We all deal with disappointments, whether it’s a bad grade on a test, a pregnancy or miscarriage, not receiving a job or promotion we think we deserved, getting PCS orders to a less-than-desired locale, or the presidential candidate of our choice losing the race.
I don’t think we as a culture know how to handle disappointment.
We give medals, trophies, and ribbons for participating. There’s no incentive for trying to do a good job anymore. Mediocrity reigns!
We complain, cry, or even riot when we don’t get our way. We are a nation of sore losers.
How we handle disappointment shows a lot about our maturity level.
I’ve lost numerous jobs. I have two failed marriages. I have countless lost friendships. I have a rocky relationship with my parents. Being a military wife brings its share of disappointments with deployments and PCSes.
As a daughter and friend, wife and mother, I constantly feel like a failure.
Life has ups and downs. People fail us. Tragedies happen.
I’ve had to learn the hard way to handle disappointment in a mature way in order to model that to my kids.
It’s true that a mama’s attitude affects the whole household.
We have to teach our children how to handle disappointment well and to bounce back from defeat.
We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope. ~Martin Luther King, Jr.
It’s ok to get emotional.
Our gut reactions to disappointment are normal.
We get sad, scared, upset, angry. We’re disappointed. It’s negative. It’s ok to cry a little, but don’t dwell in that negative state for long. Don’t get depressed. Take action.
Analyze it and move on.
Every single time I get disappointed, it brings to mind every past hurt in my entire life history. I get sick to my stomach. I worry. I get anxious. I rehash conversations in my head. I loathe myself for the destructive relationships I was in then. I think what could’ve should’ve been. I imagine what if I could go back in time and redo it or tell myself what I know now? I blame myself, often unnecessarily.
Emotions are what make us human. Make us real. The word ’emotion’ stands for energy in motion. Be truthful about your emotions, and use your mind and emotions in your favor, not against yourself. ~Robert T. Kiyosaki
Who’s to blame?
Not that we should always place blame, but it sometimes helps to know who is at fault.
We ask ourselves: Did I mess up?
In this fallen world, sometimes plans are purposely sabotaged. People are mean. We are bullied. It seems as if evil wins.
Try to resolve the situation with the other person if possible. Have a plan for the conversation and a resolution in mind. Sincere apologies go a long way towards forgiveness and healing.
Sometimes confrontation and reconciliation aren’t possible, and having no closure can be even harder to bear.
People we love hurt us. It’s just a part of life. Sometimes, commitment and duty are the only threads holding us together in bad times.
Things get lost. Trust is sometimes misplaced. People forget to do or say things. Lies are revealed. Bad things happen to good people.
Sometimes, there is no one to blame. We shouldn’t take everything so personally.
We can dwell on these things and let hate and rage devour us, or we can take note of it, forgive, and move on.
The sudden disappointment of a hope leaves a scar which the ultimate fulfillment of that hope never entirely removes. ~Thomas Hardy
What were expectations?
Do I expect too much?
Were my instructions not clear? What could I have done differently? Why doesn’t she like me?
Self-reflection and analysis are healthy.
Sometimes, we are just let down by those we depend on.
We shouldn’t lower our expectations because of this. We should hold our standards high. But we should also be realistic.
I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine. ~Bruce Lee
Try, try again.
Be proactive for next time. Yes, there will be a next time.
Disappointment builds character, especially patience, when you allow that to mold you. Learn to lose with grace.
Don’t beat yourself up. Fix whatever can be fixed. Learn from your mistakes. Look on the bright side.
Yes, it’s easier said than done.
There’s always failure. And there’s always disappointment. And there’s always loss. But the secret is learning from the loss, and realizing that none of those holes are vacuums. ~Michael J. Fox
Pray. Meditate. Read. Create. Journal your feelings.
Everything happens for a reason.
Some of of my greatest disappointments created amazing opportunities.
This is maturity.
When you find your path, you must not be afraid. You need to have sufficient courage to make mistakes. Disappointment, defeat, and despair are the tools God uses to show us the way. ~Paulo Coelho
Get with like-minded friends.
Find comfort with those who can and will agree with you. You will learn who your real friends are during bad times. We should be there for each other – to be shoulders to cry on and iron sharpening iron.
There’s no shame in unfriending bigots on social media. You should sever toxic friendships (and sometimes even family members) online and in real life. Protect your boundaries.
Don’t waste words on people who deserve your silence. Sometimes the most powerful thing you can say is nothing.
A hug or a cuppa with a friend goes a long way towards healing. We need friends to inspire hope.
I would rather walk with a friend in the dark, than alone in the light. ~Helen Keller
How do you handle disappointment? How do you help your kids through it?
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