i wrote his awhile ago and thought i’d put it up.
i haven’t said it yet, not sure if i will, it’s probably the most powerful phrase a parent can wield on their child, more painful than any spanking, more thought provoking than anything a raised voice could deliver, and a useful tool to get a person to actually think about their actions.
what am i talking about?
the monotoned uttering of “i’m disappointed in you.” the most effective delivery is the following: you must hold your jaw so that your teeth are only a quarter of an inch apart, speak from your mouth using your lips, almost a whisper – forcing the sound from your throat. of course a dead eyed stare upon delivery helps as well. when someone says this to you, there is nothing you can do. you can’t argue with it. walking away in quiet contemplation is about all you got. do you remember the first time you heard it? well, perhaps not the first time, but i guarantee that more than a few of you know the situation that caused a masterful delivery of that phrase by someone in your life.
disappointment. see, i think all of us seek the approval of an adult in our lives, the approval of someone we look up to, we all want to hear the opposite of disappointment, we want to make them proud. perhaps it was an adult early on, and now you seek the approval of someone else. i know that when my girls grow up i will want them to be proud of me, to see me as a person that they can count on, but i think their is something profound in letting a loved one down. not that i aim for it, it may have looked that way sometimes, but when you disappoint someone you are not the only one forced to contemplate the expectations. the person who is disappointed had better be examining their vision of you, what they want to see in you, and ultimately your relationship. we can, sometimes unknowingly, load loved ones with unrealistic and ridiculous expectations, we do it to ourselves too. i believe in high standards, i live my life expecting a lot from myself and those that i am around – i know this.
disappointing someone is not something that you purposefully do, it is something that someone thinks you have done to them. there are times we need to be more aware of those around us and understand our role in their lives, but there are times when people in our lives need to be forced to understand that we are not purposefully hurting them, but doing what we feel is right, and perhaps that shouldn’t lead to disappointment, but a further understanding of one another’s lives.