6 Strategies for Managing Our Disappointments

6 Methods for Managing Our Disappointments


When outcomes don’t dwell as much as our expectations, when our hopes are rejected, we really feel disappointment–a particular mixture of frustration, unhappiness, loss, and anger that may have ramifications for future habits.

We really feel disappointment over a spread of outcomes–giant, small, and in between. The better the disparity between outcomes and expectations, the better the frustration. Managing our disappointments helps us within the quick time period by tempering the preliminary sting of an disagreeable end result. And it helps in the long term by displaying that avoiding disappointment shouldn’t deter us from looking for change and alternative.

Listed below are six methods for managing disappointment.

Remembering Why We Took the Likelihood within the First Place

Tim Samuel/Pexels

Supply: Tim Samuel/Pexels

After a disappointment, it’s helpful to put aside the result for a second and recall the explanations and motivations for our efforts. Most of us focus on getting by means of the current, so afterward, it takes effort to recollect what led to our actions. Outcomes usually obscure the first influences.

By inserting ourselves again in time and recreating the unique context, we will higher perceive our preliminary selections. In that approach, we will precisely consider our causes and motivations with out the affect of hindsight bias.

Acknowledging Our Emotions

We actually did need the job, and the rejection was disagreeable. We shouldn’t dwell on the result, however we additionally shouldn’t have interaction in untimely positivity. Accepting the emotion of disappointment, nonetheless painful, permits us to grasp our disappointment extra totally.

This understanding then removes the ability of disappointment and diminishes its future affect, opening us as much as a wider spectrum of alternatives later. If we all know how disappointment feels, it’s not as ominous when deciding about future endeavors. Furthermore, recognizing our disappointment makes us extra self-aware generally.

Evaluating Our Expectations

Had been our expectations reasonable? Relying on our reply, we might change our strategy or our expectations. In Worstward Ho, Samuel Beckett wrote, “Strive once more. Fail once more. Fail higher.” Though Beckett didn’t intend inspiration, his phrases may be interpreted that approach. They usually will also be augmented. Strive once more. Fail once more. Fail higher. Strive once more otherwise, probably succeed.

We might also take into account making the identical effort whereas reducing our expectations of success, thereby lowering disappointment if the result is identical. We shouldn’t repeat this technique too usually, however generally it’s helpful to take the angle that it couldn’t damage, so it’s value making an attempt once more.

If individuals say, “I’m so disenchanted in you,” that disappointment can be an interplay between expectations and outcomes efforts. Had been their expectations cheap?

Limiting Extrapolation

Yon Kukov/Pexels

Supply: Yon Kukov/Pexels

Having one proposal rejected doesn’t imply the following one might be. Being turned down from one graduate program–or 5–doesn’t imply we must always stop making use of. Even after a complete spherical of rejections, we will discuss to professors and different college students to get suggestions. And with this new data, we might apply to completely different packages or change our strategy the next yr. Equally, don’t interpolate. A disappointing end result doesn’t make an individual a disappointment.

Reframing the Occasions

After a disappointing end result, we will concentrate on discovering a profit. This reframing is neither denial nor bland positivism. (“It was meant to be.”) It’s a sound and particular reinterpretation. If an bold proposal is turned down, we will admire the additional time accessible for different fascinating actions.

Ketut Subiyanto/Pexels

Supply: Ketut Subiyanto/Pexels

Extra broadly, disappointment teaches us that we will overcome disappointment, boosting resilience.

Reframing bigger disappointments can permit us to commit vitality to new alternatives. Reframing small disappointments in our every day lives can result in fast enhancements with long-term advantages. Admittedly, it is a minor occasion, however I went bowling with a buddy whose superior athleticism was tangible, astonishing, and unbeatable. As a substitute of making an attempt to win, I took the chance to observe completely different strategies for spinning the ball. I misplaced spectacularly, however I improved my recreation.

Viewing such small losses as disappointments dilutes the ability of labeling an end result as disappointing–for bigger occasions.

Contemplating Chances

Apply the legal guidelines of chance, essentially the most reliable legal guidelines on earth. The solar will come up tomorrow morning, however likelihood is we gained’t see a rainbow. If we have interaction in habits the place success is unlikely (akin to sending unsolicited manuscripts to The New Yorker for publication), we’ll most probably be rejected. We are able to select to proceed with the tough alternative and decrease our expectations of success, thereby lowering disappointment. Or we will preserve our expectations and check out a extra probably endeavor, akin to submitting to an area publication or a web-based platform that encourages new writers.

On the flip aspect, if we have been actually anticipating a good end result and thought we had it, the legal guidelines of chance additionally inform us that unlikely occasions do occur as soon as in an awesome whereas. The turkey that sees the farmer day-after-day and will get meals doesn’t count on what is going to occur the day earlier than Thanksgiving when the farmer approaches with out meals.

Our disappointments usually are not that dire – maybe an sudden lack of funding for a brand new place or the sudden reappearance of an outdated romantic associate of the particular person we’re courting. However in these unlikely circumstances, we must always all the time look again and acknowledge that the bizarre and unlikely can happen.

We are able to handle disappointments and never permit them to dampen the liveliness of our lives.


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