Carl Rogers notion of unconditional positive regard doesn’t mean we don’t have to take responsibility for our behaviours or what we do with strong emotions such as anger and disappointment.
Of course disappointment is a subjective response related to how we anticipate a particular outcome. The psychological and emotional consequences of disappointment will vary greatly in all of us. While some of us will recover quickly, others will get stuck in a mire of frustration, blame, or become depressed. None of these are a good place to be. Psychoanalytically depression, can be a direct consequence of both disappointment and frustration.
And I have been very disappointed this week – and at all kinds of levels and for all kinds of reasons. A cancelled lunch, the choices some of my colleagues made about the actions they decided to take, finding myself in a meeting where those who should also have been there were absent, and disappointed over my own sense of self and how this has been affected by what others expected from me this week. Rogers believed that we all need to be regarded positively by others; we all need to feel valued, respected, treated with affection and loved. It has been my inability to show others the value, respect, affection and love they deserve that has led to a sense of my disappointment in my self. However, as I write this, a new week is dawning, and with it new opportunities to try and do things differently.