20

Is there a word to describe the feeling of when you have tried for something for so long that when you get it the novelty is gone? For example, you apply for a job so many times that when you finally get it you're so drained from all the applying that it doesn't mean much that you got it

11
  • 2
    I don't quite understand what you mean by "novelty" here.
    – TimR
    Dec 26, 2023 at 1:48
  • 1
    When reading the title I thought you meant the novelty would be gone for others. For instance, if a topic is very fashionable right now and jobs in this topic are receiving lots of funding right now, I might go to university and get an education in this topic; then apply for a job; and by this time the topic is no longer fashionable and there is a lot less money.
    – Stef
    Dec 26, 2023 at 8:39
  • No. Not in the words of the Question here. For example, you apply for a job so many times that when you finally get it you're so drained from all the applying that it doesn't mean much that you got it For example, you apply for a job so many times that when you finally get it you're so drained from all the applying that it doesn't mean much that you got it Dec 27, 2023 at 0:24
  • DjinTonic's Answer below is prolly as close as you'll get but isn't the problem that as TimR says, 'novelty' doesn't fit either the Question title or the exposition? Wouldn't 'anticipation' suit both better? Dec 27, 2023 at 15:54
  • Novelty is desire. And when you get what you wanted but it isn't what you needed, that's ennui.
    – Mazura
    Dec 27, 2023 at 22:06

8 Answers 8

41

anticlimax (n.)

An event, period, or outcome that is strikingly less important or dramatic than expected.

The last chapter of the book was an anticlimax.
M-W

An event or experience that causes disappointment because it is less exciting than was expected or because it happens immediately after a much more interesting or exciting event

When you really look forward to something it's often an anticlimax when it actually happens.
Cambridge

anticlimactic (adj.)

Of, relating to, or marked by anticlimax
M-W

If an event or experience is anticlimactic it causes disappointment because it was less exciting than was expected, or happened immediately after a much more exciting event or experience.

There was so much publicity and hype beforehand that the performance itself was a touch anticlimactic.
Cambridge


The flight was arranged for November 30th 1905. This time the crowds which congregated on the shores of the lake were not as dense as they had been when the L.Z. 1 made her first ascent. ... Besides, Zeppelin's flights were beginning to be an old story. The novelty was wearing off. The public was still interested in airships but people were not as thrilled as they had been.

Actually, the flight never took place, for the airship was badly damaged as she was being taken out of the hangar and she was put back under cover at once for repairs. The day was a complete anticlimax; after waiting for hours in the cold the people returned to their homes somewhat disgrunlted. This anticlimax filled Zeppelin's friends with a feeling of acute discomfort.
Margaret Goldsmith; Zeppelin: A Biograpy (2017)

Once the novelty of the ballot box had worn off for Britain's first women voters, there was a sense of anticlimax. What this all there was to it? A cross on a piece of paper?
Tessa Boase; Etta Lemon: The Woman Who Saved the Birds (2021)

After the novelty and tension of departure, the journey itself could be anticlimactic. The weeks were marked by seasickness, monotony, boredom, bad weather and a steadily deteriorating diet.
David Cressy; Coming Over: Migration and Communication between England and New England in the Seventeenth Century (1989)

The Mayflower, whilst being far from full, had a respectable turn out. As Ian sipped his pre gig drink he felt strangely nerveless, almost detached. It was almost a feeling of anti-climax as all the work and excitement had gone into setting up the gig.
Stephen Dobson; The Man Who Killed the Hamsters (2012)

The BEF's tactical skills were again evident in the artillery's ability to subdue the enemy guns and the infantry's skill in deating his counter-attacks, but tanks had been largely confined to the roads and made little impact. The outcome of so much effort was an anticlimax.
Brian Bond; Britain's Two World Wars against Germany (2014)

The war had ended. The anti-climax, after so much effort and courage had been wasted, had much the effect on everyone concerned...
Roy Fullick and Geoffrey Powel; Suez: The Double War (2006)

Nineteen months had passed, we had been ignored, lied to an finally forced to justify ourselves to an independent Tribunal and we had won.

