Disappointments and Expectations—Part I

What's this little guy feeling?

What’s this little guy feeling?

A friend of mine is hurting from disappointment. People have let her down. People she counted on to either do something on her behalf or something she expected of them didn’t come through. How we handle disappointment is important. Click to Tweet #disappointment #expectations #respondtodisappointment

We can all relate to this. We’ve all had people let us down, some, continually. It all comes down to two things: 1) expectations, 2) how we respond.

The thing is—we all disappoint people, and that’s because none of us is perfect. We may have good intentions, but don’t follow through. We may honestly believe we can do something on someone’s behalf, but it’s not within our ability to do so, or someone else is in control of the situation. Or, we believe this about others, and they don’t come through for us.

Kreider quoteDisappoint: Webster’s definition—to fail to satisfy the hopes or expectations of; to undo or frustrate (a plan, intention, etc.) to thwart.

Expect: Webster’s—await, wait for; to look for as likely to occur or appear; to look forward to, anticipate.

How should we respond to disappointment? Because it hurts, and the higher the expectation, the more it hurts. It’s when our expectations are unmet that we become disappointed. A local leader near where I live who is known internationally in some Christian circles has said some of the following things about unmet expectations. I took some of those and expanded them with my own thoughts when going through a disappointment earlier this year.

When our expectations are not met, we can become deeply disappointed.

  • Most bitter roots start with a disappointment or an unmet expectation.
  • Unmet expectations often begin with disappointment and continue on with anger, hurt, feelings of helplessness, and low self-esteem.
  • Having expectations is normal and not the problem. How we deal with these unmet disappointments is what can make or break our relationships.
  • We need to be careful not to set in motion expectations that cannot be met which can lead to disappointment.
  • We must respond to the unmet expectations of life in ways that create solutions by finding ways to heal the wounds of letdowns and injustices. Click to Tweet

The last statement is the key. To that I add: forgive, release, move on.

I’ll talk more about those three items next week.

In the meantime, what’s disappointed you recently? Is it a situation or a person? Leave a comment and let me know. #disappointment #expectations #respondtodisappointment

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