On disappointment

June 10, 2011

I suspect that most interpersonal conflicts are really based in disappointment. We’re disappointed that the other person didn’t do what we wanted them to do. Think about it. The last time you were mad at someone, why were you mad at them? 9 times out of 10 it’s because they disappointed you. They didn’t show up on time, didn’t say the right thing, did something you disapproved of, or weren’t there for you in the way you needed them to be. They didn’t do, say, or feel what you wanted them to.

It’s not often I come across postings about disappointment (it being the subject of my PhD research) but this caught my eye.  It makes several interesting points (albeit related to personal relationships).

what we’re experiencing is merely the reality that other people aren’t us? Once we realize this, we must face the fact that disappointment is normal and common, but we’re the ones who lend it drama and pain.

All of the above, is of course, equally applicable to work settings (the context for my own research)..and it’s a shame that disappointment isn’t considered worthy enough for consideration in organisational settings.  More about this topic at a later time.

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