A couple of weeks ago, optimistic Aggies were brimming with confidence about our basketball teams. And then it happened: the men lost 63-61 in overtime. Then the women lost 72-71. Bummer.
It was probably good for me to wait a week to write this column, because the emotions of disappointment tend to warp my perspective of what has happened in an entire process by focusing on the final outcome. I would be lying to say that I was angry after either loss; there was just a nagging sense of an opportunity missed, particularly by the women. I stepped off a plane from Nashville to see the Gonzaga score staring at me from the TV screen. It was late at night, and I still had close to two hours to drive home.
But perhaps the drive allowed me to begin processing what was going on inside. Disappointment arises because we have expectations, and we generally have expectations because we are experiencing success at some level. So disappointment is not just for the perennially downtrodden. It is a fact of life for those doing best among us. It occurs to me that there are three basic steps that I ought to take when I am disappointed.
The first is to listen. My tendency when I am disappointed is to ignore others’ explanations for what happened and to meditate on my grievances against those who disappointed me. I also have no desire to hear from those on the other side. But sometimes there is something to be learned. If you are going to read opposing fans’ blogs, you might want to skip the comments from “aggiehater” or some other aptly named participant. But as hard as it is, read the column recapping the game. Listen to at least a little critical analysis of why your candidate or cause lost an election. Ask your professor what might have gone wrong in your preparation, and then think about what you hear in response.
The second step for me is to be quiet. I sometimes listen to what people have to say, but I am quick to correct their mistaken assumptions about why I fell short of my goal. The tough thing to do is to sit still without squirming and to be willing not to respond. Being right and making clear why others are wrong seems like a fundamental right; just listen to talk radio. But if I am going to speak, it ought to be just to make sure that I understand what the other person is saying. There will be plenty of time to get things fixed if they are wrong.
Finally, I need to lower the temperature, and the best way I have found to do that is to laugh. It is so important for me to laugh on a regular basis, and the most critical time of all to do it is when the bottom is falling out. I have a friend or two with whom I can be almost completely honest. They know me well. They empathize, but they will not lie to me and tell me that I am better than I am. When I explain a disappointing situation to them, it almost always results in self-deprecating humor, with me being able to see my fallibility clearly enough to mock it. And the healing begins when I am able to laugh at myself.
So listen, be quiet, and lower the temperature. A week later you will feel perfectly comfortable saying, “Congratulations, men’s and women’s teams—we are really proud of you!”
I think disappointment is a big part of every life, but I think that it happens a lot in the life of a college student. My sister always told me, if you don’t have such high expectations, you wouldn’t get as disappoint. Though I respect her advice, I think that it is hard not to have expectations for people, for goals, for yourselves. I fell like without expectations there is less to strive for.
I think that the steps presented above are a good way to deal with disappointment. Many times I just shut down, instead of listening to others. My shutting down is not to listen within but to not have to deal with the way I have let myself down or somebody or something has. I agree with having good friends around who emphatize but don’t let you wallow or have pity for youself. Even person should have those people who will tell you the truth; a person who you know really cares about you as a person.
I believe there was one area of analysis that was left out in this discussion (for both teams, but mainly the men)… the fact that our teams seem to be on the brink of elite status. Being an Aggie we have come to expect the worse over the past few years (especially in football), but our basketball teams have continuously given us hope that our university is getting close to regaining the status of an athletic powerhouse. While the season is ultimately a success, and reaching the tournament and winning a game is fantastic achievement, we yearn for more. I wanted to reach the Sweet 16 so I could enjoy a few days of school pride as our team was constantly discussed on the forefronts of ESPN and CBS. It was narrowly missing again, just like the previous four years. It is the hopeful buildup of four years and the abrupt ending in 4 seconds that hits us so deep.
I wholeheartedly agree with the idea of “lowering our temperature” and laughing at ourselves and/or our situation. If you can’t find humor in what can seem like a raw deal, then you are setting yourself up to be continuously bitter and cynical in the future. Laughter is the purest form of release for humans and when used consistently it can expedite the healing of wounds that the world inflicts. Life goes on and we are better served to laugh and view the future in an optimistic light.
With all things discussed, I will resort to the thought that gets me through nearly all sports disappointments (which also serves as one of the subtle beauties in the sports world)… There is always next year!
Well said, Ninja. I have already ordered my season football tickets! And Colleen, I agree it is worthwhile to have expectations. I’m just still learning to react in a way that doesn’t undermine my relationships.
Thanks to both of you for hopping on the blog!
As I read this column, I am reminded of one of my favorite inspirational speeches. I’d like to share an excerpt from Jimmy Valvano’s 1993 ESPY speech that builds upon the above steps to overcoming disappointment.
“To me, there are three things we all should do every day. We should do this every day of our lives. Number one is laugh. You should laugh every day. Number two is think. You should spend some time in thought. And number three is, you should have your emotions moved to tears, could be happiness or joy. But think about it. If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that’s a full day. That’s a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you’re going to have something special.
Jimmy Valvano delivered this heart-felt, inspirational speech merely months before his death. His 3 pieces of advice can not only be helpful in overcoming disappointment, but his advice can also be helpful in approaching everyday life.
“A nagging sense of an opportunity missed”…that’s exactly what disappointment feels like for me. As a Type A (perhaps too much) and very goal-oriented person, realizing I failed to capitalize on an opportunity or to meet certain expectations is truly a pestering feeling. Yet what frustrates me even more is how easy it is in retrospect to come up with the “ideal” actions I should have taken to avoid feeling disappointed in the first place.
In dealing with disappointment, I think the “lowering the temperature” process you described is one of the most important steps. Surrounding yourself with honest friends who will empathize while simultaneously pushing you to move on is crucial. I also believe that sharing your disappointments with others can help give you a new, healthy perspective on a situation that you might have missed if dwelling on your disappointment alone.
During high school I had a tendency to get over-involved in various clubs, teams, and activities. It disappointed me to tell people (teachers, coaches, friends) “no” if they asked me to attend or lead an activity because I felt I would miss out on important opportunities. In response to my disappointment, my dad gave me advice that has forever changed my view of disappointments. He said sometimes by being over-committed I prevent others from getting involved, networking and developing their leadership skills. In other words, a missed opportunity for me (the source of my disappointment) may open up opportunities for someone else to excel.
So, part 2 of “lowering the temperature” for me involves trying to put the situation in perspective…often I discover that my missed opportunities, not my hindsight remedies, actually yield the most ideal outcomes!
I think disappointment in a person’s life is a feeling that everyone needs to go through consistently. Most people probably even go through disappointment everyday with some days being at a higher degree than others.
As for the A&M teams, I believe that they will grow from the experience. When you are so close to achieving something great and then having it pulled away from you, it makes you want it that much more. For some of them (seniors) will not have another shot at winning another college basketball game. Even though the seniors won’t have another shot at winning the big game, they will carry the mentality of always wanting more throughout their life and working hard to achieve that.
I still remember the day that I lost in a close championship game. It is always in my mind, and it pushes me to work harder in everything I do because I don’t want to lose out on another great opportunity again.
Disappointment seems to be a common theme for us Aggies. One of my recent goals actually has been to try to lessen my love and care for our teams, but sadly I have not seemed to be able to make that step. Even after being scorned by Fran and seemingly tricked by Sherman after our loss to Arkansas State, I still believe in our football team with eager enthusiasm every year leading into August; after seeing such heart-breaking losses in the NCAA tourney for both men and women is a disappointment, it seems to be forgotten as soon as new recruits are posted for the next year. Although, I suppose having disappointment for our sports teams may seem like a bad news, it does show that something exists: passion. Without passion our lives would be very bland, so it is only natural to feel disappointment after something you’re passionate about has not gone the way one would hope, but the trick is to remember that all is not lost.
Even though it may seem that we will never get over our disappointments for the most part we do. Usually people tend to find ways to cope with their disappointment and outright forget them through whatever methods they think necessary. However, some disappointments require years to forget about and their really is no alternative than to just wait it out. Finding ways to cope with your let-downs is something you will always need because rarely does life seem to follow the path you’d like, but those hiccups and finding your way around them are what usually make life worth living.
I am not an Aggie but I’m an Aggie Dad. Actually, I’m a Baylor Bear so I’ve had a disappointment (men’s basketball) and am still having hope (women’s basketball – at least until we meet UConn on Sunday). I thoroughly enjoyed your article and find it right on the money. What I enjoyed the most, however, were the responses. I don’t know if all were current students but if so it reinforces the quality of individuals present on the campus. My son has completely adopted all things Aggie. From the disappointments of the football team to the successes of baseball and basketball. His experience at Mays Business School has been nothing but outstanding and that is a direct result of the excellent professors and staff he has encountered. Thanks for doing what you do and doing it with the passion and caring that you bring. Gig ’em.
