How to Prevent Disappointment: 6 Strategies for Getting What You Need

I want it! I need it! I have to have it! If I don’t, I’m gonna… Thank goodness people can’t hear what we’re saying in our heads, because no matter whether the “it” we are waiting for is — to hear back from a first date, job interview, a store clerk with a price check, or just any mere sign of hope from the universe — we are going to sound strikingly similar to a child having a tantrum, even if we are dressed in a grown-up Armani suit with matching shoes.

When we say, “It better happen or else I’m gonna” fact is, the thing we’re “gonna” do is get frustrated or, over time, even depressed. We create expectations, ultimatums and deals without making sure that the people who could make our dreams come true are actually in on the plan — whether that’s ourselves or someone else. We say things like: I should have gotten that promotion, I was supposed to! Supposed to? Says who? Or, I should have gotten that 20-item to do list done today. Really? That challenge would have been kryptonite to Superman. We are crushed. By what?

The real problem is that there’s no handshake between our expectations and reality. We can’t make people call us back, or make promotions happen, or get 15 hours of work done in an eight-hour workday. Yet we insist on having the exact outcome we were picturing in our minds. It’s kind of like if a wish, a need, and a demand walked into a bar together, had too much to drink, and walked out with each other’s identity cards.

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tamar chansky phd

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