Feeling disappointed in something or someone is never fun. And there are many different ways we can handle disappointment. I’m only going to talk about a few here.
First: anger. When we get disappointed, we can become angry, sometimes unreasonably so. Especially if it’s a recurring issue. We can explode on people. The problem is that we usually explode on the WRONG people. I’m not saying exploding is the right reaction to have. But I know it happens. I’m going to call it like I see it.
A lot of times, our anger is taken out on those we are closest too, because we feel safest letting our emotions out around them. It’s natural, but we need to protect those we love.
Second: depression. I’ve got a lot of experience with this one. Like the picture above, I see disappointment as pushing me down into the depths of a well. In the picture, there are ladder rungs. When you’re in the midst of depression, though, you can’t see those precious hand-holds. It feels like a depth you can’t pull yourself out of.
Third: resignation. I also have experience with this one. Have you ever gotten to the point where you expect everyone to let you down, so you let go of any hope you have in people and just take on the weight of the world yourself? You get to the point where you stop reaching out to others because you’ve resigned yourself to them letting you down.
Okay, so these are just three ways in which we can react to disappointment. I’m not saying any of them is right. I’m not saying every single person reacts in one of these three ways. I’d be crazy to suggest that.
What I want to say is that it is completely natural to react in these (and many other) ways. But there is more we can do! Especially to get to the other side of disappointment.
I think the first thing we need to do is evaluate ourselves and our reactions. Ask yourself, Why am I disappointed about this? What’s motivating you?
When the first reaction hits you, breathe it in, then let it go. It’s not going to just go away. But centering yourself for a moment will help you figure out what’s going on internally.
When we take a moment to center ourselves, it allows us to actually deal with the emotions rather than allowing them to rule us.
This is just the first step, but one step at a time is how anything begins.