This sounds very similar to James 1:19-20 “Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry. For anger does not bring about the righteous life God desires.”
Responding to disappointing situations with such humility is definitely NOT a natural human reaction. However, I have found it is possible as you mentioned, with the help of loving friends, and practicing self control…and I would add to that the power of prayer. When there is obvious disconnect between how I nauturally WANT to respond to a situation and how I SHOULD respond to a situation, I find I am helpless to respond with humility until I ask God for some grace to respond in the right way. For me, as a person who can become very quickly irritated and defensive, those prayers are a daily means of receiving God’s power and grace in order to respond in humility even when I don’t feel like it!
I agree with one of the comments mentioned above about disappointment being in everyone’s lives. It is something inevitable that happens. However, we have to learn how to deal with disappointments. The article is great in emphasizing how to do that.
Now that I think about it, I always tend to react the same way when I’m disappointed. I also usually ignore others’ explanations and I’m never quiet when they speak. One of the lines that I became very familiar to was, “Being right and making clear why others are wrong seems like a fundamental right.” For some reason, I don’t want to hear them or think outside the box.
However, I have come to learn a lot from my own experiences of disappointment. I have come to realize that everything in life is pretty much unexpected. Yes, I have goals and dreams in life that I plan to accomplish. But the path that I will take to accomplish them will probably have many disappointments along the way. The only thing I am going to be able to do is deal with them and find a different way of getting what I want. I can say one thing for sure, I love to laugh everyday.
This blog mirrored a sermon I heard on Easter morning, and a conversation I had with a friend the night before. The sermon was about doubt, and what creates doubt in our lives. Doubt most commonly arises in times of unexpected circumstances.
During this sermon I reflected on my life and the times I have been most doubtful in my faith was in times when my life was not measuring up to my own expectations, which immaturely left me in a state of disappointment in myself and with my God. I completely agree with your 3 methods to combatting disappointment, and I have learned another method that has helped me grow in periods of disappointment. When people or circumstances disappoint me I have to step back and analyze the situation and trust that God is still working on me and teaching me something and molding me into His final product.
I have benefitted greatly from this time of internal pshycological thinking of channelling my minds to see valleys and times of diappointment as opportunities to grow and better myself. This and trust in a higher force allows me to be at peace with all my decisions and trials.
While I agree with the three steps mentioned here, another way I deal with disappointment is finding an upside. By living a glass half-full life, it becomes easier to smooth out the roller coaster of disappointments and accomplishments that life throws at you.
For example with the men’s basketball game, I thought about what the team had accomplished for the season. For the fifth consecutive year, our team made it past the first round of the tournament. Our men’s team is one of five teams in the country that can boast this stat, a stat that most of the elite programs in the country can’t claim.
To place this in an even bigger historical perspective, Texas A&M has always been a football school. Less than 10 years ago, our basketball team went 0-16 in conference play, and the humble goal of making the NIT wasn’t even guaranteed. As a senior, it’s been an honor to be a part of such a transition.
Rather than talk more about Aggie bball, I’ll sum it up by encouraging everyone to try and find an upside to even your biggest disappointments. Granted this is easier said than done, but it’s definitely been tried and true in my life.
I also agree with the steps above, but I think a first step was missed.
The first step for me is this: Take some time by yourself to process.
Disappointment is hard, it hurts, especially if it is personal.
I think it is incredibly important, not only to take time, but also be sure to give others time to grieve the loss. I find that when someone is really disappointed, they don’t want to hear why it is or isn’t okay. So, as much insight as you may have for someone who is disappointed, I think you should make sure he or she ready for your well-meaning advice.
Lots of great comments above. After reading through them, I can’t help but notice the striking similarity between the 5 Stages of Grief and the process of coping with Aggie sports:
Familiarity with this framework is useful for increasing objectivity. Even though it’s difficult, pushing towards acceptance allows you to be rooted in reality, making better calculations. Although this appeals more to the consequentialist argument, better calculations in conjunction with a proper sense of duty improve the likelihood of ethical decisions.
All the comments so far have been great comments. Being disappointed is a terrible feeling. For me though, the other side of disappointment is worse. I hate knowing that someone is disappointed in me. I always say that the worst thing someone could say to me is that they are disappointed with me. Mostly because this mean they trusted you and had such high hopes and knowing that you can’t follow through is just the worst. I know it’s pretty hard to go through life without ever being disappointed or having someone disappointed in you, but wouldn’t that be nice! I guess the positive thing is that most of these people will move on and have the high hopes for you once again.
I need to remember and put those three steps into practice. I just started reading Mere Christianity, and in the very first chapter it talks about how we always try to make excuses for our wrong doings, and I think people should try to put these steps in place, and not be so defensive of their actions. If everyone would stop to listen, be quiet and laugh about things more often, I believe our world would be a much happier place, and people would get along easier. I do believe that laughter is a great medicine for all things. Great article.
I feel that disappointment is a necessary part of life. I agree with the three steps for dealing with disappointment and I know I would overcome disappointment easier if I practiced each of these. I think another step that helps overcome disappointment is to reflect after cooling down. When disappointment occurs in life it should be something we learn from not just somethign we grieve over. Many times we may have too high of expectations or didn’t prepare properly. I think that reflecting and getting an honest opinion from someone we trust can help us turn disappointment into a learning experience. Why sulk over what just went wrong? There is nothing we can change about the past. So after cooling down look back at what just occured and use it to better your future. Undoubtedly this is a lot easier said than done.
I find it can be difficult to stop and consider things rationally when one is experiencing disappointment. The emotion can overwhelm the more rational part of your brain. I agree with abailey that the first step should be to take some time by yourself to process and “cool down.” After this step has been achieved, the remaining 3 steps will be much easier, since emotions will not be so heated.
I would push back on you argument that expectations only (or mainly) occur when you are doing well. I would say that most people have a relatively set expectation, whether you are achieving success or not. But, I would agree that disappoint is more apparent and painful when you achieve success and get closer to that set expectation. For example, I expect our basketball team to never lose a game and win the national championship every year. So, I am always disappointed after the first loss. But, every loss since that first one is easier to deal with and less painful. This also occurs in the tournament. After every win (success) I feel like my expectation is more realistic, and thus more painful when my expectation is not achieved (we lose).
Besides this point, I agree with the rest of your blog.
In response to Anthony Latimer, I would like to say that I don’t think the 5 Stages of Grief model applies to the concept of handling disappointment at all, and it makes me angry that you would suggest as much. However, I am willing to compromise, because disagreeing with one another makes me sad. Wait, maybe the model actually does apply…
I am wondering if the three methods to coping with disappointment-listen, be quiet, lower the temperature- can also be applied when you are not disappointed in others, but in yourself. I always try to achieve the highest in every aspect of my life, so when things don’t go the way I had expected regarding my own performance (in school, family, work, etc), it can be worse than the disappointment caused by others.
I suppose it could be applicable to listen, as in get advice of those you know and trust, to get an outside perspective of why you were not able to achieve/act at the level you had expected.
Be quiet: this one is helpful when you think you know all the answers, but a person’s perception of their own actions is often terribly inaccurate. Be quiet and meditate on the real problem or cause instead of justifying why your original calculation should have worked.
The last one, lower the temperature, I believe can really benefit from Professor Shaub’s advice to laugh. There are much worse things in life than for once not living up to your own (inaccurate) expectations, and it could do a lot of good to laugh at your mistakes while in the back of your mind thinking of how to fix your actions for next time.
Disappointment is a fact of life that we all must deal with and learn how to come to terms with in our own individual ways. After reading this blog, I realized that I have never taken a step back and thought about the best, rational way for me to deal with disappointment. And I must say, I do agree with the 3 steps to dealing with disappointment, at least as a start. I believe that listening and being quiet go hand in hand–in order to truly listen and absorb what is being said, its best to keep your own mouth shut. It’s human nature to shut down and ignore the facts when dealing with disappointment. Instead of listening, we are quick to get on the defensive, defending ourselves, our family, our basketball teams, etc. In order to deal with disappointment in a calm, rational manner, it is best to take some time to step back and assess the situation as it really happened. And as for step #3, I am a firm believer that laughter is a great medicine for many emotions–anger, sadness, frustration, embarrassment–so I can see how helpful it may be when dealing with disappointment. The next time I find myself feeling disappointed, I am going to try and take a step back to calmly assess how and why things turned out as they did.
