Is disappointment an unhealthy feeling? This question is valid since disappointment is a negative emotion after all. However, I believe we are permitted to feel such emotion because it is a part of human nature. Like any other negative emotion, we are entitled to feel it, and, as I mentioned in a previous blog post, we should not guilt ourselves when we do.
We may wish not to experience being disappointed because it is an unpleasant feeling. Still, we cannot prevent things, situations, or people from disappointing us since these are elements out of our control. To avoid a downward spiral when disappointment happens, we have to learn how to manage it.
- Practice acceptance and manage expectations. I believe that the main reason for people’s disappointment, especially with other people, is the high expectation. Even though we should learn to trust other people, it doesn’t mean that we should expect them to meet the standard we set for them. In the beginning, we should condition our minds that although we can trust people to be or do things a certain way, there is always a possibility that they could not live to those expectations because of certain limitations that we cannot control. If such a shortcoming happens, we might still feel down, but the feeling will not linger longer.
- Allow yourself to feel it to let it out. Just like any other emotion, when disappointment is not expressed or allowed to come out, even just internally, it will only worsen. Like water in a dam, this emotion needs to be released so that you will not suddenly break.
- Check your contribution to the negative outcome. When we are disappointed with specific results, for example, the factors that lead to such are not always other people or things. Sometimes, if not most, we contribute or even solely are the reason for the disappointing result. If this is the case, we should fix it by correcting our part of the mistake. Doing something to correct the error will make you feel better.
- Look at the bigger picture. When things do not work the way you want them to, there may be something better. When you don’t figure out how to work things out with a particular person, it may be because you’re supposed to work it out with another person. When specific opportunities do not fit you, it may be because better ones suit you. Regardless, all those disappointing experiences with other people, things, and events are opportunities for you to learn.
- Remind yourself of your past wins. When your disappointment is a failure to achieve goals, it is imperative to remind yourself that you are not always in that state. Remembering that you are also capable of winning, as evidenced by your past achievements, your disappointment with yourself will less likely turn to a more depressing state and give you hope that you can still achieve what you want.
Do you cope with disappointment the same way? Or do you have other means that you find more compelling? Feel free to share your insights below.