The holidays seem an apt time to write about disappointment. How many of us struggle during December and January to create meaningful experiences that end up falling short in comparison to some magic we remember as children? There is a “big D” of Disappointment. COVID is still here and we cannot see family and friends without feeling anxious and in danger and there is the “little d” of disappointment; the gift that was not quite right, the lack of attunement of a friend or family member. All disappointing. There is the FOMO and being excluded during holiday events and there is the overwhelm of too many activities and burn out. More disappointment.
However we have an odd coping mechanism to avoid disappointment. WE EXPECT IT!
What sense does that possibly make? Because expecting something is a setup for having it actually happen! Ways that we try to avoid disappointment include perfectionism, pessimism, vigilance and a kind of living on the edge of life….