Expectations and disappointment

Expectations and disappointment

How do you feel when things don't happen as you expected? Do you usually expect a lot from others? In mythology, Pygmalion was determined not to fall in love with someone who was not perfect, by modeling a marble statue with a female figure that he considered ideal, he fell in love with her, Aphrodite made his fervent wish come true ...

This is a beautiful myth, however in reality, perfection among human beings does not exist, the expectations of this class can "sculpt" false illusions or hopes. We all have our luminous parts, and also a part that can be susceptible to improvement, most people have something we would like to change.

Sometimes we can be very demanding with ourselves and with others, instead of accepting them with their “imperfect” and human way of being, everyone has their own personal challenges, “what is optimal for a person, may not be for another ”, this is a reality both physically and cognitively and emotionally.

Many times we love and relate to the mental representation we have built of the person and not the person itself, with its defects and its virtues. Disappointment, is the feeling of dissatisfaction that is generated when a person or in a situation does not meet what you expected, Brad Warner, gives us an interesting definition: “It is only the action of your brain to readjust to reality after discovering that things are not as you thought they were. ”

What specifically was the drop that spilled the glass? Sometimes, disappointment is not caused by an attribution error or inappropriate behavior, simply because of the false expectations that oneself builds on others, we expect people to behave in a certain way, especially when you feel you have given your best. of you, Since there is no correlation between what is expected and someone's behavior, it can be assumed as an attribution error.


  • 1 Types of expectations
  • 2 Disappointment and satisfaction level
  • 3 Social networks and need for attention
  • 4 Resentment: poison for body and mind
  • 5 emotional vampires
  • 6 Walking towards healing
  • 7 First step towards healing: Acceptance
  • 8 Overcoming disappointment
  • 9 Escape the need for control
  • 10 7 Tips to overcome disappointment

Types of Expectations

The charting attainable expectations can help you meet the challenges of life with good spirit, determination and you can more easily maintain an optimal level of motivation, in order to perform actions aimed at achieving your goals. The “ideal” expectations can be attainable or not, the literature establishes two types of expectations according to the ideal point attributes (Teas, 1993; Zeithaml et al., 1993):

  1. Expectations of classic ideal point: those in which the ideal expected level is very high and due to various factors, currently the subject is not viable or achievable, it also happens to "pretend much and make little effort."
  2. Ideal point expectations attainable: the required and expected level is or can be attainable. (Clow et al., 1997).

According to another criterion, we can contemplate the following:

  1. Regulations: level with which a person considers they should perform their tasks, personal values ​​and culture are involved, they are very present in the academic and work environment.
  2. Fair or deserved: the person has the belief that others must behave in some specific way, "expect" to be treated by others because they feel they have done the same to deserve it, it has to do with the affective assessment of the relationship and the expected rewards.
  3. Predictive: it is the "mental calculation" that the person performs on what he expects from someone in a specific situation, has cognitive variables that influence emotional aspects, the subject's memory, the influence of third parties and personal assessments come into play.

When expectations are not viable, sometimes you may feel disappointed, however, the suffering comes from you, from what you expected that person to do or not for you, because you behaved in a certain way that you consider him “fair” , Nevertheless Each person is different and has their own rhythms, trying to control others or circumstances can lead to frustration. You may be waiting too long and it is that expectation that leads you to emotional suffering.

Disappointment and satisfaction level

What is an emotional dependent? When the person changes some aspects or makes modifications to adjust to what they expect from him in a way that compromises his principles, values, goals and dreams, when at the cost of his own well-being he tries to please others by "fitting in", we talk about A person with emotional dependence, their self-esteem can be so low that they have a great need for attention, but By maintaining such high expectations, they constantly find dissatisfaction in their interpersonal relationships., as they usually "demand a lot from others."

Do you feel disillusioned because you think you have done your best and anyway the relationship with that special person was further distanced? Were there any other attitudes or behaviors that bothered me before this? The disappointment indicates dissatisfaction and a difference between what happened and what happened. Yves-Alexandre Thalman says that "it is an emotion that is part of the great record of sadness and, therefore, is related to situations of loss, compared to a given ideal."