Disappointment is practically unavoidable–as long as you have goals or are anticipating/expecting a certain outcome, you will most likely experience different extremes of disappointment throughout your lifetime. But it is these experiences, and how they are dealt with, that allows our individual growth and mold us into the people we become.
I think it is wonderful you realize how important it is to laugh, Dr. Shaub! Being an individual who likes to laugh and make others laugh, I can really relate to this especially in the stressful lives of business people. I’m glad E Ninja referred to it is a “release”. We’ve all heard the phrase it’s always funnier when it happens to someone else. Well, this is completely true (and it always will be) and I don’t think laughter is something to look down upon or even try to prevent as it often tends to have an unprofessional aura around it. If anything, I would say my first step in accepting disappointment is to laugh!
This is just something I thought about awhile ago, and I think it’d be interesting to get other peoples thoughts on it too:
Different cultures have so many understood acts or gestures that can mean completely different things in another culture (for instance, in the US we all know what the peace sign looks like, but in another culture it could mean 2x your middle finger to them). Well, one thing that I think is universal among all cultures (and I would like to know if there are others in your opinion) is laughter! When someone laughs it is because something is funny. What is funny? Depends! You can be laughing at the cruel irony of the Aggies getting manhandled by K-State last football season and then turning around and destroying Texas Tech IN LUBBOCK! Or you could laugh at the simplicity and innocence of a joke told by a 4 year old. The point is, even if you could not speak another language, if you heard someone laughing you would know they thought something was funny, whether they were laughing at a funny joke or they are laughing at you because you’re the joke.
Probably irrelevant to this thread, but something fun to think about……give it a try!
Zach Howe, now I know to look to you for insightful commentary. What a journey of self-discovery! 🙂
I also want to apologize for the yellow smiley face on my Zach Howe message. If I had known it would come up yellow, I would never have used it. You cannot be cool or understated and have a yellow smiley face.
And Joe Lawton is already assigning nicknames to the nicknames!
Drew Carden, I appreciate the pushback, and your comment makes great sense. But if you have ever watched someone stop being disappointed in themselves because they have given themselves permission to do anything, it is a sad sight. I have also seen students’ expectations for others change over time. For example, students used to have much higher expectations about others’ honesty. When I explained that there had been a detected cheating incident in my class in the early 90’s, people in class were angry and emotional, and they made the perpetrators (whose names I didn not reveal) squirm because of their anger. Nowadays, many students shake their heads knowingly. I would be hard pressed to come across a student who hadn’t been exposed to multiple cheating incidents. They have lost their sense of disappointment because their expectations for general student honesty are so low.
I think there may be a 4th step to handling disappointments that works wonders for me: Perspective.
All and all , the things that have disappointed me in my life are, in the grand scheme of things, relatively minor. What will this one, teeny, tiny incident matter in 6 months? A year? When I’m old and ragged, will this be the disappointment that keeps me up at night praying for forgiveness?
Sometimes, when I really analyze the perspective of the situation, I find I’m not disappointed after all, and maybe am a little proud of something that came of the issue. Maybe I learned a new skill or had a great experience I wouldn’t otherwise be able to enjoy.
If not, I move on to the “laughing” step and move on with my life :). I think this step ( step 2.5) makes reaching that acceptence and laughter much easier, and sometimes that is enough.
I definitely think we need to experience disappointment and unwanted outcomes every once in a while so that we learn how to be thankful for things that do turn out the way we want them to. If we never experienced negative situations we would take life for granted. I played sports for years growing up and we definitely had a mix of wins and losses. I think life would be boring if we couldn’t lose because it would be too predictable to be fun. Also, if you never had a bad day you would not know what a good day was. You need to experience the bad to see the good.
In addition, from disappointment I have learned that I don’t have to try to be perfect in everything I do. One of the biggest disappoints in college for me was making my first B ever in tax class last Spring. I had never made lower than an A in my life so I thought it would be horrible if I ever made a low grade. I didn’t want to disappoint my parents and I also didn’t want to disappoint myself. I always set high goals and I plan to achieve them. This time I didn’t. But it was one of the best experiences for me because I learned that my B really wasn’t a big deal at all. It wasn’t going to stop me from getting an internship and it didn’t mean I was a failure. I have also learned how to relax more and have fun in college. School is very important to me but I don’t have to make straight A’s even though I still aim to do my best at everything I do.
I think the most important thing when dealing with disappointment is maintaining the correct perspective. In terms of the men’s basketball team, we lost our second best player to a gruesome season ending injury and had a player decide to remain in the NBA draft. We finished 11-5 in the Big 12, the best we’ve done since Acie Law IV, and won another NCAA tournament game as many have already pointed out. While the sting of the loss is still fresh on our minds, maintaining the correct perspective we can all look back on the season as a whole, as a success.
Reading this blog entry reminded of my times playing little league baseball with my dad as the coach. One thing he said before each game was “have fun and do your best.” I’ve always tried to apply this to my spectating and participating in sporting events. Looking at the men’s basketball team I can say with 100% certainty, they had fun this year and they absolutely did the best they could, which is all they needed to accomplish for me to be proud.
I think it is important in life to understand, all we can do is make good choices and do your best in all things. Doing these things will help you maintain a positive perspective on disappointment and life itself.
I think a final step can be added to this approach of handling disappointment. We have to remember to learn from the situation. If we face a challenging situation that ends in disappointment, I think that it is important to look at the situation with as much of an optimistic attitude as possible. By doing this, we can hopefully allow ourselves to see the best of the situation and learn from it. If we can manage to grow personally from the situation, I feel that we can better handle the disappointment.
I agree with your blog regarding the steps to help subdue disappoint. I think by listening and being quiet can allow someone to take a step backward and focus on the positives of a situation and realize that a disappointment can create some good. The good that can come from a disappointment, such as the aggie basketball team loss, is next year the players have more tournament experience. They will remember the disappointment of this season and hopefully will work even harder to get better.
Another great point I think Dr. Shaub made is to make sure and understand the view point of someone else before trying to correct them. I think this statement should be applied to everyday life. A lot of disagreements arise because no one takes the time to really listen to other’s arguments. People become to close minded.
By the way, at least next year A&M should be guaranteed a spot in the tournament if they increase the tournament to 96 teams so hopefully there won’t be any disappointment in that area.
Add me to the long list of people that felt disappointed after some tough losses this season. The tried and true model for me dealing with disappointment is to sleep on it. Amazing what morning does for perspective to a situation. To a slightly different point, dealing with external disappointment is much easier than when you are disappointed with yourself. Bombing a test is much harder to deal with than aggie basketball losses, because after all only one of them has real consequences (including unintended ones… http://maysbusiness.tamu.edu/index.php/unintended-consequences/ ). When it is you who fails, I think disappointment is necessary to help motivate you to learn from it.
I would like to add: With perspective, way to go ags for a great season!
I think the fourth step one could take is to learn from that disappointment. It doesn’t do one any good to experience the disappointment and then get over it if there was nothing learned from the situation.
I think coming from a sports fan’s point of view, there might not be much opportunity for learning when your favorite football team loses the Super Bowl, but I think from a student’s point of view there is. For example, if an over-achiever gets a B in a class, they will probably feel huge disappointment. But they can learn from this experience. Either they will remember what it felt like to get a low grade and work harder at the next class, or they will learn the one B actually does not bring their GPA down as drastically as he might think.
I think these steps could be useful in many aspects of disappointments in ones lifetime. It is important to listen, be quiet, and lower the temperature, but none of these will do you good in the long run if you dont learn from the experience.
SuzanneDickson and LaurenE, point well taken. I need to think more about how to learn from disappointment.
You folks are inspiring me. It almost seems like we need an MVB award in the class!
One thing that always seems to amaze me is how a process can be so simple and obvious, but those are usually the ones that work the best. It makes so much sense to handle disappointment in this manner. Although I can see myself applying this process towards personal disappointments in my everyday life, I feel as though applying to towards sports disappointment is the most difficult. As an anti-Colts fan, I am still disappointed by the Colts’ Superbowl win in 2007. I should probably apply these three steps to deal with that disappointment.
On another note, the thought that disappointment can occur because I’m currently experiencing success really struck me. One student mentioned the stress of getting a B which I can relate to. Throughout college I had gotten all A’s until the first semester of my junior year. I was worried that I would feel like a failure and I was terrified of what my parents would say if I got a B or worse a C. Thinking back, I realize what a success it was to have straight A’s until that point. With some regret, I feel as though I should have appreciated that fact more, instead of solely worrying about my future grades.
