If there is anything you can take for granted in life, it is that sooner or later you will be disappointed. Alexander Pope said "blessed is he who expects nothing because he will never be disappointed". But since it's extremely difficult not to have expectations, disappointment will also knock on your door sooner or later.
Disappointment is a form of sadness, which is often experienced as a feeling of loss. It is a painful gap between our expectations and reality. The disappointments are as many as the hopes and expectations, although the disappointments that hurt the most are those that come from close and important people.
How to use disappointment to open your eyes?
We usually see disappointment from a negative perspective, and it's understandable why when we feel disappointed we see life through gray lenses. But disappointment can also be a teacher of life. Even though it hurts us, disappointment provides us with valuable information about our beliefs about ourselves, other people, and what we believe would make us truly happy. Disappointment can help us open our eyes.
Therefore, the next time you are disappointed, instead of being stuck in that state, think about what you can learn from the situation. Consider these questions:
- Thing. Do you really think there is only one thing that can make you happy?
Sometimes we become obsessed with one thing, we believe that only when we have it can we be truly happy or satisfied and, if we fail, we are disappointed and fall into the deepest sadness. But if we subordinate our happiness to just one thing, we will have a serious problem. If we are not happy with what we have, it is likely that we will not be happy with what we achieve, simply because happiness is an inner state.
- Who. Do you think that only one person can fulfill your wishes?
Sometimes we think that when we find a soul mate, the stars will line up and we will live happily ever after. We look for a set of characteristics in that person and have very high expectations, so when we bump into reality, we are disappointed. Are you expecting too much from the other person? Maybe you have expectations that that person cannot meet? Remember that true satisfaction depends on you and not on someone else. Don't think that others should care about you, help you, or compromise with you. Rather ask yourself what you can do for these people.
- When. Do you always set a time limit to get what you want?
Our expectations are influenced by social norms. Without realizing it, we follow implicit rules that tell us when we need to achieve certain goals. As a result, we put our goals on a timeline and if we don't reach them, we think we have failed. Finding a soul mate, making a career, being successful… Instead, we should understand that we are all unique and that we follow a different pace. Confrontation and haste will only disappoint us by making us misinterpret the signs of life, which sometimes does not tell us "no", but only "wait".
- Like. Do you think there is only one right way to do things?
Even if we have analyzed every little detail, life always manages to add some chaos. Thinking that there is only one way to achieve your goals, or only one correct and appropriate way to do things, will inevitably lead to disappointment. It's nice to have a project, but we mustn't forget that there is always room for improvisation. If life doesn't work according to our plans, it means we need to change, adapt to new circumstances and develop a new plan. Crying over spilled milk won't help us. In this regard, Abraham Maslow found that self-realized people have a strange ability to distinguish between means and ends; that is, they have their eyes fixed on their goals, keeping themselves open to the various opportunities that may arise. They are aware that there are several ways to get there.
Don't use disappointment as a brick to build emotional walls
We have to be especially careful of disappointment because it can become the brick with which we build emotional walls. When a disappointment has been particularly big or we have accumulated many small disappointments, we can feel so deceived and betrayed that we build a wall around us.
It is true that this wall protects us from future disappointments, especially in love relationships, but it also prevents us from returning to delude ourselves, love and vibrate. Therefore, we need to make sure we heal the emotional wound and not get stuck in disappointment. We must use disappointments as an opportunity to learn and grow, not as an excuse to close ourselves off from the world.