We’ve all been there. Numerous times. Disappointment has affected all of us.
We feel impacted, lessened, that the situation is out of our control.
I think that’s the worst part of disappointment: that we don’t feel like we are in control. And when we don’t feel in control, we feel very, very vulnerable.
People tell you to keep your chin up; get over it. But sometimes you just need to “feel” it for a little while first.
Then you have to move past it.
Here are some strategies for dealing with disappointment…
1. Try to put it in perspective
Is it really as bad as you think it is right at this moment? Because our judgment can be clouded with emotions. And sometimes we just can’t see the forest for the trees when we’re emotional.
So try to step back and look at it from a distance. Better yet, put distance, literally and figuratively, between you and what occurred.
2. Try not to take it personally
Better said than done, I know. It feels so damned personal. But sometimes it will turn out that what happened wasn’t really directed at you at all. Sometimes it isn’t even about you. It just felt like it was.
But because you’re hurt, you can’t see that right now.
3. Talk it out before you make a decision
Give them a chance to explain. If your first reaction was indeed justified, then you have to decide if you want that person to still be in your life.
You have to decide if you can get past it. You have to be realistic about what you can handle. And if you truly don’t think you can do it, then you have to walk away.
4. Distract yourself from the pain
I like to distract myself by getting myself involved in a project of some sort. Be it decorating or a craft, creating is the best medicine when emotions are roiling around inside of me.
Maybe gardening, merely pulling weeds, will be sufficient to soak up some of your pain.
5. Do something special for yourself
Just because someone else didn’t treat us as we’d hoped doesn’t mean that we can’t make a positive decision to be good to ourselves.
Do something you seldom do. Buy a pretty bouquet of flowers and lose yourself in the joy of arranging every single flower. Lower your face into the bouquet and inhale the wonderful scent that you’ve gifted yourself.
6. Do something physical
Exercise releases endorphins, which makes us feel better.
Endorphins are morphine-like chemicals produced by the body that help diminish pain while triggering positive feelings.
So get moving.
Take deep breaths and focus on them. Do some yoga moves or stretches and concentrate on your movements.
7. Visit someone you care about
Talking with a bestie is sometimes exactly what we need. If it’s the bestie who disappointed you, then seek out a relative you’re close to.
Or visit a friend who can’t get out and around anymore. Someone who you know is less fortunate.
It will help with gaining perspective about what happened. It’s good karma and will benefit both of you.
8. Go out for a long drive
Sometimes driving out to the countryside restores our sense of self.
Roll down the window and let the breeze caress your face. Let the miles be a psychological tool in distancing yourself from the pain.
Take your camera and take photos of livestock or wildflowers. It is a free gift that you might frame later to remind yourself that you’re a survivor. Not a victim.
9. Give yourself time to adjust
You will have to adjust your expectations of the person who disappointed you. Your feelings of trust will have taken a hit. So trust your instincts.
If you no longer desire to have that person in your life, then let yourself grieve that loss. Because it really is a loss.
They may be close in proximity and you may have to see them occasionally or even often, but they are no longer close to your heart. You will have to learn to see them differently in order to move on.
10. Try to learn something from the experience
If you had to endure the pain, you might as well learn something from it.
Try to look at what happened from all vantage points. Try to find some
kernel of positivity to take away from the situation.
In summation, grieve it and then try to let it go. Look at the glass as half full, even if it’s very hard.
Write down things that you are grateful for. Try to focus on those things until the sting of disappointment has abated.
You are a good person and you deserve better. But if someone else won’t treat you how you know you should be treated, then cut them loose and chuck it up to the experience of life.