I like what Dr. Shaub said today about taking criticism from co-workers. At my firm, every senior was supposed to write up an evaluation about the intern on their job, since I was on 6 different clients in 10 weeks, it was a little more feedback than I wanted. I seem to take advice from people higher-up in the firm as kind of disappointing news. Although I did work really hard, it is not realistic for me to think that I would have no areas for improvement. I think taking Dr. Shaub’s approach of listen, be quiet, and laugh it off–rather than take it personally and get defensive–could result in otherwise missed opportunities to grow professionally and personally.
I really like what Allyssa said in her comment. I tend to deal with disappointment with humor because laughing always makes me feel better about any situation. I’m the person that can find humor in the worst of circumstances, but often times, I think that humor might just be a way of covering up how I really feel inside. Sometimes it’s almost like if I can convince everyone else that I am okay, I will be okay. Also, I always try to remind myself that someone else always has it worse than me and that the situation could always be worse. I don’t like to sympathize for myself. I really like what Allyssa said though because I think that it is so important to learn from disappointments. After reflecting on my way of dealing with disappointment, it appears that I just try to make it go away. I really should study the disappointment and determine if what I did could have been prevented. I should see that God will take advantage of every opportunity to make you better.
How crazy is it that we are so inherently bad at simply listening to one another? The idea of simply listening has been a long and hard journey for me. I like to be right, and I assume that I am right, most of the time. It is hard for me to hear someone suggest otherwise. Over the past few years in my life, I have learned how to simply listen, without pushback, and take in what the other person is saying. Not that I always agree or adhere to their suggestions- but still, I make it a point to hear them out. Great things come out of conversations, where people are truely listening and taking in what the other is saying.
I wish I would’ve known these three steps my freshman year of college when I got that first psychology test back. Despite that I knew I wasn’t going to be, and never had an intention to be a psychology major, I was not used to receiving that kind of a grade. Disappointment has been something that I personally had to deal with a lot my freshman year. Disappointment in myself, in others, and the disappointment I knew my parents had over me when they saw my GPA after that first semester. After the realization of what that first semester of college had come to be, it gave me the motivation to do better.
A quote from Martin Luther King, Jr. seems to fit well with this blog, “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” Therefore, I know not to give up hope because thing can only get better if you have reached your peak of disappointment.
I think that most people that know me pretty well would say I am a very emotional person and that at times my emotions can get the best of me. Because of this, disappointment can often weigh pretty heavily on me and affect my mood longer than it should. I try to listen to others without correcting them, but I think anyone who has tried that has seen how difficult it can be…Laughter has easily been the best medicine for me up to this point in my life. I think you left out how important it is to have others that care about you help you cope with disappointment. No one knows how to make me laugh like my friends do, and they always can get my mind off of the things that are bothering me, so I feel it is important for others to have a similar foundation as well.
One thing I really liked from your article that I hope to keep in mind in the future was the thought that disappointment arrises from some level of success at one point. I never really thought of that before, but I feel it is very true. We may not be satisfied with the end result we get, but there are definitely bodies of work that led there that we can be proud of. If I keep this in mind, it will help me live with that “glass half full” mindset that Michael talked about to help smooth out that roller coaster we call life.
I don’t look at disappointment as always being a bad thing. I am a guy that likes to set goals for myself. I am able to meet alot of these goals but there are some that I have fallen short on. I am disappointed when I fail to meet a goal, but if I accomplished everything I wanted to, I wouldn’t be setting the bar high enough. I also learned to except failure and disappointment growing up. I played baseball throughout high school which is a game of failure. If you git a hit 3 out 10 times you are considered a good hitter. Failing 70% of the time may have helped to shape my feelings on disappointment.
I think this is a great topic to discuss, especially in an accounting ethics class! Though I know we are all going to succeed, the hard truth is that we will all have to face some disappointment along the way as well. Maybe its not receiving a promotion or having someone else catch the mistake that you should have checked for. Maybe you are disappointed with yourself or maybe you are disappointed with others….maybe both. However, I completely agree that disappointment would not be possible if not for expectations, and expectations would not be present without some history of success. Because of this, I believe that many times disappointment is God’s way of humbling us, of letting us know that we are not as invincible as we think, but that we can pick ourselves right back up and keep trying. Disappointment is never fun, but just like all other hard lessons in life, I believe we come out of it as stronger people.
Coping with disappointment is not something we learn in the classroom. Some people that are very successful do not experience most of their life. I think it is healthy for everyone to experience success and disappointment. I am grateful for all the people and experiences that have left me with disappointment because they have made me a better person. I am a firm believer in the saying “what doesn’t kill you, only makes you stronger”. I will take the three steps you describe to cope with disappointment.
I like the part of the first step “listen to at least a little critical analysis” even though I find this the hardest to do. No one wants to hear that they need improvement or aren’t projecting an image they thought they were. The truth is, no one is perfect except Jesus Christ or else we wouldn’t be on this Earth. I strive for perfection knowing He set the ultimate example for me to follow – a life of selfless service and respect for all. Sure, I encounter roadblocks and setbacks, but it’s the journey that makes me grounded and the security in knowing forgiveness is only a humble conversation away.
Disappointments can be, well, outright disappointing. However, one thing is for sure, it is guaranteed in life. Since we know that nothing in life is perfect, it is important to know how to properly handle the disappointments that may arise in life. I believe there are two main approaches to handling disappointment; One can either be optimistic when disappointment comes their way, look to the future and see the situation as temporary. One can also be pessimistic and let the problem affect every other aspect of their life. When disappointment arises in my life, I first try to be honest with myself when evaluating the situation. I then look for an opportunity somewhere within the challenge. Lastly, I think about a realistic action in handling the situation. Overall, it is really about how you view an unfavorable situation. You can let it define who you are or let be that thing that drives you within you to make some sort of change.
This reminds me of something I read for my WERS in my book Why Can’t We Be Good by Jacob Needleman. There were two girls that were debating about a specific issue. After each girl was finished with her argument, the other girl had to summarize everything the other had just said. They both agreed that at the end of the debate, they both really listened and understood what each other had to say because of this exercise. I believe many times we hear the opposing side of the argument, but we don’t actually listen to it. We can so easily dismiss another’s viewpoint without actually even understanding it. As you said, sometimes there are things to be learned from listening to and understanding what others have to say.
In my own life I have experienced disappointment coming more frequently to those who work hard and have a passion to do well. Those who are more apathetic about things don’t feel strongly enough to feel disappointment when things don’t go their way. On the other hand, as accounting majors I think that the “OCD” in all of us forces us to strive to do our best and achieve close to perfection in all aspects of life. However, when a tough class comes around, or a firm cuts you from recruitment, or you just can’t succeed at something, the pressure we put on ourselves can lead to intense disappointment. I cope with disappointment mainly through “lowering the temperature” through laughter. There are people in my life that act as stress relievers whenever I’m faced with high disappointment. For example, my sister who was happy just to get through college and didn’t ever feel strongly about grades or studying is a great person to talk to whenever I am disappointed about the result of a grade or a class. She gives me a perspective that I can’t see from my vantage point. I think it’s important to have those people who act as sources of encouragement and laughter to counterbalance disappointment. Disappointment is inevitable in life, especially for those with passion and determination, but it’s important to know how to overcome this feeling.
Disappointment is no fun. There have been countless number of times in my life where I have worked hard for something or wanted something really bad, and fallen just short of achieving it. Everytime I have the pretty much the same reaction that you described here. However, a big problem that I have is starting to make excuses for why I fell short, and most of the time I can usually find something or someone else to blame it on. My pride gets in the way of actually accepting that I failed and I am willing to push the blame off on anyone, except for myself. So for me personally, I would add quit making excuses to the be quiet part of your advice.
Furthermore I would add that disappointment is not always a negative thing. There have been numerous times in my life where something that I initially considered an earthshattering disappointment actually be one of the best things that ever happened to me. For example, last summer I really wanted an internship in San Antonio. In fact, I had pretty much planned my summer around it. When I found out that they had given it to someone one else I was so upset. But now looking back on this past summer I cannot imagine spending the summer in San Antonio and missing out on some of the incredible things that I had the opportunity to do in Dallas. I wish I could think of a way to turn the disappointing losses of our basketball teams into a positive situation, but I really can’t. I, like you, was incredibly disappointed. I’m afraid disappointment is just part of life. Some things have the possibility of spinning into something positive, and others we’re just going to have to deal them the best we can. But I could not agree with you more on those 3 courses of action.
