Dealing with Disappointment

Every once in a while, things fall into place just as you planned. Life seems to be going along smoothly…great even. You’re hard work and dedication is paying off! THEN…out of nowhere, disappointment smacks you in the face! At times, it’s a minor situation and bouncing back happens without too much discomfort. Sometimes, though, disappointment is so major that it’s absolutely, life-changing. We all juggle so much, day to day, with work, school, love, kids and friends, disappointments are bound to happen. Unfortunately, it’s part of life.

Many of us get disappointed with how things are going in our careers. Sometimes we wait for that big promotion and unexpectedly get passed over. Other times we work hard on a difficult project and after countless, difficult and frustrating hours, we’re left feeling exhausted, and everything still goes terribly wrong. We tend to beat ourselves up and run through each event over and over in our minds, trying to figure out what we could have missed? How did we allow this to happen? When we work diligently and give our best efforts into our jobs and don’t get our expected results, disappointment is natural and to be expected. The truth is, many disappointments are completely out of our control. So, try not to beat yourself up.

Some disappointments in your relationships or love life may be minor and easily overcome. Miscommunication can lead to hurt feelings. It’s often not intentional and they do not mean to hurt or disappoint you. Even in relationships, not everything is or should be earth shattering or a deal breaker. With discussion and healthy communication, the misunderstanding can be clarified and catastrophe avoided. Other times, unfortunately, it’s more severe. Disappointment can be major. Sometimes, after several months or even years, of what you thought was a loving relationship, something goes terribly wrong!? Betrayal is devastating. Feeling betrayed by someone you trusted, and loved deeply, leaves you feeling heartbroken, confused and devastatingly disappointed. What once was wonderful, is now wrecked and ruined beyond repair. It’s heartbreaking, shocking and of course, disappointing, to say the least! It is life-changing, for sure.

In addition, anyone who cares for children, whether you’re a parent, older sibling, teacher, coach, aunt or uncle, will at some point be disappointed by children’s ‘negative’ behavior. Keep in mind, it’s usually not intentional. As hard as it is, we can’t take it personally. They will at times make bad choices, fail a test, shirk their chores, mouth off, make a mess, or all of the above. After more than 20 years in education and raising my own children, I still, of course, don’t know it all. However, I’ve learned a thing or two. Kids are not mini-adults, they are children. Child development is just that, a child developing, learning, growing and maturing, in their own way, over all their years. Some can age gracefully, others make you pull you’re, now gray, hair out… repeatedly.

There many different types of disappointment in life. Some are annoying or upsetting but somewhat easily overcome. Others are devastating and life-altering. So…here are a few options that may help you cope.

First of all, go ahead and wallow. That’s right, vent to your best friend and allow yourself to get it all off your chest. The initial blow can be hard to deal with, so give yourself the time to acknowledge what has happened. Talking it out with those we trust, provides perspective. We must recognize when situations are out of our control or what we could do differently, in the future. After doing so, sometimes we realize it’s really not as bad as it seems. If it truly is life-changing, seek help, if need be. You have to allow yourself to feel it before you can move on. It’s crucial not to allow it to turn into depression. It can be devastating and heartbreaking but, please believe me when I say…. you’re going to be okay. It may not seem so now, it will take some time. Many disappointments can lead to a learning experience. Think about the lesson in the situation. And although it may sound trivial at first, look on the bright side and focus on the positive aspects of your life. Learn to communicate your frustrations and feelings. In relationships, it’s crucial to tell the person that may have disappointed you that you’re hurting. It may be hard at first, but it WILL get easier. Hang in there. Stand tall with your head held high and before we know it, it’s in the past and we are able to move on.

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