In this week’s episode of The Baggage Reclaim Sessions, I talk about how not distinguishing between anger and disappointment can block us from taking care of ourselves and moving forward.

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5 key topics in this episode

  • Disappointment is the emotional state we experience when people, things or life don’t live up to our hopes and expectations. We experience it as a loss because of the gap between reality and our hopes and expectations. Sometimes we personalise disappointment so much that we also experience it as rejection.
  • Anger occurs when we feel as if we’ve been wronged (even if we haven’t) or we have been wronged whether it’s by others or ourselves. Anger is also a notification that, at some point in the very near future, we’re going to need a healthier boundary. It lets us know where, whether it’s the anger itself or the thing/event that’s created anger, we are out of integrity with ourselves. e.g. people pleasing, settling for crumbs, denying, rationalising, minimising and excusing. 
  • Loss is loss. The body doesn’t differentiate between types of losses. This means that each time we experience a loss, it brings up old losses. It resurrects our grieved and ungrieved disappointments and losses.
  • A lot of us try to get our old unmet needs from childhood met in present-day situations. It’s based on this far-out fantasy created long ago. We keep putting ourselves into situations with people that remind us of the past in an attempt to fill voids. And, of course, this creates unrealistic and inappropriate expectations that get revealed to us through our anger, disappoIntment and grief.
  • Continuing to call anger ‘disappointment’ keeps it alive because we’re effectively saying that this person or thing was supposed to be what we thought and now we’re owed.

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The Joy of Saying No: A Simple Plan to Stop People Pleasing, Reclaim Boundaries, and Say Yes to the Life You Want (Harper Horizon/HarperCollins) is out now and available in bookshops on and offline. Listen to the first chapter.
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