Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

August 27, 2012

A positive minute: Disappointed?

Dr. Michael Layne
Greensburg Daily News

Greensburg — Who of us hasn't experienced the emotion of disappointment?

We all have.

It's a sad fact of life that people, systems, government, even inanimate objects will fail us and we begin to feel the onset of disappointment. So now that we realize this fact, the question is, how do we deal with it? How do you respond to disappointment? Do you find yourself getting angry? Emotional? Do the thoughts of, "I'll never trust that person again," erupt?

When God created humans, He built within us emotions. Some people are more emotional than others. What affects me may not necessarily affect my wife in the same way. Why is that? Because we are the products of two other human beings and we have some inborn genetics that are formed from our parents.

These inborn genetics of which I speak is called "temperament." I am not referring to our personality. The personality is the mask each of us develops as we mature. The Temperament is really our true being.

The mask of personality attempts to cause us to present as someone we may not really be. I suggest that many people feel confused in life and try to "find themselves" because there is a war within that will rage from time to time.

Hippocrates observed the way humans moved and went about their daily lives and did so in various ways. He noticed that certain people moved more slowly than others when it came to making decisions or acting on a situation. Hippocrates likened it to "the slowness of body fluid" or, phlegm. From that descriptor comes one of the words in temperament studies which talks about the "Phlegmatic."

The Phlegmatic is one that cannot be motivated by threat or reward. In other words, they will act on the situation when they feel like it and all of the spousal complaining, hollering and other verbiage will not cause this to change.

The spouses, co-workers and friends of the person that is a Phlegmatic will experience disappointment until they come to understand the temperament of an individual.

As a counselor, I usually didn't do the personality tests so much as doing a temperament analysis profile. It really tells me more about a person and we are able to open the individual up much quicker for some really good work.

There are many ways in which we experience disappointment. I have just had a disappointing experience while trying to get a radio station on the air. It has been very difficult working with the party from whom we were to acquire a license. Now, we are back to the starting over stage and dealing directly with the FCC. Disappointed? Yes. Discouraged? No! All in God's time and His will.

Learning to relax in the situations we must go through will make all the difference in the world as to how we respond in life.  Psalm 23 says it well, "The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want." Please take time to read the rest of this wonderful Psalm and learn to relax in the Lord as He helps you through your disappointments.

Michael Layne, PhD, ThD, is a Bishop in the Lutheran Orthodox Church, and author and director of the Ministry and Media Center. He can be reached at 812-662-5154 or