Disappointment can be defined as sadness or displeasure caused by the non-fulfillment of one’s hopes or expectations. We are often disappointed whenever what we expect does not happen, for example you can be shortlisted for a scholarship only to be notified that someone took your place, as a result we feel a lot of pain because of what has happened.
Disappointment and depression
Disappointment is usually the final step before depression. Some people get out of disappointment while others crush land into depression. Understand that dealing with disappointment is an important step for preventing depression and for preventing yourself from building false beliefs about life like “there is no more hope” or “nothing works for me” (see How to get rid of limiting beliefs)
Effects of Disappointment
Depression is a feeling of unhappiness and misery and is characterized by continuously having low moods. Some causes of depression include stress from work or relationships, but chronic depression can result from loss and disappointment. The disappointment that comes from the loss of a loved one or the discouragement of a failed business can lead to depression. Depression from disappointment is perpetuated by negativity and the fear of being disappointed again.
Apathy is a condition in which someone becomes indifferent and passive to life. This is because he feels helpless about a disappointing situation and believes he cannot change it. Signs of apathy include lack of energy, continuing in a bad relationship, tolerating monotony, resigning to an illness and frustration with life. People who suffer constant disappointment seem not to care about making changes to improve their situation.
Denial is characterized by outwardly pretending that a disappointing situation does not exist. People who go through multiple disappointments would like to overlook the issue at hand with the hope that it will go away. Denial can also come in the form of giving up on goals, ambitions and passions because the person does not believe any of these are worth pursuing. A person who has been disappointed in a relationship may deny his desire to find his true love, and thus block everyone else out.
Anger is a reaction to a situation or a person who has not met your expectations. It is essentially an emotional or behavioral backlash to disappointment. Anger can be an instant outburst or a latent feeling that is experienced every day. It can range from having feelings of rage and resentment toward a person and could result to outright violence. Anger also leads to feelings of negativity, depression and helplessness toward situations.
Fear is a reaction that a person has toward a real or imagined situation. Fear results from undergoing unpleasant or disappointing experiences. As a result, a person who has been disappointed is fearful of engaging in similar experiences as a way to protect himself from re-living the past experience. Although fear is a natural reaction, prolonged fear can be numbing and can threaten a person’s psychological and emotional well being.
Godly ways to deal with disappointment.
Trust God through it all.
The Bible says in Romans 10:11 that, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.”, Through the pain from disappointment, choose to trust God who never puts to shame, As the days go by God will heal and restore you.
If you’re hurt by someone, choose to love them anyway. This is a choice you will have to recommit to time and time again. Make sure that love is a verb in your life, something that you do purposefully and intentionally, not something that you expect to just happen. Despite their flaws, despite their shortcomings, love others anyway. Yes, they disappointed and hurt you. But choose love.
Adjust your expectations. Not every team wins the Super Bowl or Olympic gold. Not every applicant gets the job. Illness happens. Not every marriage soars. It might make sense not to set your goals so high. But who wants to settle for mediocrity?On the one hand, hope can be misplaced. If your highest hope is in achievement, you will eventually be disappointed—success is transient. King Solomon wrote, “As I looked at everything I had worked so hard to accomplish, it was all so meaningless . . . like chasing the wind” (Ecclesiastes 2:11). On the other hand, if we’re so afraid of disappointment that we lower our hopes, we can close ourselves off from what God may have in mind. The proper balance can be elusive.
Learn from your defeats. Disappointment and failure build character and patience, when allowed to do so. They can teach you to win and lose with grace, an increasingly lost art these days. Romans 5:3-4 says it like this: “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us—they help us learn to endure. And endurance develops strength of character . . . “Inner spiritual strength, the kind resulting from sincere faith in God, helps cultivate that attitude.
Build friendships. God often ministers to our hurts through other people. It can be tempting to put up walls when you’re feeling especially vulnerable, but if you shut out friends, you could be sealing off healing and hope. During a particularly lonely time in my life, I was very glad to have close friends.
Go deeper with God. Friends are essential, but humans can let us down and err in judgment. The Bible says that God will never desert us. He says, “I will never fail you. I will never forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). God has a good track record; it makes sense to trust Him.
Paul found strength and hope through his friendship with God. He wrote, “If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since God did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t God, who gave us Christ, also give us everything else?” (Romans 8:31-32) Paul was convinced nothing could separate him from Christ’s love: “Death can’t, and life can’t. The angels can’t, and the demons can’t. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, and even the powers of hell can’t keep God’s love away” (v. 38). The more we stake our security in God’s enduring love, the less power disappointments will have to undermine our hope.