Expecting the worst so as not to be disappointed, as a system defense strategy, hides a deep fear of being harmed. Now, what real effects does adopting this attitude have?
Disappointments are part of our life. But sometimes they hurt so much that we may think that it is better to hope for the worst so as not to be disappointed in the future. Does it really work and prevent us from suffering? Is it possible to prepare for disappointment?
In this article we explain why we sometimes position ourselves as if no misfortune will affect us simply by waiting for it . We will also talk about what placing ourselves in this conception of the world can entail and if this strategy really avoids the suffering we fear.
Why do we sometimes prefer to hope for the worst so as not to be disappointed?
At some point, we have all been disappointed by someone or events have turned their face to our expectations. It is a moment of imbalance. We feel that we would never have expected that kind of treatment from someone or how such a painful situation has been our turn. A web of hopelessness and disappointment is woven that hurts and dismantles our vision of the world.
When this happens, our most primal survival instincts kick in. We employ so-called defense mechanisms to protect ourselves against possible future harm . One of the most common defense mechanisms is to make it a habit to expect the worst to avoid disappointment.
This defense mechanism, which apparently comes to our rescue, immerses us in a constant distrust and alert to possible disappointments. This process is so instinctive and intense that, many times, it ends up unleashing what in psychology is known as cognitive distortions .
Cognitive distortions lead us to misinterpret what is happening around us. We are not able to analyze and see the other, because we are immersed in fear and mistrust. It is common for people, in these cases, to suffer cognitive distortions such as the catastrophic vision or overgeneralization . Acting as a constant false confirmation that the right option is to hope for the worst so as not to be disappointed.
Prepare for disappointment
Is it possible to prepare for disappointment? Disappointments and frustrations are part of life. Things and people, many times, are not as we wish or expect. Wanting to prepare a shield for any disappointment that exists is like trying to stop a great stream of water with one hand .
In fact, when we try not to encounter emotions that are part of life, such as sadness or disappointment, we limit ourselves greatly. Expecting the worst so as not to be disappointed means closing the door to everything that can harm us. But, it also involves stopping everything that excites us, excites us, removes or makes us dream . The filter is so thorough that it doesn't let those other things that give meaning to life pass through.
It is difficult then to expect the worst so as not to be disappointed. Just like it is not possible to live without pain or suffering, since it somehow makes us give meaning to love. Disappointment can sometimes be the price of love and life. And the question is: are you willing to give it up to never suffer again?
Does expecting the worst really work so as not to be disappointed?
Aside from the costs of staying in a position of expecting the worst so as not to be disappointed, the question is, does it really do its job? Waiting for the pain, will it be less intense? Hardly. In addition, it is very difficult to anesthetize pain without paying the price of depriving ourselves of other emotions.
In fact, being immersed in expecting the worst so as not to be disappointed will leave us without resources in the face of possible frustration. If when things go well, we are immersed in that wave of pessimism, we are hardly going to charge ourselves with energy in the same way. This catastrophism strips us of resources and makes us much more vulnerable to disappointment .
Expecting the worst so as not to be disappointed means not trusting. And precisely what keeps us going many times in this world, sometimes turbulent, is that confidence . Trust that everything will turn out well, trust and love people expecting them to take care of us, trust that things will work out or trust that we will emerge stronger from this pothole.
Expect the worst so as not to be disappointed or choose to trust
All of us at some point have felt frustration or disappointment. It is something so painful that our most basic instincts cause us to create alerts that allow us to avoid that damage in the future. One of these mechanisms may be to hope for the worst so as not to be disappointed, which can turn into a cognitive distortion based on a catastrophic view of life.
Expecting the worst so as not to be disappointed has to do with trying to prepare ourselves for what hurts us. However, disappointment is part of life. Trying to put a barrier to something so unspecific in this way can limit us too much . Close the doors to vital experiences and lead us to act in a stereotypical way, compromising our mental health.
Furthermore, not only does it not work to expect the worst so as not to be disappointed, it is also counterproductive . It deprives us of the trust and hope that our personal resources feed on . With this pessimistic view of life, our personal resources diminish, while vulnerabilities, such as isolation or rigidity, increase.
For all this and, despite the great disappointments experienced and to live, we prefer to choose hope. We choose to trust that the light will come out and that the darkness will serve to illuminate it more intensely. We choose not to avoid suffering because we don't want to avoid love and life. Partner, please trust.