Learning To Deal with Disappointment


Something I struggle with is dealing with disappointment. It's embarrassing to admit, but I deal with it is by sulking, getting irritated, and retreating within myself; I then get angrier, because I feel as an adult I should be able to handle these emotions better.

Recently, my husband gave me some disappointing news; I wouldn't necessarily call it bad news, it just wasn't the news I wanted to hear.

I reacted in the usual way; by sulking, getting angry and feeling sorry myself; my husband said he debated giving me the news as he knew how upset I was going to be. He would have had to have done at it some point, so I'm glad he told me when he did.

My response made me realise I need to work on the way I handle disappointment. Instead of wallowing in self-pity for days on end, here is what I did this time:

  • Thinking of the best case scenario, the worst case scenario, and the most likely scenario - this is a method I use when dealing with stressful situations. I find this is a great way of getting me out of my head; it helps remind me that this situation isn’t the end of the end of the word, and also helps me see if there are ways of helping me get the outcome I want.

  • Journaling - I have started journalling again (I used to do this regularly as a teen); keeping a daily journal has been great at helping me work out why I might be feeling a certain way about things - in this case, it was because multiple things had gone wrong around the same time; I was overwhelmed.

    and felt as if I was being kicked around by the universe.

  • Thinking about others in the same situation - the news I got didn't affect just me, as there were others involved. Thinking about how they were feeling, and how invested they were in what was happening, really put things in perspective. Doing this served as a great reminder that everyone s going through shit, and while my feelings are valid, I don't need to dwell on them.

  • The attitude of gratitude - it's easy to focus on the negative things that are happening in our lives (our brains are designed to keep us alive, not happy after all). Taking the time to remember the good things happening around me got me focusing on the positive, rather than thinking about how shit I think things are, which is why I like keeping regular gratitude lists.

As far as things are going now, things are starting to work themselves out; I think a lot of that has to do with how I dealt with the bad news I got; rather than allowing myself to feel defeated, I focused on what could be done to change the outcome. I'm glad I didn't give in to my feelings of disappointment, and I'm happy to be moving forward.