Great reminder! I sometimes feel like I experience disappointment all too much, often forgetting that I’m not the only one. I’ll make sure and remember to listen, be quiet, and laugh when I face these situations in the future. The most important, yet hardest for me, is the third one. Learning to make light of disappointments is critical because throughout life, we are only going to face more and more of these trials. If we can’t laugh at ourselves, who can?
Me reading your advice on listening and being quiet in this blog came at such a fitting time! The idea that I need to listen more is something that I have been thinking about a lot recently. I think we all tend to hear/read the beginning of what someone has to say, and then we make assumptions about their main point and stop listening. This is actually one of the reasons I didn’t read this particular blog in it’s entirety until now. Originally, when I saw sports scores in the first paragraph I stopped reading. I assumed I wasn’t going to understand what was going on in the rest of the blog because I don’t know athletes or team names. I was wrong however, and this is a perfect example to me of how I need to be a better listener. I shouldn’t be so closed minded to listening about things that I am unfamiliar with, such as basketball scores. I think becoming a better and more respectful listener will lead to a lot less self disappointment. We need to listen to others without thinking about how we plan to respond. And it’s true; laughter is a great medicine for disappointment.
I have to say, disappointment is getting a pretty bad name. Yes, it is not a pleasant feeling but neither is poison ivy. At least disappointment has an upside. As cliched at is, there would simply be no success without disappointment. Is up really up when there ins’t a down? And secondly, we are seriously underestimating how freeing disappointment can be. Failing, coming so close and missing, falling short; all these seems so bad on the surface but in all of them lies opportunity. Disappointment forces us to ask ourselves what we really wanted and why and then do something we never would have if we would have succeeded. The most successful people in the world are currently successful pursuing their plan B.
The part of this blog that I liked the most, was the comment that said, “the emotions of disappointment tend to warp my perspective of what has happened in an entire process by focusing on the final outcome.” I believe this comment is an identification that perspective is a key player in not only the emotions we experience, but also the strength of those emotions, and sometimes our reaction. I agree that we tend, or at least I do, to focus on the outcome of a situation when I am disappointed and I can quickly forget the ride that got me there. I have found in myself, and others as well, a tendency to live on the brink, always looking forward to that next milestone. When I do this, I am only focusing on the outcome rather than the experience along the way. In the end, it seems that the memories I hold most dear as well as the lessons I believe that have shaped me the most, never came at a given milestone, but the ups and downs along the way, trying to get to where I was going.
Disappointment is not easy, and that’s ok. I hope that I will remember to think about my perspective in moments of disappointment, and that my reaction would mirror that perspective.
Reading this blog reminds me of all the times I have felt disappointment. While reflecting on these moments I think about the three steps to be taken and wonder if I used these in my situations. I think for me the hardest step and the one I do the least is to listen to the other side. So often I don’t want and almost feel like I can’t hear what they have to say when that is exactly what I need. This to me coincides with the suggested fourth step. We can LEARN so much from just being quiet and listening to what others have to say. Even though that is the hardest thing for me to do it is always the most beneficial in the end.
This topic relates to me in so many ways! When I am disappointed, I do the complete opposite of the steps mentioned above. Personally, “cooling the temperature” will be the first step for me to try. When things are heated, they just progressively get worse and worse. So after the boiling has simmered, I think I will be open to listening to those around me. I agree with those comments above that propose the 4th step: learning from the mistake or disappointment. I think this is important for everyone, no one will want to face the same let down over and over again. I will try to apply these suggestions to my life in hopes of making lessons count.
Disappointment is a hard feeling to overcome, especially to a person like me who is a “what-if” thinker. What if I did this? or what if this would have happened? You can spend so much time thinking of different possible scenarios that it just consumes you. I believe that if I follow your three steps that I will be able to just move on from a situation easier and faster and just concentrate on the future.
When reading this, I was thinking of the most disappointing parts in my life and realize that they were disappointing because as you mentioned, there was some level of success going on. I deal with disappointment differently, as I often try to laugh it off immediately to ease the emotions and then try to find ways to rationalize my disappointment. In this example, I believe non bearing injuries we could have beaten Purdue.
I think that disappointment is crucial to growth. Yes, a pat on the back is nice from time to time, but the sheer gut check of disappointment can truly make cement a lesson learned. I agree with kl16023, I think cooling the temperature is normally one of my first steps. It is hard enough to listen to others when you are in a great mood, much less in a bad one. Disappointment is one of those things that we inevitably face in life. There is one of two things you can do about it; learn from it and move on, or don’t set goals (if you don’t strive for anything you can’t fail.) Obviously the later is not a great alternative. So live, laugh, learn and move on with your days!
I have to say that even while reading this post, I still had some leftover disppointment from all those Aggie losses, especially the last loss the men’s basketball team had in the NCAA tournament. As Rylie said, I also believe disappointment is essential to growth. As a kid, my parents were never the type to let me win because I was the youngest or I was the child. Even on sports teams, I experiences a lot of disappointment (and I also experienced a lot of great victories that I remember). I remember my cousin telling me that at his son’s soccer games neither team keeps score so none of the kids experience losing. What is that teaching young kids? There’s never losers or winners? This isn’t realistic for the world. Sometimes you do well and win, sometimes you do well and lose (and sometimes you just do terribly). What I think is important is how someone handles the loss. Learning from it and moving past it I think is very important. I like how the blog suggested laughing at it even. Turning a negative into a positive can help the person learn quicker and grow faster as a person.
Disappointment is an emotional reaction that will fade away as time goes on. While you are listening, being quite, and lowering the temperature, you are buying yourself some time to dissipate the emotion. Moreover, handling disappointment is all about the willingness to take the disappointment and move forward. I believe by listening to some constructive comments and mocking yourself on the actions leading to the disappointment, you are taking it nicely and ready to move on to the next step. It is just like people who are willing to concede a mistake have a better chance to correct it.
I really liked this blog because I think that all of us as PPA students tend to set high expectations of what we want to achieve. I think this is a great quality for us all to have because it pushes us to work as hard as we do. However, when we fail to meet those expectations I agree we tend to not handle the disappointment as well as we could. I think we all need to be able to step back and take the constructive criticism that comes from not meeting our goals. I feel that alot of times we tend to rationalize why failed rather then learn from it. We need to be able to realize we will not always reach ever expectation and disappointment is a way to grow as a person if you are able to learn from it.
I love how Dr. Shaub has a plan to follow when he encounters disappointment. Being prepared with how to handle an emotion or situation is beneficial and definitely makes it easier. The hard part for me, however, isn’t making up the plan, it is following it.
Similar to most accountants, I have a “Type A” Personality. I am task oriented, competitive, and enjoy planning out my day to the hour. Making To Do lists (as well as crossing items off) are one of my favorite things. I have come to the conclusion that I do these things because I want to have control of my surroundings. As we all know, this is impossible. In the same way, I like devising plans and thinking ahead of time what I would do in certain situations. However, when the unexpected situation arises, I usually forget I even had a plan. I think I fall into this pattern because I don’t practice or think of it enough. I end up acting too quickly without thinking. Although, I have a lot of work to do on this in my personal life, I feel that this ethics class has prepared me well when I enter into my professional career. The real life scenarios we discussed and testimonies we heard have made me think about what I would do if I was put in the same situation. So, when I do find myself in those situations, I won’t have to act on my emotions, I just already know.
Although I cannot control the circumstances I will encounter, I can be prepared with how to handle them.
It is important to realize that what is most important to us isn’t succeeding all of the time; it’s our reactions to failure. Our ability to endure disappointment is what truly shapes our character. During Michael Jordan’s NBA Hall of Fame induction, he said, “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” Jordan is known as the best player to ever touch a basketball court yet he has the humility and the introspection to realize that his success is a result of overcoming failures. Failing is inevitable, but we must have the courage, the desire, and the confidence to pick ourselves up and endure.
I really enjoyed reading this blog. I believe disappointment is such a big part of life and knowing how to handle it is so important. I think when we really stop and think about disappointment it isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I believe in order to be successful we need to set expectations in all areas of our life for ourselves. And with setting expectations, disappointment is an outcome that we are eventually bound to face. However, without expectations, we also would be missing out on the upside….the sense of achievement and pride we feel when we do conquer our obstacles and reach our goals and expectations. I know personally I would rather have a disappointment I can learn from for every achievement I reach rather than receiving no achievements at all.