In a way it was a bit of an anti-climax, in some ways we rather felt 'Why had it taken so much effort to get and do what was so obvious from the very beginning?' I do not remember gloating the next time that I spoke to the Headmaster at the Special Needs School about arranging a meeting to implement the views of the tribunal but maybe there was a feeling of moral superiority.
Dave Hewett and Melanie Nind; Interaction in Action (2013)

1
  • 7
    Related terms: A poetic way to express the loss of novelty or other qualities is "the bloom is off the rose". A particularly negative related proverb is "familiarity breeds contempt".
    – Graham
    Dec 26, 2023 at 12:15
16

I would suggest a 'Pyrrhic victory', where the cost in terms of time and energy that went into achieving the result totally outweigh the benefit (novelty) of finally achieving it.

3

ennui

a feeling of utter weariness and discontent resulting from satiety or lack of interest; boredom

https://www.collinsdictionary.com/us/dictionary/english/ennui

2

First I want to try to empathize with the feeling you probably have when the "novelty" of the pursuit (of job hunting) is gone: you have arrived. A decade or two ago, landing a job in Google / Apple / Amazon was "novel": articles about their enviable work environment generated a lot of hits, interview tips were coveted and accompanied with excitement, testimonials from new recruits were newsworthy, even preparing oneself to even qualify for their interview was tinged with rising endorphins and dopamine. I have never worked for them, but I can well imagine that someone who has gone through all the process, is finally hired, and has been working for them for a while, will in all likelihood have to face the music in the end: all the grunt work, drudgery, frustration, and deadline stress accompanying all technology workers. The novelty of the pursuit to get hired wouldn't mean much to them anymore by then.

What is the best word to refer to that kind of feeling? I would suggest jaded:

not having interest or losing interest because you have experienced something too many times

as in "Flying is exciting the first time you do it, but you soon become jaded."

with other similar words: sated, gorged, dulled, benumbed, blunted, etc.


On a psychologically related point, that experience is probably similar to other pursuits, such as trying to get into an exclusive club, winning a piano competition or passing a high-level piano exam, winning the heart of a beloved, or wanting to have a beautiful wedding, that the ultimate goal is revealed (at the end) to be not what one really wants, where the pursuit turns out to be more important / interesting than the possession of the thing pursued. I have sadly encountered several piano students who were willing to work 7-9 years to gain an RCM Level 10 certificate (because of the prestige of it) but whose desire for the certificate is MUCH more than the love of gaining the ability to perform a difficult classical music piece artistically (which is what the RCM curriculum prepares one for). The word that came to mind when I talked to those students (who by now are adults who no longer practice piano, some even admitted that they hated classical music) is jaded. Once they got that certificate, the "high" was over, and they don't want to touch piano ever again.

1
  • I like your 'pursuit over possession' point and am glad you included it (+1). Reminds me of one of Elsa's (writer's) observations in 1883 : "To them [vagabonds, wanderers, and cowboys], the journey is the destination. “Should they find gold at the end of the rainbow, they would leave it there and seek another; choosing freedom over the burden of the pot. I haven’t thought once of Oregon. No dreams of the ocean or snow-covered mountains. I only dream of the journey. That is all. No gold for me. Just the rainbow.”
    – Papa Poule
    Dec 29, 2023 at 3:23
2

You've taken the shine off the outcome.

https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/take-the-shine-off

2

Buyer's Remorse is a similar term. It's usually related purely to purchases, but the underlying idea is that of getting something you want, and then realizing you don't want it. It could be because the thing doesn't work as well as advertised, "I can't believe I spent 10,000 dollars on a lawn mower that can't cut grass." But it can also be something like, "I thought I would enjoy the freedom of owning my own home, but I just feel tied down."

1

Fatigued. (tired)
You grow fatigued.

This is used in the context of repeatedly seeing disaster appeals and we become fatigued by it as no longer affected.

This is what is happening to the novelty, the repeated exposure deadens the reaction/ kills the novelty.

0

"Soul destroying" might be close. Work that is "soul destroying" is work that destroys one's enthusiasm in general. It can be squeezed, imo, to mean "the work was so tedious that I've lost my enthusiasm for this occupation".

I really wanted my good samaritan badge but after doing all that soul destroying voluntary work cleaning roads and dealing with rude nursing home residents, by the time I got the badge I really felt it wasn't worth it.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.