Disappointment

Written by Karyn Hall

May 4, 2021

Disappointment can be a powerful emotion. When you are disappointed it can seem like your whole life is blah or worse and that nothing will ever make you happy again. Disappointment is a lot like depression in that tunnel vision can sometimes block you for seeing that whatever happened is only one piece of your life and that the disappointment will pass.

Disappointment is a form of sadness, a sense of loss.  It’s a painful gab between our expectations and reality. If you expected your spouse to plan a celebration for your anniversary and s/he doesn’t, you may experience disappointment. 

Disappointment can happen when you believe you need something to feel happy and you don’t get it. Sometimes you believe there is only one thing that can make you happy. That definitely means you may be disappointed. 

You may experience disappointment when you’re not invited to an event, don’t get a job you wanted or people you love make decisions that concern you.  

Disappointment can hang around for a while, especially when you are giving up your view of how your life was going to be if you got a new job, sold your house, or was accepted into a school you wanted to attend. 

Awareness of the impact of disappointment can help you keep your perspective and realize that while in the middle of a disappointing experience, you’ll feel awful.  And it will pass

If you are experiencing disappointment, there are some steps you can take.

1. Label the disappointment. Notice what you are sad about. 
2. Take a look at your expectations. Were your expectations realistic? 
3. Consider the big picture. It’s part of life to be disappointed. In the big picture, how important is this particular event?
4. Problem solve: Is there a way to address the situation so you can still get the desired result?
5. Radical Acceptance: If there isn’t a way to solve the situation, then accepting the disappointment, not fighting it, will reduce the suffering (see the website for more information on radical acceptance).
6. Keep an open mind. While you may have been focused on the importance of one issue, disappointment will come and go. There can be other ways to feel happy and fulfilled.

Live a Skill-Full Life!

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