I agree with Dr. Shaub’s three steps to handling disappointment; however, I think a pre-step should be a cool down period. There is no way I can listen to the other side right after being disappointed. I’ve found that the first two steps are usually the hardest for me and other people. These steps can be applied to any sort of argument or disagreement, not just disappointment. I personally struggle most with being quiet. When other people have a ‘wrong’ or ‘insulting’ comment, I’m usually quick to jump in and correct them or defend the situation. The only thing I’m good at is laughing at myself and situations. At the end of the day, if you can’t laugh at yourself who can you laugh at. If you can’t laugh at your failures or disappointments, can you really ever get over them?
This reminds me of a saying that my dad used to tell us when we were growing up (this doesn’t relate to the blog all that well but it still reminded me of it none the less). A person’s true character is shown when he has to deal with an unpleasant situation, especially if that unpleasant situation is a person. I have a friend who is very confrontational to others, even when the situation doesn’t call for anyone to become upset. It is hard for me to think of a time when he has actually gotten his way after putting up a big argument with someone over something as silly as a mistaken order at a restaurant. I cannot help comparing the way he reacts to situations to another friend of mine who is the kindest spoken person I know. The way she handles herself in difficult situations is remarkable. She has a calming way with people and is able to work out any issue with anyone. It is easy to label someone like this as a pushover, but she is not, she almost always works the situation out so it is favorable for everyone, including herself. So I try and ask myself, who would I rather be, the loud friend that argues about everything, or the person who works well with others and comes out on top most of the time?
This blog brings back memories of my senior year of High School when I was playing for the soccer team. I used to get so mad when we would lose that I couldn’t talk about the game for a couple of days, at least not with anyone but my Dad. I would agree that the disapointment I would feel when losing games streamed from the great success that my team was having that year. We had never made playoffs and we knew that this was the year to do it, so whenever we lost a game it was huge blow to all of us on the team.
It is hard to say what the best way to react to disappointment is; I feel that eveybody has their own way of dealing with failure. However, I do agree that there is certain things one shouldn’t do such as losing their temper, talking bad about the other team, and blaming others on the team for the loss. None of these things are positive at all. We actually bring teams down and can even destroy relationships with teammates, but it is also very important to experience these feelings. Everybody should be put through some kind of failure in life because it really does help to build character and enables you to deal with failure down the road. We can’t all be the best at every point in time, and we must realize that there is always somebody else trying to out perform us. I know as I enter into my career I will need to remember these things so when my team or company experiences failure, I will be able to step up and help lead them in the right direction.
I experienced a similar sports dissapointment recently when our team (lacrosse) lost in the conference playoffs in overtime. There was so much emotion tied to that game, which came pouring out when it was all over. I knew that we could have beaten that team and it really just came down to who made the last play. My dissapointment was also coupled with the thoughts that I knew I would never play organized competitive lacrosse again, and that my four years of work put into the team was all over. Luckily my family was there to comfort me as well as the other seniors whom I had taken this journey with for the past years. I certainly didn’t want to hear any criticism at the time, however. I knew that I would eventually get over it, but for the next few days I couldn’t stop playing that game over in my head. I hated having to tell people that we lost, and I avoided that question whenever possible. I think that that loss overshadowed my sense of pride and accomplishment that I do feel towards the team, at least for a little while. During my time, we have won two conference champoinships and made it to the national tournament. Now that I have had time to cool off and reflect, it makes me happy to think about my days playing lacrosse for A&M. It didn’t end the way I wanted, but I am proud of all the great things we did and the lessons I learned will stay with me for a lifetime.
I agree with many of the comments that disappointment is a necessary, and in fact important aspect of life. If we do not care enough about the efforts we are making as well as others actions to get disappointed, are those actions even worth doing? One example for me is with school. I am a person who believes that I can do anything I set my mind to and when I don’t achieve my high and sometime unrealistic expectations, I get disappointed in myself and my actions. However, I am proud of myself for having such aspiring goals and the ability to receive disappointment and cope with it. I agree with your rules to managing disappointment and also believe that you should learn from your actions so that hopefully in the future you will be able to not make the same mistakes or errors. However, for the rest of life, you will continue to make different mistakes so you should learn just to accept disappointment as it comes and be greatful that you care enough about your actions that it really effects you.
I don’t follow a lot of college sports but I’m a big rockets fan. I know how it feels to be disappointed every year when my team loses every year in the first round and then when they finally get past the first round an injury happens to one of their star player. These three steps sounds like it can help me handle and cope with disappointment. We can learn a lot by just calming down and listening what other people has to say. It’s unfortunate that the teams we follow don’t win the championship but I just look at the bright side and think about the positives such as we are not the worst team and that our team at least had a chance to make the playoff or tournament. Disappointments happen to everyone, just don’t let it take over you and enjoy next season.
Growing up, I struggled with finding a way to handle disappointment. I was always extremely hard on myself, and the worst part about it was I didn’t even realize what I was doing. Then one day a dance instructors pointed it out to me, showing me that it was not a good thing to be doing to myself. And by then it seemed like it was little late to be realizing that being hard on yourself is not the best way to deal with disappointment, but I was wrong. I thought and struggled with this for awhile but finally I came to my senses. From that day on, I have drastically improved on handling disappointment and no longer focus on the negativity that comes with it but on the optimistic aspects of it. I have realized that being hard on myself will only slow me down. I see that disappointment is not always a bad thing. I think it is a way I can learn and grow as a person and only makes me work harder.
I agree with several of the comments above about learning from mistakes and turning disappointment into a learning experience. I strongly believe in the idea of “making lemonade” when life gives you lemons. Bad things happen, and it’s how we handle them that determines where we go from there, how we grow and change. If we never learned from our mistakes, we would continue to repeat them and never get better, never grow smarter or wiser. I would hate to look back at my life someday and only remember all the sad, angry moments. When I look back, I want to remember how those moments changed me (hopefully for the better). Everything happens for a reason, and each challenge we face is one more step on the way to becoming who we were meant to be.
On somewhat of a side note, it really bothers me when people take their disappointment and frustration out on other people. If someone is having a bad day, I don’t feel there is any reason to take that out on someone else. Personally, I find great joy in other people’s happiness, so when someone unloads the burden of their bad day on me, I take that weight on my own shoulders and my day is henceforth affected by that individual’s mood. I should grow a thicker skin, I know, but I think it’s also fair to say that having a bad day is no excuse for being a jerk.
I do not follow a lot of sports but I do love to participate in sports so this topic touches home. I am an individual who works hard and is very competitive. When I use to lose, I use to take it very hard and become very quiet and stubborn as you described in the blog. Later I realized that I that it is very difficult and an achievement to be a humble loser. I actually feel that I learn more from a disappointment rather than a win. If I lose a game, I am going to dissect that game and pay attention to everything that I did wrong or could have done better which ultimately causes me to become better. If I win a game, I automatically feel that my performance is acceptable and not looking at different aspects where I can improve. You also talk about having expectations. Since I use to have a problem with disappointment and losing, I would psych myself out by pretending to have no or low standards so I would not feel that bad if I had to deal with disappointment because I supposedly expected it. This really did not work because we as humans are very emotionally inclined individuals and it is hard for us to mask our true feelings and emotions.
Yes, Dr. Shaub, I have waited until the last minute to write my blog comments, though I have been keeping up with reading the blogs, and had actually read this one several weeks ago, but man, did it help me to read it again tonight! This post will probably be completely irrelevant to most people in class, but if you want a scenario with ridiculous expectations and the disappointment that comes when you realize that these expectations will not be met, then I can think of no better example than planning a wedding. Like any girl, I’ve been dreaming of my wedding since I was young, and obviously those dreams have created some very specific expectations. However, as I have recently embarked on planning my own wedding, I have come to the realization that my expectations will not align with others in this process, whether that is my fiance, my parents, or my future in-laws. And of course, this has overwhelmed me with a huge sense of disappointment in the entire process. Reading your point that “disappointment arises because we have expectations” actually helps me get a bit of perspective on this entire planning process, and hopefully will allow me to let go of some of these expectations and enjoy what is supposed to be one of the happiest times in my life. Additionally, your 3 step process is great advice, as well as what some others have added, such as a cooling down period prior to the 3 steps. It may be really hard to laugh when things do not go as I had expected, but my goal right now is to at least be able to look back and laugh, even if I can’t do so right when the initial disappointment arises.
