Ever cook when frustrated
Disappointment: 3 ways, 10 tips + 14 sayings to overcome them
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What are disappointments?
Disappointments are delayed truths - and unfortunately, inevitable in life. The trigger for this are (unrealistic) expectations, hopes and wishes that have not been fulfilled. Accordingly, disappointments are accompanied by strong negative feelings: pain, frustration, grief, sadness, anger, outrage, bitterness. They are often used as synonyms.
According to psychology, those affected not only suffer from the experience, but above all from a "narcissistic insult", which is often directed inwards and backwards: They literally feel "deceived", hurt and betrayed. Quite a few then blame themselves:
- "How could I be so blind and naive?"
- "I should have known better!"
- "Why did I rely on it?"
- "Serves me right!"
Such self-blame, however, tends to increase the effect and are more part of the problem than part of the solution. A “disappointment” in the root of the word is actually something positive: a deception has been exposed. You see things as they are now - unvarnished, clear, true.
Disappointment is only possible where there has been deception. Therefore, disappointment, painful as it may be, is a step towards the truth, a valuable liberation from error and illusion.
Causes: How does a disappointment arise?
Ultimately, a bitter disappointment is based on false expectations and poor communication. The more imprecisely we formulate our wishes or expectations of others (in the relationship as well as in the job), the greater the risk of being disappointed. Anyone who remains silent and hopes that the other person would already fulfill their own wishes is positively provoked. After all, we have no control over the behavior of others or how things go.
Even if we get smarter from experience: We can save ourselves many bitter disappointments in the future by expecting less and talking more to one another.
The 5 stages of disappointment
Even so, disappointment feels bad every time. Disappointed initially feel pathetic and often go through three typical phases:
- Premonition: Our gut feeling warns us early on that something negative can happen.
- Shock phase: The disappointing experience occurs - a breakup, a breach of trust, a failure. We are paralyzed, emotions boil and mix.
- Mourning phase: After the disappointment and disenchantment comes the phase of grief - often paired with self-pity. Depending on your personality and resilience, it takes different lengths of time to process what has happened.
- Effort: This phase is about damage control. Affected people make plans to overcome disappointment and avoid future experiences of this kind. But there are also people who give up and take refuge in the role of victim.
- Overcoming: Disappointment is followed by enlightenment. You have overcome the crisis, processed the experience and finished it. OK then! You are emotionally stable again - and mentally stronger and more mature than before.
Christian Faltin has pointedly divided these phases into these three stages:
Disenchantment, waking up and disillusionment may hurt, depressed and hurt. But it also leads to personal growth, a better understanding of people and emotional maturity.
3 types of disappointments
Not all disappointment is the same. A distinction is generally made between three types:
Some disappointment is the result of false or empty promises. We have been cheated, deceived, deliberately deceived. In the worst case, from supposedly good friends or a partner. After all: now we know better and know her real face. However, the more important the person or the expected event is to us, the greater the disappointment.
Other disillusions are not caused by the (wrong) behavior of others, but by one's own (wrong) assumptions. We expected something from people that they can never achieve or fulfill, let alone promised. In that case, the bitter disappointment is our own fault. This realization usually hurts even more because we cannot blame anyone else for it. Unfortunately, some people tend to blame in this case.
Last but not least, we can also disappoint ourselves. For example, due to high standards, impatience and unrealistic assumptions about success. We are not always aware of this. Because of this, the self-deception and disappointment afterwards are no less painful. After all, we got it on ourselves.
In the last two cases in particular, it is up to us whether we (can) be disappointed. After all, we can learn to adapt our expectations more to reality in the future and thus prevent disillusionment and deal constructively with disappointment.
Overcoming disappointment: dealing with it successfully
No matter why you are disappointed at the moment: You can overcome any (!) Disappointment and learn to deal with it constructively. Admittedly, that is not always easy. Rather, it is a (learning) process in which we constantly work on ourselves and our expectations. But it is necessary because they cannot be avoided. Disappointments are part of life. Those who accept this, keep their emotions under control and investigate the causes are well on the way to processing the disappointment, dealing with it more consciously and finally coping with it. Or as it says in a beautiful saying:
One can drown in disappointment - or learn to swim in it.
10 tips on how to overcome disappointment
In fact, there are numerous ways you can constructively deal with disappointment. We'll introduce you to the best of them below.
1. Accept your feelings
Please do not try to suppress or swallow your feelings. Those who have been disappointed are frustrated at first. That is normal. Accept that for the moment. By reflecting on yourself and your emotions, you process them and neutralize the frustration. Also see the positive in it: You have overcome a “delusion” and now you know more.
2. Find the causes
Do not just perceive your feelings, but use the disappointment for self-reflection. For example, ask yourself: Why does this annoy me? What were my expectations? Have my expectations been too high? Why? What did I contribute to the disappointment myself? Have I been fooled or have I fooled myself? What can I do better in the future? This constructive reappraisal is certainly not easy, but it trains you to deal more positively with such revelations in the future.
3. Write down your anger
Sounds reinforcing at first, but according to psychology it has the opposite effect: Those who write down their (negative) experiences can understand and process them better. On top of that you manage not to let the feelings overtake you. This gives you the proverbial distance to it and can avoid short-circuit reactions. Quite a few can already see the first solutions in their thoughts and notes.
4. Talk about the disappointment
This does not mean to angrily reproach others. But you can and should talk about it and tell the other person - calmly and factually - why he or she let you down. Motto: “I relied on it. Unfortunately, the trust was disappointed. I hope that you will keep your agreements and your promises in the future. ”This is the only way for the other to learn from it.
