations are far beyond reach. As you begin to identify your expectations, it is helpful to break down each one and be honest with what specifically you expect. What criteria need to be met for that expectation to be fulfilled?
Sometimes we put a lot of criteria into an expectation that just isn’t feasible for us or others in that moment, whether it’s time, skills, mental capacity, or something else. I often see my clients expect themselves to be experts or masters at something right off the bat and then get upset with themselves when they don’t reach the impossible bar they set for themselves.
Learning new skills takes consistent practice, adjustment, and effort. Mistakes are how we learn and know that there are adjustments that we need to make. Perfection in any form seems to be the most common unrealistic expectation there is. The idea of the word itself is an illusion. Perfection can only ever achieve stagnation, there’s no growth within perfection or a way to expand beyond the criteria of perfection. If you expect to always grow and learn, it’s far more achievable, realistic, and adaptable.
When we are aware of our needs and expectations and ensure that they are reasonable, achievable, and feasible, then we can begin to communicate and share those expectations with others. This allows them to support you, and you an opportunity to prioritize yourself, and your needs, and create boundaries and balance in your life. To do this, you have to start taking the time to get to know yourself much better, including the hidden parts of you that aren’t as easily seen.
If you are ready to stop being so disappointed constantly, and ready to start creating more balance, happiness, and satisfaction in your life, click the link to schedule a call to get started. In just 6 months you can go from always disappointed to happy, content, and fulfilled.