PREVIOUS: Disappointment – Part 1
QUOTE: “Disappointment is just the action of your brain readjusting itself to reality, after discovering things are not the way you thought they were. ~ Brad Warner, Motivational speaker
ACoAs get disappointed (D) by so many things, because the WIC desperately wants the world to be a certain way (to meet all its needs) rather than our Adult noticing AND accepting the way things are – both good & bad – in our environment. With reality in clear view, we can get our needs met by choosing among the many options that are actually available in the present!
1. COVERT: Because we’re not allowed to know our wants, needs & emotions, NOR ask for anything, we imagine (silently expect, demand) that someone will read our mind & provide for us – which comes from the WIC
• We truly believe that if we want something a certain way – without saying it – it will automatically happen
EXP: Your B/day (or any other holiday that’s important to you) is coming up & he hints that you’ll do something together. You have it all planned out – exactly what you want to do, how it will look & feel.
But you never say any of it.
Then the day comes & it turns out very differently – maybe not bad, but not what you imagined. Now you’re angry at him, unappreciative, cranky, attacking – OR you decide he doesn’t really love you at all, you don’t feel the same about him…..
OY! You’re deeply disappointed, but how was he supposed to know?
• We naively assume that everyone means what they say, OR will do what they promise. To feel safe we need to believe that others are as literal (& ‘responsible’) as we are
EXP: Josie says she’ll bring the book to work tomorrow that you’ve been wanting to borrow. You not only believe it, but count on it, looking forward in anticipation. Tomorrow comes & she’s ‘forgotten’ the book. You’re angry. You’re convinced she’s messing with you, she lied, she…..
• When going into a new situation (class, work, relationship), the WIC presumes they will be / needs them to be safe, helpful, informative, consistent, appreciative, respectful…. & then they’re NOT. Sometime it/they turn out to be very ‘bad’, but most of the time they’re just not what we secretly (unconsciously) needed & expected.
We’re disappointed, so we get depressed or really mad.
— If you’re an introvert, or still in Victim mode, you’ll just sulk, withdraw, not participate, sit in misery, or leave without saying anything
— If you’re an extrovert, & feisty, you’ll try to get more of what you want from the person or situation, but angrily, maybe even attacking (the teacher, the belief, the procedure) – & then leave, or keep trying to “force solutions” (Al-Anon)
2. OVERT: The less we take care of ourselves, the more needy we are. We may reject or ignore the help & resources available. We pick people to ‘rely’ on who either don’t have what we need, or are too self-absorbed to reciprocate, especially if we’re acting the Rescuer / People-pleaser. That drives the WIC to desperately keep look outside of ourselves to provide, for as long as we aren’t willing to take on the Loving Parent role.
• We believe whatever a particular person says, especially things we want to hear – even tho they’ve consistently proven themselves not trustworthy or dependable. EXP: “I’ll call you tomorrow” but never does. “I love you”, but is needy & selfish, or withholding & critical
• If we have the courage to actually ask for something, & are ‘promised’, but then they don’t come thru, we’re disappointed. We’re angry, even withdrawn, but are afraid to ask “What happened?”
— If you know the person to generally be dependable, we can be sure that their reason was legitimate, AND not about us
— If you don’t know them, we need to give them at least one more chance, maybe 2. No more than that, especially if their ‘misses’ are fairly close together, which spells a pattern
— If you know them to be unreliable & we’re stuck with them for some reason – DO NOT rely on them AT ALL. Focus on yourself & look for an appropriate support system.
More HUMOR from Grant Snider
NEXT: ACoAs & CONFUSION