5. Don't blame yourself
Those who have been betrayed, deceived or abandoned tend to attack the neglected and thus vent their anger. Resist the impulse anyway: you make yourself a victim and thus small. In addition, the reaction to this is usually pure justification and (forward) defense. The result is a fruitless discussion of mutual blame that gets lost in details without ever resolving the problem. Better: ask the perpetrators about the reasons for the wrongdoing. That de-escalates and ensures constructive understanding. If you fall on deaf ears (unfortunately that also happens), please channel the frustration in a different direction: Find a good friend with whom you can let off steam or do some sport. There is only one thing you should never do: vent your frustration on the Internet!
6. Distract yourself
Disappointments often lead to brooding and negative thoughts. This only intensifies the effect and can - in the worst case - lead to depression. Stop the downward spiral and prefer to distract yourself. Do something good for your psyche: go for a walk, cook something delicious with friends or take a spontaneous vacation. The main thing is to clear your head. Meditation and relaxation techniques can also help you get down or over it.
7. Talk to friends or counselors
You yourself are anything but objective, because you are troubled by the disappointments. Talk to an outsider about the situation and ask for a new perspective. Often there are also relativising explanations. Maybe the other person has a lot on his mind or is in bigger problems himself. This new perspective can help reevaluate your disappointment and put it into perspective.
8. Learn to forgive
Here, too, it depends on what happened and how big the disappointment is. But: people make mistakes. You too, by the way. Instead of getting angry and putting a strain on your own life, you should overcome disillusionment by forgiving. Bitterness and vindictiveness only take revenge on ourselves. Those who stop resentful and practice forgiveness will be happy again much faster.
9. Be patient
Depending on the severity and extent, it can take days, weeks, or months to overcome a particularly bitter disappointment. Human betrayal, in particular, hurts enormously. So give yourself enough time to process and heal the injuries that have occurred. However, that does not mean that you can now complain to your fellow human beings for months. Everyone allows you a week or two. But after that you should - at least externally - show more sovereignty again. Inner calm and patience have a healing effect here. On the other hand, you might regret jumping to conclusions or taking quick decisions later.
10. Draw the consequences of your disappointment
If it is not the first disappointment of its kind, you should not only learn and draw conclusions from it - but also the consequences. Ultimately, “overcoming” disappointments means leaving them behind once and for all. That also includes some toxic people. Anyone who repeatedly abuses your trust, is unfaithful, exploits or betrays you should no longer be part of your personal environment. In the job, this can mean a job change with maximum consequence.
How can I avoid disappointment?
The best way not to get disappointed is through prevention. Of course, disappointments can never be completely avoided. In principle, however, you can learn from past experiences and mistakes and become more careful. Above all, you should reduce the (emotional) dependence on your wishes, hopes and ideas. Make it clear to yourself: If expectations are met, it is a gift - not something that can be taken for granted. Instead of focusing on the loss, practice gratitude for all of the times your wishes have come true.
What we advise against, however, is the attitude, as the British writer, Alexander Pope, once put it: "Blessed is he who expects nothing, because he is never disappointed." Those who no longer expect anything from themselves, from others or from life, can't achieve anything anymore. Also, is a passive, immature avoidance strategy. Such an attitude always has a negative effect on our relationships and the joy of life. Rather, try to develop more realistic expectations and plans and enjoy the anticipation.
Tips to avoid disappointing others
What to do if you disappoint others To err is human. And embarrassing happens. Anyone who makes a mistake and recognizes it as such should apologize. Immediately. Not only does this prove human greatness - it is also balm for relationships. Denial - even if most try - would be absolutely wrong. Sooner or later the truth will come out. Then, in addition to disappointment, there is also the lie. Clear, honest words can be a temporary burden. But they strengthen our cognitive immune system and save us from making the same mistake a second time.
So if you have disappointed someone (partner, family, friends, boss, colleagues, customers), look for a clarifying conversation quickly:
- Be honest.
- Take full responsibility.
- Explain the reasons - without justifying the mistake.
- If possible, try to repair the damage.
- Promise to get well soon.
Such an apology costs pride, but it does more than any compensation. She shows integrity and appreciation for the relationship. You want to save them and keep your word in the future. Point.
Very important: do not put the other person under pressure. When and how they dealt with the disappointment is no longer your responsibility. So give others time to process and forgive.
Disappointments Sayings: Finish with Disappointments
Clever sayings and quotes can also be a way of dealing with disappointments. Therefore, at the end you will find a collection of selected aphorisms and sayings on the topic that can help and encourage a change of perspective.
- "Even a disappointment, if it is only thorough and final, means a step forward." (Max Planck)
- "If you want to spare yourself the pain and disappointment with your neighbor, you avoid life." (Hans Pförtner)
- “Take people for who they are. There are no others. "(Konrad Adenauer)
- "One is not disappointed in what another does (or does not do), but only with what one expects of the other." (Mark Twain)
- "The greatest disappointments have their origin in expectations that are too great." (Ernst Ferstl)
- "I learned everything I know about disappointment from people who were important to me." (Unknown)
- "All other disappointments are small compared to those we experience in ourselves." (Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach)
- "Small disappointments are good pointers for contemplative hours." (Wilhelm Vogel)
- "We give ourselves too little account of how much disappointment we cause others." (Heinrich Böll)
- “And I was so happy,” you say reproachfully when a hope has been shattered. You were happy - is that nothing ?! "(Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach)
- A person who wants you fights. No matter how hard the fight gets for him. (Unknown)
- “I'm making a few changes in my life right now. If you don't hear from me anymore, you are one of them. "(Unknown)
- It can also be a nice feeling when something no longer affects you. "(Unknown)
- "I've got so much more out of life than I ever dreamed of - no big disappointments or unfulfilled hopes: I didn't expect much, and that's why I'm the least bitter woman I know." (Audrey Hepburn)
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