Disappointment is something that all of us must face. I find that today’s world everyone wants to shield us from disappointment. You see little league teams where everyone gets a trophy because hey want to shield the kids from knowing that they are good enough. I think it all goes back to humility because when we can accept that we aren’t always right and that we can’t always be perfect then we can truly accept disappointment. Getting over the disappointment of a heartbreaking sporting event defeat is something that is probably pretty easy to get over; however, there are some disappointments that are must more traumatic and the three easy steps laid out in the blog may be easier said than done. I think that we have to know who we are and have a good support system, and then we can get over any hurdle or disappointment.
Yes disappointment is always a struggle to deal with. For example, Dr. Shaub has to deal with the disappointment that he has in students like me that comment on his blogs at the latest possible time. Like Dr. Shaub said earlier, disappointment and the degree to which it is felt is due to the expectations held previously. If I am disappointed in a bad movie, it was because the previews made it look like the greatest movie on the face of the planet and that’s what I’m going to expect. I’ve never been disappointed by a movie I held no expectations for at all. The same goes for test scores. I feel like managing your expectations can help you greatly in dealing with disappointment.
But then you might say, “I had reason to have high expectations, and the failure to meet those expectations was in itself unexpected. Now my disappointment is great even though I corrected managed my expectations.” To this, I say it is a real test of a man’s character seeing how he deals with disappointment. A strong, humble man with accept the disappointment but not let it affect him greatly. He knows that things like this happen and to mope over the situation is futile. The lesser man will dwell on his disappointment, continually reanalyzing the situation, calculating how things could have been different. He will relay his thoughts in the form of complaints to people who don’t want to hear.
Dr. Shaub makes a good point about listening first, then being quiet still. I feel like talking incessantly about my disappointment is the first thing I do. I’ll remember his three step disappointment recovery plan.
I can relate to your disappointment. I went to the Texas A&M v. Kansas, where they lost to the number 1 team. We were so close to beating them. I could taste the victory! When I am disappointed about a situation, I look to my friends and peers to relieve those emotions. I found this quote about disappointment. “The size of your success is measured by the strength of your desire; the size of your dream; and how you handle disappointment along the way.” Robert Kiyosaki
Disappointment is a common emotion; I feel it makes us stronger people and it helps us cope with difficult situations throughout life.
The idea of listening and remaining quiet is similar to a topic that came up in my ethics group this week. We discussed that often when people are listening they are focused on their own ideas or motivations and how they will respond. This happened to me in an interview; when the interviewer gave me his name I was so focused on my own introduction that before I even voiced my own name I had forgotten his. We must remain open minded and try to understand what people are telling us from their perspective. It is often done in the bible and great pieces of literature that a point is made by using nothing but metaphors. When speaking to a group with opposing opinions, often if you speak too directly their minds will try to look for errors in your message. The use of metaphors diverts the thinking process, rather than looking for errors in your message they are looking to understand what you are saying and the only way to do this is to share your perspective. When we listen to people it should so in this manner, not only understand there point but also how they arrived at it.
I find your method of handling disappointment to be quite difficult for most to carry-out. I think that someone’s ability to handle frustrations and disappointment speaks a lot about his or her maturity level. For me, the most challenging part of your three-step plan would be to sit quiet. The idea to let things soak in, reflect, and think before you speak is very difficult. It’s almost as if you have to resolve your disappointment inwardly before showing anyone your feelings. Even more so, the level of importance of the expectations that you did not meet might intensify the degree of your dissatisfaction. I remember my freshman year of college and I was taking an economics class with a really hard professor. I had constantly made 89’s on every single test and for some reason couldn’t break past that grade level. I spent so much time concentrating on how I was stuck on that borderline. I decided to go to the professor’s office hours and ask him if there was anything I could do to prepare for the final and maybe boost my grade to an A. His response was, “There’s nothing I can say to you or help you with. I’m sorry if you didn’t meet your expectations or live up to your goals.”–That was the harshest thing anyone had ever said to me. It was harsh, but it was true. From that point on, I deemed my goals as being something I strive for, but not something that I desperately need to achieve.
These three steps seem like an efficient way to get over disappointement, and I plan on trying them out the next time I feel that way. I agree that disappointment arises because we have expecatations, because how could we be let down by something if we didn’t hold it to a higher standard than it achieved? The first step definitely seems the hardest to me, for when I am disappointed in something the last thing I want to hear is from the other side. It is hard to ignore other’s explanations when you are disappointed about the subject at hand, but I believe that this is a big part of growing up and self-regualtion. The second and third steps aren’t as difficult as the first but still are challenging, and it takes a mature individual to be able to bite their tongues in situations where they would rather justify or argue what is going on. I believe that being able to laugh at yourself and your mistakes is a big step that is hard for many people to take in their lives, but once they take it they see that it really does help them and benefit them immensely in the long run.
Upon reading this blog, I realized that I was still bothered by the mention of our men’s basketball team losing and it made me questions why after an entire month I would still be effected just by the mention of this. It has made me realized that when I encounter disappointing situations, I tend to just block them out. Being a die hard Aggie basketball fan, this loss was one thing that I chose to block out because in my mind there was nothing that could be done to reverse the loss. I now realize the benefit I could gain by following those three steps to cope with disappointing situations. One thing that this ethics class has taught me is that we could all gain a lot from each other if we would just take the time to listen to differing viewpoints.
When I think about disappointment, I think it’s the hardest to come to terms with when it’s something I did. When I do something wrong, it takes a lot more out of me. The common saying is that “we are our own worst critics”; this statement is always evident in my life. Over the years, I found ways to make myself get through times of disappointment. Listening and lowering my temperature are definitely some of the steps that I take, but the most important one for me is your first suggestion, being quiet. Although listening to other people’s ideas is helpful, I feel like those around me seem to be more understanding than I am, when I am the person in the wrong.
Quiet time allows me the time to reflect on the situation and understand what I did wrong. Reevaluation is a constant occurrence in my life; sometimes it’s just thoughts, but sometimes I write down these thoughts so that I can be reminded of things that I need to work on. I have not written on this piece of paper in a while, so thank you for making me think about this topic. Even though I have done a lot of reevaluation this semester, writing it down helps me to always remember my feelings and thoughts during that time period, so that I do not make the same mistakes over and over again.
This piece hits home for me because I very frequently attempt to plan things out exactly how I feel they should go, only to be somewhat let down if things don’t work out how I had planned. I think we all attempt to plan for every possible outcome or event that could happen, but in reality there is no way for us to know what will happen. It is important to take from this blog that there is no way to tell the future, or plan for every “flaw” that may happen, but as long as you keep your wits about you, and keep the emotions to a minimum, you can still adapt and come out on top.
I have a little sister who recently didn’t make something that she was trying out for, I was talking to my mother today and she was explaining to me that my sister is pretty upset and disappointed with herself. This got me thinking of how early in life disappointment starts, and how many years we have to perfect the way in which we handle disappoint yet for some reason it’s always still a mystery. Me personally have learned to rely on my faith when things don’t go as planned for me. I do have steps that come before, but ultimately the realization of what happened definitely was meant to happen comforts me.
It is amazing how much pressure can arise from collegiate sports competition. The problem is these situations are just sports, and most ethical situations will have bigger consequences than wins and losses. So, I think it is very important to sympathize with the pressure others are facing.
I have always shared this same opinion when it comes to anger, which is, essentially, disappointement. Unlike many other situations in my life, somehow early on, I realized that speaking too soon always ended in regret. I hate feeling regret, it’s especially embarrassing when it is a result of something you said to someone else. That means you have to put down your pride, apologize and say the whole “I was wrong” spiel. As a female, this is rather challenging, as I am almost always right (haha). Since this revelation, I have taken closer care to waiting before I speak. I find that almost always, after a little passing of time, you do not view the situation so harshly, you’re more willing to accept criticism, and the closing conversation is always so much smoother. And I absolutely agree about laughter. That always seems to work on me.
As a die-hard sports fan living in the Metroplex area, I have recently had to find ways to cope with my severe disappointment. Between the Cowboys, Mavericks, Rangers, and Aggies, there have been some brutal disappointments in the past few years. I would say sometimes my disappoinment has the capability to ruin my entire week or turn into anger or rage. However, I have learned to be able to turn this rage into optimism. Optimism is the only thing keeping me from turning my back on my teams. No matter what happens that year, the best thing is there is always a next year to redeem ourselves. And this is the fact I have to keep in my mind to help keep myself from becoming to upset.
