I’ve spent my life trying to avoid disappointment, which means that I’ve spent my life preparing for the worst instead of the best.
I figured out early in life that the way to never get hurt in life is to never play the game of life. I learned that it was safer to play not to lose instead of playing to win.
There was even a time when I developed an intense fear of answering my phone or reading my emails in case I received bad news and became disappointed.
How disappointment impacts behaviour
Swami Satchidanand, energy enhancement and meditation guru, argues that encountering disappointment as children leads us to make the decision to never experience disappointment by developing 1 of 6 personalities to help us cope with disappointment:
- The victim
Deals with disappointment by creating victimized states to get what they want and will even fall sick and get depressed to get attention
- The sadist
Perpetrates pain (physical abuse, sexual abuse, abuse of power, verbal abuse, emotional and mental abuse) to get attention and justify their need for disappointment
- The aggressive interrogator
Seeks approval and attention by asking questions and telling jokes in order to dissociate with the pain of disappointment
- The aloof
Withdraws from the disappointing situation and uses that withdrawal to gain attention
- The jealous competitive star
Need to always excel and be the star of the show by being better than everyone in order to avoid feeling disappointed
- The seducerUses sex, glamor, and sensuality and sometimes drugs to overcome disappointment
How to deal with disappointment
The truth is in the game of life, you open yourself up to new people and new experiences, which comes with pain and pleasure.
Things won’t always go the way you envisioned them and you will need to know how to deal with disappointment:
- Detach from outcome
Buddhists talk about detaching from outcome.
When you detach from outcome you accept that the only person you can control is you.
You can control the actions you take and the time you take to do something but you can’t control the outcome because that depends on so many variables, like other people, that are out of your control.
- Have a plan B for the worst case scenario
As soon as you make the decision to do something ask yourself these 2 questions:
- What’s the worst that can happen if this doesn’t go as planned?
- What other actions can I take?
These questions help you plan for the worst but also help you change your perspective if the outcome doesn’t go as planned.
Knowing that you can take other actions to achieve your goals will empower you.
- Separate the facts from the story
Understand that your interpretation of the facts is what leads to disappointment.
The more you refuse to accept the facts as they are, the more disappointed you will feel. If you’re unable to accept things as they are, you can always do some eft tapping for disappointment.
In the end I've come to see that life can never hurts us, it’s the way that we choose to interpret the way that life unfolds that causes us to feel disappointed.
Life just happens; we feel disappointed when we believe it should unfold differently.
How do you deal with disappointment?
Let me know in the comments section below