Monday, March 18, 2013

The Face of Disappointment

As a writer, I feel I need to be aware of the physical response of individual's displaying different emotions. This helps me to accurately express my characters. Today we will look at the different faces of those experiencing disappointment.

When I see the face of disappointment, I am drawn to the individual. 

Sometimes I approach the person, and sometimes I don't, yet I am still drawn to their need.

I watch from my distance and try to figure out if the person is approachable, or if it is appropriate for me to walk close to him/her.

The face of disappointment is portrayed in many different ways depending on the circumstances and the person experiencing the situation. 

Note this photo. This person's disappointment has pulled her into her own thoughts. If a conversation were held near her she probably wouldn't hear it. She wouldn't want to eat or move, so consumed with rehashing the disappointing situation.

We could describe her as quiet and pensive. Perhaps one tear might fall without her noticing. Her eyes are slightly lowered and her brows somewhat furrowed. Her body is curled close to her torso. 

If you saw this person in a park or on a beach, would you go and talk with her? If so, what would you say?

This photo expresses a different response to disappointment. This person' may exhibit sudden aggressive actions after long moments of stillness. He may pace, mumble, blurt, huff, sigh, and wave his arms. Afterwords he may stand or sit still, but his mind is racing.

We could express him as explosive. Even though there will be long moments of quiet, any action he conveys will be sudden, perhaps short, or it could also be drawn out, but it will clearly convey his disappointment. 

He is working the problem with high energy. Rehashing the words, justifying his actions, searching for a way of escape, and desperately looking for an immediate solution.

Any words like, "Calm down" only fuel his explosive response. 

With cell phones ever present, we could see this man almost anywhere. If you did see him across the street, would you go and talk with him?

One last photo showing disappointment.

This person's response shows his tears. He is wiping them. This action is giving permission to approach. He probably will allow a kind spoken person to say something nice, but not intrusive, as a feeler. He is ready to share his disappointment and hungers for an understanding listener. He doesn't necessary want advice, although after he says his peace, he may invite something more than kind words. 

The amount of tears do not dictate the level of disappointment.

But the response: wiping away the tears, shows the person has noticed others around them has chosen to acknowledge their presence, and wants, even in the smallest measure, some kind, gentle interaction.

If you saw this person sitting on a park bench, cowering in a corner, outside a stadium after a game, would you go and talk with him/her?

God asks his own to help those in need. Sometimes sitting quiet by the person is best.   Sometimes the help required is space. And sometimes the person wants kind words. Having a discerning eye and stepping into the person's shoes/situation helps us know what God wants us to do.

Reader, how would you show God's love to a person experiencing disappointment?

All three photos are courtesy of


Janice said...

Sometimes the best we can do is to say something like "I hope you won't mind if I give you a hug," and then do so. If it seems right then say "I am here if you need to talk."

Mary Vee Writer said...

Both are excellent ideas. The one we need not do is to walk away.