I absolutely think that disappointment can create the best learning. No person likes to feel disappointed and just drives that person (or team in this case) to work harder and be better. I have played sports all my life especially baseball. In high school, we had the best baseball team in the area and probably in the state for four years in a row. We won our district easily every year and for the first three years we would lose in the playoffs to a team that was not nearly as good as us. There were certain distractions and some times we would look at the other team and think there was no way they could beat us, but they would. My senior year our team lost one game all year and won the state championship. We learned from our disappointment and did not take any game for granted.
I couldn’t agree more with the three steps to dealing with disappointment. No matter what the situation, it is always helpful to hear a second opinion on the matter. Other people can often bring in new insight that you could not see on your own. But, I also think that we must do our best to expedite this process as quickly as possible. Disappointment is a part of life, and it always will be. But disappointment isn’t always a terrible thing. Sure, it will feel like a terrible thing at the time, but we all have room to grow and learn. We learn in life through our mistakes. We must take the opportunities and learn from them. In that way, we will always come back stronger, smarter, and more prepared. In sports or the professional world, we will likely all come across disappointment on a pretty regular basis. Whether it be a team member not pulling his/her own weight or not getting that promotion, we will face disappointment. We just have to hope that we learned all we could from the experience and that we are better prepared for the next time the situation arises.
I have definitely been disappointed on occasion. When I was younger, I would take the disappointment and use it as an excuse to give up and quit. In one instance in particular, I wanted to play college softball. I had my heart set on it when I started pitching at 9 years old. When I was 15, I knew I needed to play for a team that attracted scouts from different schools. At my first try-out I thought I did a great job, but I never got a phone call. I was so disappointed, that I didn’t go to another try-out. I settled for a local team, and never gave it my all. It ended up great for me. I’m happy where I am today. However, I always wonder, what if.
I feel that in later years I have been more able to put things in perspective. I try to take the negative, and either find the positive, or turn the negative into a positive. This has proven to be successful for me, and I hope I can continue to do that. I know it will be more difficult in the workforce with constant reviews.
Disappointment brings about a lot of emotion in most people and many times it is very difficult to swallow. I too have trouble listening when faced with disappointment, I block out opposing opinions and process it the way I think it should be handled. Too often, I jump to say someone or something is wrong. I don’t take the time to understand the opinion or reasoning however valid it might be. in this case, time is our friend and can help heal wounds. Like you mentioned, if we can practice being quite and listening for a longer period of time, we can let the disappointment settle. It is how we act when we fall or are disappointed that shows our true character.
Recently I have gone through a situation that describing it as a “disappointment” would be an understatement. It threated to destroy who I am. When everything came crashing down, I decided to hold on to what I believe in and not change who I am.
There are many important things to remember when you believe yourself to be at rock bottom. You do not have to go through it alone, your family and friends will always be there for you. Life goes on, no matter how bad it seems there will always be better days ahead. And most importantly, do not lose yourself in it. Grief can lead you down a destructive path that can be hard to dig yourself out of. Things will get better, just make sure you come out the otherside the same person as you went in.
“Disappointment arises because we have expectations, and we generally have expectations because we are experiencing success at some level” – I love this line…these blogs are very thought provoking and interesting to read. I have learned so much from your class Dr. Shaub and I can already feel the changes in the way I think and act. This course is a good reminder of how people can go wrong and how to live an ethical life that can help you in many ways, including professionally.
Many times people don’t want to go through disappointment so they keep their expectations really low. I know that I have done this quite a few times too because I have not wanted to get my hopes up and then brought crashing down if the outcome is not what I had wanted. However, sometimes it is hard to keep expectations low, especially with people that you have come to trust and rely on or situations that can get one hyped up such as a sports game. Whenever I feel disappointment it hurts a lot. I get upset and angry and it takes a while for me to calm down and figure out where I went wrong or how to let go of the what has already happened and move on. Disappointment is a part of life. It is bound to happen because everyone would want things to go their way if they could. I think that being able to laugh about it and learn from it is the most important step.
I agree that disappointment largely comes from expectation. I think it is because of the human nature of greedy, we can never have enough. When you get into this round, it is very natural to achieve to the next; the more you expect, the more you will be disappointed. When you feel to confident of the victory, disappointment knocks you down even harder.
I think there is one thing that can distinguish mature people from immature, it is the ability to control your emotion and to relief the negative emotions that come with disappointment.
I have to agree with you here. Disappointment, while at first glance seems bad, comes with a few bright points. DIsappointment arises from hope; you can’t be disappointed unless you had originally hoped for greater things. Someones true colors show through when they face tough times. The way that you cope with these situations and how you allow them to affect your overall demeanor can say a lot about the type of person you truly are.
Dealing with disappointment can either be a positive or negative experience. It’s not what happens in life, it’s how you handle it. This is actually a great life principle to live by. Being a perfectionist, this is especially hard for me to grasp. If something doesn’t turn out just the way I want it, I think it is just the end of the world. Disappointments will come daily so if we can’t handle them in a positive manner, life may become miserable with every setback. I have learned to laugh at my mistakes as mentioned in the blog. Of the three basic steps in handling disappointment, the hardest for me is not be defensive. I try to rationalize the situation when really I just need to let it go and laugh. I’m working hard at this, but I’m sure I’ll have some disappointments in the future.
I can relate to this article in that some of the most disappointing times in my life came after achieving some success. When we become successful we developed a since of pride. I believe this pride, if not handled correctly, can turn into arrogance and it’s our failures that can bring us back to earth. I find the hardest thing for me to deal with during failure is listening. I tend to think others don’t understand my situation and therefore shut them out when really all they are trying to do is ease my frustrations. This at times causes me to treat the ones I care about most in a bad way and I realize I need to try and listen with an open heart.
This is an interesting blog to me because everyone can relate to it; everyone has been let down in some way or another. As a light-hearted example, I just recently had to watch the Dallas Mavericks lose the series in front of a crowd of about twenty Spurs fans – not a safe place for me to be. I remember the last couple minutes of the game were extremely close but, in the end, San Antonio pulled away and went on to victory. That was a bad day for me anyways, some other things had not gone my way, and the last thing I needed was to be surround by overly-ecstatic Spurs fans. It is safe to say that I nearly lost it before one of my friends realized how strained I must have looked and started making jokes about the game. I joined in and, to my surprise, felt my blood pressure lowering. Turns out all I needed was a little laughter to calm me down! I am going to try and keep this little piece of information in mind for all of my Spurs friends next when they get stomped by the Mavs!
Disappointment has always been an issue for me. I have been disappointed only a few times, but because of those few minor times I decided early on to keep my expectations really low so I wouldn’t get hurt. I feel like keeping expectations low can also be a bad thing. Many people tell you to keep expectations low so you will not get hurt, but there’s a bad side to keeping them low. For me it led to bad friendships because I wouldn’t expect anything from them when sometimes you should because how else do you know that they are truly your friends, and friends are supposed to be those that are there for you during a difficult or important time. It also led me to not pursue my grades and career with as much force because I didn’t want to get my expectations high about getting a job, a certain grade, etc. and then being disappointed when I didn’t make it. It also affected my relationships because I would be okay with dating someone who I loved but not that silly, crazy, stupid love that you mentioned in your class. In the end, when I really thought about why I couldn’t get that type of love I realized that I didn’t really think about what I wanted; instead I molded myself around what the other person was and tried to be content with it, but my heart knew better. Basically, having no expecations made me not care about things that I should care more about. And if you care about something then in general you are bound to have expectations about them. It took me a while to realize that sometimes its better to have expectations because then you are forced to think about what you really want and how to achieve it. It makes you have dreams, strive harder, and in the end achieve happiness.
I have grown up all of my life playing sports so I have had my fair share of the disappointment of losing games. I have to agree with you Dr. Shaub on not wanting to listen to others immediately following the disappointment. I always want to be by myself because I am usually very angry I lost. I re-create the game or situation in my head, and continually go over what went wrong. What could I have done differently? I feel I can greatly benefit from your three step process. I need to listen to others, and not just meditate alone. I need to reduce my temperature by making light of the situation, because most of the time “it’s just a game anyway”. The cold truth is that disappointment is never ending, so we must learn how to cope with our shortcomings.
A life which doesn’t experience failure is a life that hasn’t lived. All of us are bound to face defeat unless we are so careful that we don’t even try. Although I am not a huge fan of sport, I, like everyone of us, have experienced defeat and it is indeed hard to deal with it sometimes.
Its always a good idea to listen to what others think of the situation. It gives us an opportunity to improve on our mistakes and perform better next time. On the other hand, I also believe that we should invest more time on moments of triumph. We tend to get too excited when we have achieved victory and lose an opportunity to think about how we could have done better.