Dealing with disappointment is… well… disappointing. Weather it is having a love interest not return your phone call or getting a divorce, it’s frustrating when our expectations do not get met. Possibly more frustrating, is that if you live long enough, you will experience disappointment after disappointment. But, what we often fail to realize, is that the impact of the disappointment can be drastically reduced if we know how to deal with it directly. Here are a few tips to show you how it’s done.
Understand that disappointment is normal. There’s not a person in this world who hasn’t experienced it. But when we go through life thinking that we should never experience disappointment, we fight against reality. It is through the fighting of this reality, that we often find ourselves frustrated. By embracing disappointment, we learn how to work through it, instead of against it and this makes dealing with it easier.
Give yourself time to reflect. Because disappointment is so uncomfortable, we often want to get on the other side of it as quick as possible. Unfortunately, many of us adopt the mindset that if we just stop thinking about it, the pain of the frustration associated with disappointment will just go away. That’s simply is not the case. The more you give yourself time to actually work through the disappointment as opposed to avoiding the disappointment, the better off things will be. I encourage you to the next time you are faced with disappointment, embrace it instead of fighting it. I’m certain that in the long run, you’ll be glad that you did.
Adjust your expectations. If we are honest with ourselves, how many times have we been disappointed with things that were our fault to begin with? Did you expect someone to call you back when it was clear that they were not interested in you to begin with? Is it possible that you married someone who you knew had a history of infidelity? Many times we have clues that prevent us from getting into disappointing situation’s but we don’t listen to them. By adjusting your expectations to what you see and not what you want to see, you can reduce the frequency and intensity of disappointing experiences.
Don’t let your disappointment linger. A good rule of thumb is to leave a certain amount of time for you to experience the disappointment, and then let it go. For instance, allow yourself to grieve for an hour, or for the rest of the evening but make a decision that tomorrow will be a new day. Of course, give yourself grace if it’s still difficult, but setting time limits for how much you’re going to give into a situation empowers you because it helps you to be an instrumental force and on getting on the other side of your disappointments.
Look after your physical health. This is just as important as your emotional health. Make sure you are getting the correct exercise to help you manage whatever frustrations come along with your disappointments in life. After all, whatever disappointments you are experiencing will be made worse if you have physical elements on top of them.
Regardless of what your disappointments are in life, there’s always hope. Sometimes however, it’s difficult to receive that hope. If life has a hold on you right now, and you’re experiencing disappointments, we have some amazing therapists who are here to help.