SITE: “Overcoming Disappointment”
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RECOVERY: While it’s normal & human to be disappointed from time to time, ACoAs have lived in it to-o-o much.
• To HEAL from early Ds, acknowledge that it did happen, a lot. If you don’t, you can’t heal it. Then do an inventory of all the times you can remember being let down – by age, no matter what the reason. Share it with a trusted person. Let yourself feel the pain, sorrow, rage, frustration, loss, loneliness…. of them all. It’s BIG.
• To counter your current ongoing disappointments :
√ remember the inventory of Ds. Be sure to actually say what you need, first to yourself, & then to someone else, just to be clear.
√ When you ask for something from another person, try to be specific, direct & brief.
Make sure they’re capable!
If the person is reliable they’ll try to answer (yes, no or later) honestly & accurately. If they’re evasive – take that as a NO, & go elsewhere.
• Make sure you provide as much of your adult & child needs as you are currently capable of. Reach out. Try new things. Be aware of your expectations & check to see if they’re reasonable.
Follow thru & don’t just wait to see what others will do. They have busy lives, & either don’t know your needs, or don’t care!
⬆️ CHART: “Opting out means consciously making different choices”
• Focus on gratitude – for all the things you DO have. This doesn’t mean being ‘up’ when you’re not, but only shifting perspective. You can still work toward getting what you want – but make sure it’s in the right places & with the right people – who already have what you want & can provide it to you – under the right circumstances.
ASK, ASK, ASK others:
Ahead of time – “Are you sure you can do this? When can you do do it? What will it cost me if you do? What do I have to do to make it happen?…..
If I’m disappointed: “What happened? Why didn’t you let me know you couldn’t —-? Can you still do it soon? / when?” ….
CORRECT THINKING :
√ If you know the person us generally dependable, you can be sure that their reason for ‘forgetting’ was legitimate, AND not about us
√ If you don’t know them, you need to give them at least one more chance, maybe two. No more than that, especially if their ‘misses’ are fairly close together, which spells a pattern
√ If you know them to be unreliable & you’re stuck with them for some reason – DO NOT rely on them AT ALL. Focus on yourself & look for an appropriate support system.
NOTE: We can reduce the impact of these experiences by re-directing them to our cerebral cortex. That is, we must use reason, focusing on the unfulfilling experiences more objectively, correcting negative thoughts.
How we cope with disappointments can become defining moments in our lives, which are most often influenced by our upbringing. Some people try to avoid them by underachieving (setting expectations permanently low), others by overachieving (setting expectations unattainably high).
👁️🗨️ INSTEAD we can choose a coping style :
☼ that actively looks to identify what ‘went wrong’
☼ checks if our expectations were reasonable, or not
☼ continues to evaluate our thinkings & actions (introspection)
☼ finds positive solutions, instead of obsessing on the past.
Although some disappointment is inevitable, feeling discouraged is always a choice – based on our beliefs.
TREE Illustration from Dr. Randolph M. Nesse, in AZ.
The ‘Disappointment Wedge’ lists 5 painful emotions (in part 3).
This drawing ➡️ clearly shows the two main branches we can climb, depending on where we start.
• For so many of us, the ‘arousing’ factor in our early years was constant threat, generating a pileup of anxiety.
NOW we have options. So let’s go back to the bottom of the tree, & start up the other branch, the one based on positive opportunities & realistic HOPE. It’s what our WIC has been waiting for.
THEN – life’s ‘normal’ disappointments won’t hurt so much!
NEXT: Dealing with criticism #1