Dealing with Disappointment in 5 Easy Steps
You know me, whenever something “bad” happens in my life: I turn it into an article to help my readers.
Here are five steps to use when you're faced with a disappointment in your life, big or small:
Step One: Let Your Emotions Out
If you need to cry, go ahead and cry. Punch a pillow. Do what you have to do. Don't keep your emotions bottled up, or you'll continue to dwell on your disappointment(s) and not be able to move on.
Don't lash out at others. Don't take your disappointment(s) out on your friends/family/pets. Talk to them if you need a shoulder to lean on, but don't make their lives miserable just because you're feeling down.
Also, don't send out angry e-mails to the ones who may have disappointed you. If you didn't get a job or a promotion, don't write an irate tirade to the person in charge. All you'll end up doing is burning bridges! Stay calm. Let your emotions out privately. (This means not going on Twitter and writing a 19-Tweet public rant about your disappointment – as tempting as that may be at the time!).
Step Two: Take a Nap
Whenever something big goes down in your life, it's best to “sleep on it” and see how you feel when you wake up.
Take a nap, take a shower, gussy yourself up, and then see how you feel. You'll probably feel much better than before you went to sleep.
Step Three: Don't Take It Personally
When something hits you so deeply on an emotional level, it's hard not to take it personally.
Not getting a job you were after can feel like a personal failing at first… But you have to realize that hundreds of people who were equally or more qualified than you were had also applied, and it was probably really hard for the person in charge to make a decision. They did what they thought was best, and it was in no way a personal insult to you. They don't even know you!
Much of life's disappointments stem from things that are completely out of our control, and we have to accept that. It's not a personal affront. It's just something that happens. The sooner you accept that, the easier it will be to move on.
Step Four: Put Things in Perspective
Just how bad was this disappointment really?
Did the thing that disappointed you jeopardize your safety? Your friends? Your family?
Will this disappointment still matter to you in a week? A month? A year?
If you crashed your car, you can get it fixed or buy a new one. If your heart was broken, it will heal. If you didn't get a job you were after, another job will come around – keep applying!
You're alive and that's what matters most. Everything else will fall into place with time.
Step Five: Be Grateful for What You Do Have
Over the years, I've found that I'm a lot happier when I focus on the things I do have rather than the things I want/don't have. And I think you will be too.
- Do you have friends and family who love you?
- Do you have wonderful pets who adore you?
- Do you have a roof over your head?
- Did you drink clean water today?
Think about, say aloud, or write down all the things you have in your life that you're grateful for. Yeah, the thing that disappointed you didn't work out – but that doesn't mean you don't have a wonderful life worth living.
Other opportunities will arise, other lovers will come along… Everything will get better with time.
In the meantime, be grateful for all the wonderful things in your life you already have. You will move on, and you'll be all the stronger for it in the end. And the next time a disappointment arises, you'll handle it even better than the last one.