Social networks and need for attention

Social networks have facilitated communication between many people who appreciate and are physically far away, sometimes affiliation can be perceived so close that it is beneficial, however, it is not convenient to wait for others to be aware of your needs by this means At all times, remember that most people have a life to live and is not only in networks, it is in their environment, social networks are only a channel or a medium.

Do not measure your worth and the appreciation that others have for you by the number of likes they give you, with the running of the daily life it is sometimes difficult to agree, however, it is not convenient for you to value yourself or evaluate yourself or others for the number of likes they give you is a more convenient strategy to try to appreciate quality time, exchange of valuable content and support that you ever received from them.

Have you felt betrayed by someone simply because it did not meet your expectations? It is common that there is a cognitive bias to see the negative and give a emotional contagion, we can modify this for our own well-being, if instead of adopting a pessimistic view of things, you try to be content with those coincidences in time and space with a being you love.

There are people who try to ignore their internal chaos, to soften their mental noises themselves pay too much attention to what others do, many times they make very hard judgments towards others, when this happens the need to change certain life may be covered up aspects with which you are not comfortable.

It is when our most primitive and immature defense mechanisms come to the rescue, instead of working on the variables that are in your hands, if you concentrate on “seeing” in the other defects, you will be very unhappy. Our reality serves as a mirror, sometimes the behaviors that we criticize so much and do not support in others, are precisely those aspects with which we must work ourselves.

What do you expect from others? It is easier express your own needs assertively: Clearly and concisely without hurting or hurting because the others did not fulfill what you expected of them. Remember that people are not possessions.

Gestalt Prayer

I am meYou are youI am not in this world to meet your expectationsYou are not in this world to fulfill mine.You are youI am me.If at any time or at some point we find ourselvesIt will be wonderfulIf not, it can not be helped.Lacking love to myselfWhen I try to please you, I betray you.I lack love for youWhen I try to be as I wantInstead of accepting you as you really are.You are You and I am Me.”
Fritz Perls

Resentment: poison for body and mind

Keeping resentments and pain memories can cause you to stagnate in bitterness and dissatisfactionWell, they are like poison for the mind and body, to bring back memories of the unfulfilled promises, the "feeling that you were abandoned" when you need it most, is like trying to remove the plaque that helps heal wounds and protects for that the body heals over time, if you constantly remove it, the wound will burst at the slightest provocation, either with the person who disappointed you or with others and leaving pain marks on your being.

The antidote to the poison of resentment is to seek and make us aware of our own motives and actions, to change those things that are in our hands. "You cannot modify your past but your present." Alan Fogel, Professor of Psychology at the University of Utah, says that when people feel emotional pain, the same regions are activated in the brain as when we have physical discomfort. Try to control the actions of others instead of trying to self-regulate one's ownIt is a safe path to unhappiness and generates more pain memories.

There are beings that when separated do not find comfort.They are those who miss what they have never had.Those who left where they have never been.Those who cannot forget who they have never metThose who remember joys that never lived.Pleasures you have never felt,Perhaps they were only sculpted by his mind.Pleasures you have never felt.Nostalgia of caresses that did not receive.They no longer have who to give what they never gave.They regret the mistakes they have not made andThey regret having lost a happiness they did not know.They are really inconsolable beings,they spend erasing from their memory what did not exist”.
Hugo Finkelstein

Emotional vampires

"Emotional vampires" exist Would you let a vampire bleed you to death "not to disappoint him”, Because it is natural for you to be thirsty and why is your nature trying to quench it? That happens with people who are very demanding, take into account their own needs and ignore those of others, consume valuable energy and time, show an imperative need for attentionDue to their own internal deficiencies, they seek love and comfort that they do not find in themselves.

They are those who manage to feel a little better when they discharge their poison and when they hurt and hurt others, for an "emotional vampire" everything you can give will never be enough, your own dissatisfaction and voracity can be insatiable, often their dissatisfaction endures, so they tend to repeat those cognitive and behavioral patterns in other relationships.

The energy you put in "he or she" is the same that you can use to carry out your projects and modify those aspects of your life over which you have control. Sometimes it is necessary to take physical or emotional distance, to allow us that healing time.

