Dealing with Disappointment

person behind fog glass

Everyone is acquainted with disappointment. When we are feeling thwarted in expectation or defeated in hope, it is like a dark cloud hanging over our heads, blocking out the comforting sunlight that reminds us of what we possess.

We all deal with disappointment on a regular basis. It might be something relatively small and impersonal, such as a fuel price hike, when you had hoped for a decrease. For a school pupil, it might be something as shattering as not being chosen as a prefect when you always set an admirable example, or not being selected for a sports team when you tried super hard to make it. On a more personal level, it might be the heartbreaking revelation that someone who is close to you isn’t the person you thought they were.

How to deal with disappointment

At school

Your marks aren’t as high as you expected. Yourself and your parents are disappointed in you. Do you:

  • Cry, get depressed and give up all hope?
  • Know that you did your best and vow to do better next time?
  • Aggressively attack your teachers about your results?
  • b) is obviously the best option! I have experienced this dilemma before, so don’t consider me to be insensitive when I offer you enlightening pieces of advice in the following steps:
  • Cry yourself a river.
  • Build a bridge.
  • And get over it!

Sometimes we are disappointed, but we need to realize that it was for the better. Last year, my marks were disappointing, so I decided to invest more effort in sport and become more well-rounded. If I had placed first in the grade in academics last year, I would have never contemplated trying out for the squash team, let alone qualifying for the under-16A girls team! This is proof that disappointment can actually be the key to unlocking your true potential and character.

In relationships

In life, you will build relationships. It could be a mere friendship, a riveting romance or someone you thought you could trust. Nothing would match your disappointment if they betray you. Just remember that you shouldn’t expect anything from anyone-then you are just asking to be disappointed.

Here are practical tips for dealing with disappointment:

  1. Don’t berate yourself-understand that you did your best.
  2. Don’t spend precious energy lambasting the person who brought on your disappointment.
  3. Have a positive attitude.
  4. Use the disappointment to fuel you to achieve success in future.
  5. Make a mental or physical note of what you can do to prevent the same kind of disappointment from recurring.
  6. Use the disappointment as a learning curve, so that you can do whatever it is differently and better next time.
  7. If your disappointment is bad, it could be worse right?
  8. Vent your frustrations(it’s much better than bottling in your feelings), but always remember that it is the past and cannot be changed.