How to handle disappointment

Hey everyone,

Today, I’d like to talk about disappointment and specifically how to handle it in a more healthy manner! I’m sure we’ve found ourselves being upset when our expectations or hopes weren’t fulfilled, so I hope this can help us all a little bit :slightly_smiling_face:

  • Evaluate our expectations: Sometimes we might have had a role in setting ourselves up for disappointment when we expect too much from others. Everyone has their limits and will do things at a rate that works for them. For example, if you expect someone to return your WhatsApp messages immediately, that may set you up for disappointment if that person happens to be busy or doesn’t prioritise interpersonal relationships in the same way that you do! Thus, realistically lowering your expectations can help to prevent disappointment.
  • Try not to internalize unhelpful negative feelings: We’ll naturally get upset after being disappointed but that shouldn’t lead straight to devaluing/blaming ourselves or engaging in negative self-talk. Instead, practice self-compassion; know that things don’t always work out ideally. For example, instead of thinking that you are an undeserving and awful person, perhaps something about the interaction with the other person didn’t go exactly as expected.
  • Reconsider those relationships: Are there certain relationships that are no longer serving you? These are relationships that is more disappointing and frustrating than anything else; that you struggle to talk through with the other party despite your efforts. If so, perhaps less contact is the way to consider.
  • Engage in self-care: Despite being left out/dismissed and treated in a way that didn’t please you, the day still goes on. So, consider what helps you comfort yourself (e.g., calling a friend who is good at making you feel better/helps you put things in perspective, make plans to do something that always makes you happy).
  • Try to find the lesson: Consider the situation that happened and why it might have gone wrong to learn (more) about ourselves and how others react to us. You can ask yourself questions like, “Did the other party know what I need? Was I clear in saying what I needed? Can the other party clearly state what I need?”

Lemme know what y’all think about these pointers. Perhaps you can share your own experience with dealing with disappointment, and feel free to ask any questions if you have any! :slightly_smiling_face:

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how about expectations about a situation’s outcome instead of a person? for example, submitting a report you wrote that you were quite pleased with, but instead, you get told that a lot of it is actually lacking and you end up disappointed in the outcome where your report is rejected and has to be rewritten. here, the expectation is that the report is accepted and finished. is this something that should be changed?

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Hey @tryingtheirbest, thanks for your question! I think that you can be disappointed with the situation/outcome where your report requires revision despite you feeling good about it initially. Now was the expectation you had about the quality of the report reasonable? And is this a one-off result or it had happened before too? This could provide you with some ideas on how to handle it - perhaps finding the lesson about it, while trying not to internalize unhelpful negative feelings? What do you think? :thinking:

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Think this is a classic case of misaligned expectations between the person receiving the report and the person submitting it.

I think a reasonable next step for this would be to clarify expectations about the revision and future submissions. It’s definitely disappointing but instead of dwelling over it, maybe focusing on the future might help.

Of course there are cases where expectations are still blurry even after clarifications or that expectations are changed halfway without communicating to the other party. Then that requires a whole new approach on clear communication haha

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hmm yea haha @BKT @Jaws i guess it’s about communication and learning to move on from the experience instead of dwelling on it. thanks for the replies!

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