Walking towards healing

The awareness of your own situation can lead you to greater freedom, when fear and denial dominate your life your judgment can be clouded, people have cognitive biases, many of them do not allow us to move forward, however, sometimes the person can use this to self-mediate and self-sabotage: "I always end up hurt when I give my trust," this kind of belief makes them generate more avoidant behaviors, here another example:

I did everything I could to save love!I have a clear conscience, or a bad memory?
Hugo Finkelstein

First step towards healing: Acceptance

When we leave the denial behind and give way to acceptance instead of waiting, there are fewer disappointments and more satisfactions. Accept that there are things that cannot be under your control because they do not depend on you, do you often get offended or "feel" for the attitudes that others have for you? this may be an indicator of emotional fragility.

Accepting that you feel disappointed and trying to identify the reasons, can serve as a guide to adjust your goals, when someone in whom you put your love and your trust betrays you and therefore you decide to move away, it is important that you take note and extract the best of that experience, Sometimes the pain caused by disappointment can be so much that it can become a truly transformative energy, we can take it as a life lesson.

When we have a skin wound, we must observe it, clean it and allow time and organismic wisdom to do its job, cultivating patience is necessary for this healing process to occur, bringing memories of pain constantly is a way of harming you more and "prevents proper emotional healing", "time heals wounds" says popular wisdom, remember that "as it is inside is outside". If you are going through a very big disappointment, take your time to process what happened and to heal.

Distracting yourself by doing activities that you enjoy doing can be a good adaptation mechanism, when you work with your process, when you use the distraction to avoid your own responsibility, resentment could grow and "wounds" will take longer to heal.

Did this person really offended you or did you just feel offended because you expected him to act as you wanted? It can be a good opportunity for you to value the expectations you put on others, maybe you are expecting too much from them.

Overcoming disappointment

It was not love, it was a drug.I was not a lover, I was a drug addict.While I had you I enjoyed.By missing I could have died.In abstinence, I almost went crazy.Now, cured, I would never inject anything from you again.
Hugo Finkelstein

Developing patience and tolerance for frustration, instead of setting unrealistic expectations and "expecting" too much from others and from situations over which you have no control, represents a great achievement.

Escape the need for control

As organized as you are, many times in life things do not happen as we plan them, so a good strategy considers a margin of error or even other alternative plans, this is more functional than the rumination of thoughts of anxiety and worry that They are not aimed at the real solution of the problems, it is better to take care of the things you can do.

When you are disappointed you can try to find guilty parties, such as the circumstances or attribute the mistake to the other person, however by not taking your own responsibility you can adopt victim posture, minimizing or nullifying your own powerThat is why intrapersonal patience and with others is a master key in the process towards your well-being.

Have you helped someone to be disappointed in you? Ask yourself: what did I do to make the other person feel disappointed in me? Identify your responsibility in the matter without falling the autocastigo, only to observe your thoughts, emotions and behaviors, but take note, because you may find aspects of you that you do not like so much ... The pain caused by the fracture or the wear and tear of an important relationship, may serve as a motor to modify aspects of your person.

Pablo Neruda wondered “Does he who expects more than he who never waits for anyone suffer more?” When a long time of suffering has passed, where you sincerely feel that despite your desires and efforts you cannot transcend resentment, Frustration, feelings of guilt and associated emotional discomfort, is a sign that you require professional psychological assistance, seeking help you can "heal" your emotional wounds more easily and overcome disappointment.

Life and relationships involve some uncertainty, by letting go of the need for control, when we risk getting out of our “rusty armor” loaded with primitive yoic defenses and employ more adaptive coping strategies we can walk more freely and have more social interactions healthy.

7 Tips to overcome disappointment

  1. Wait less and thank more.
  2. Assertive communication.
  3. Faced with the challenges, it uses adaptive coping strategies.
  4. Develop patience at the intrapersonal and interpersonal level.
  5. Strengthen your self-esteem.
  6. Escape the need for control.
  7. Focus on your personal development.

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Bibliographic reference

  • Finkelstein, H. The book of no love. Barcelona: Editions 29 Galerna.